As the 2012 GOP primary season is coming to a close with voting set to begin right after the New Year, the race has pretty much narrowed down to three candidates in the top tier; Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. Most pundits and professional chatterers have the race narrowed down between Mitt and Newt, even though Ron Paul is running second in Iowa and either second or a close third in New Hampshire. The time to pick a candidate is now and given the problems, we must pick wisely.

The most important issues this country is facing are first and foremost the outrageous level of debt our government has accumulated. Within ten years, we are projected to have a debt level as a percentage of GDP equal to Greece. Secondly, we must get our economy going again and the only way we will do that is by cutting taxes and reforming the tax code and unwinding the high amounts of personal debt. Third, we must have a president who will rebuild America’s respect in the world and rebuild our nation’s strength which has sapped by 10 years of endless war. Finally, we need a leader who can be respected, even by his political opponents. All other issues are secondary.

The candidate I believe is best suited to tackle these challenges is Ron Paul. Ron Paul is the only candidate who has put a serious plan to balance the budget in three years and put an end to excessive government spending that is bankrupting this country. Most importantly, Paul cuts everything including defense spending. Also, Ron Paul is willing to take on the Federal Reserve which has done nothing but debase our currency since that vile institution was created in 1913. In addition, he tackles entitlements by block granting Medicaid and other welfare programs to the states (like Paul Ryan) and by allowing young workers to opt of Social Security and Medicare. By the end of a Ron Paul first term, the debt as a percentage of GDP begins to decline. He also favors reducing the corporate income tax, maintaining the current Bush level tax rates, eliminating the death tax and capital gains tax, and ending the various Obamacare tax hikes. I believe these are the prescriptions that will rebuild our economy and spur growth.

I also believe Ron Paul is the most serious candidate to address our foreign policy challenges. In Afghanistan, while the decision to go to war was the correct one in 2001, we are doing more ill than good over there. Our presence is destabilizing Pakistan, inflaming tensions with Iran, and is likely an obstacle to national reconciliation. President Paul will end the mission in Afghanistan and bring our troops home. Also, Ron Paul will be the man most likely to reexamine our foreign policy and our military commitments around the world and bring to end those commitments that no longer suit our national interests. Paul has been unequivocal in condemnation of torture techniques such as waterboarding, which have hurt this nation’s image in the world. Paul also understands that the decision to go to war is a difficult one and that decision must be debated and approved by Congress and it must be done only if the nation or its vital interests are under threat. Finally, Paul understands that foreign aid, much of the time far from helping its intended recipients, most of the time only breeds corruption and dependence. He prefers instead promoting free trade and the free flow of people and goods across national borders. Nations and people that trade and do business together do not go to war.

One of the best things I like about Ron Paul is his consistency. There isn’t much of a record of flip-flopping and tailoring his positions to win votes. I do not agree with Ron Paul on every issue, indeed that politician doesn’t exist. I can admire someone telling me what they really believe and sticking to their guns, even if it is not popular. Finally, there has been no real whiff of corruption surrounding Ron Paul, unlike most of our despicable political class. For that reason alone, I believe Ron Paul will be the man who shakes up Washington.

Let me first say that Mitt Romney is probably a decent man. He is also probably a fine administrator and technocrat. I also respect his business success and experience in the private sector. However the biggest problem with Mitt Romney is the man appears to have no core beliefs on most issues and the issues he appears to stick to his guns are ones I strongly disagree with him on (such as Romneycare). I also find his protectionist rhetoric t0wards China troubling. Mitt Romney has become nothing more than an establishment career politician who will say or do anything to get elected, just like the current President. We need real change in this country and Mitt Romney is not it.

That leads us to Newt Gingrich who makes Mitt Romney look consistent and principled. Newt has taken just about every position possible on the individual mandate. Newt Gingrich’s record is one of empowering the state over the citizen in just about every arena possible. Newt, just like every career politician in Washington DC, appears to believe we can solve our budget deficit by getting rid of “waste, fraud, and abuse”. In addition, Newt Gingrich has a record, in his post Congressional career, of being influenced by whichever special interest was willing to pay him or “donate” to his foundation. Finally, there’s is something disturbing about electing a serial adulterer who now bills himself as an advocate of traditional marriage. Character counts and Newt Gingrich fails the character test in many areas.

Again, I disagree with Ron Paul on some issues, but on the main issues I believe facing this country, he is right on the money. I encourage all freedom loving patriots in this country to do their own homework and please join me in supporting Ron Paul for President.