February 22, 2012 - "You're so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshanks' table that you've missed your God-given right to something better."
– Mel Gibson, portraying Scottish rebel William Wallace in the 1995 movie "Braveheart"
Next week, when I trek to the Oxford Veterans Memorial Civic Center to vote in the Republican presidential primary, I'll be casting my secret ballot for Ron Paul – the only candidate who has principles that mirror our Founding Fathers. Actually, he's the only candidate who has any principles, period.
Does Paul have a shot at winning the GOP nomination?
Not a snowball's chance in Hades.
Some would argue I'm wasting my vote because Paul isn't a realistic contender for the Oval Office currently occupied the Great Failed Hope.
I don't agree with that logic. I believe voting is about more than just trying to pick the fastest horse in the race.
To me, the ballot box is where I voice my conscience and frankly, I'm sick and tired of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils because the GOP can't produce a decent candidate.
I want somebody I can vote for because I truly believe in what he (or she) stands for – not because I believe he has the best chance of beating the guy I loathe even more from the other party.
Granted, I don't agree with many of Paul's foreign policy stances. In fact, I'm dead-set against them. They're not practical in today's increasingly-dangerous world.
However, Paul is the only candidate who truly favors restoring the constitutionally-limited Republic that began with such promise and hope in 1787 and ended with Franklin Delano Roosevelt's vile New Deal.
Paul believes in low taxation, individual rights, the evils of government intervention and the virtues of a truly free market as espoused by 18th-century economist Adam Smith and later, the Austrian School of Economics.
Paul believes, as our Founders did, that the proper role for the federal government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system and very little else.
Paul's voting record in Congress earned him the nickname "Dr. No" because he refused to vote in favor of any legislation unless the proposed measure was expressly authorized by the Constitution. What a novel concept.
Too many folks who call themselves conservatives and Republicans today are phonies and turncoats, especially those who occupy positions in government.
They talk the talk, but when it comes time to act they vote in favor of expensive and grandiose projects, tax increases, expanded governmental powers and taking on more crushing debt, which is killing us at all levels.
Take a real good look at Greece, folks because that's exactly where we're headed if we don't mend our ways.
Unfortunately, the reality is nothing's going to change given our current field of candidates. Whether it's Obama, Romney or Santorum in the White House come January 2013, either way, it's all over. All of you who plan to support any of the aforementioned Three Stooges are the ones actually wasting your votes, not me.
For those of you who aren't Ron Paul fans, but still want to send a message to the corrupt and diseased GOP establishment, I beg you to check the "uncommitted" option on your primary ballots.
Save your vote for someone who deserves it.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.