OPINION | Students for Liberty missing big chance

Butler University Students for Liberty is one of the youngest and least known groups on campus, and they are letting an incredible opportunity pass right before their eyes—to endorse U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R – Texas) for president.

The group, founded in Oct. 2010, promotes ideas of civil liberty and fiscal freedom to college students.  In short, they are Libertarians.

There is a vital difference between Paul and the other candidates; he actually sticks to his beliefs.  Paul may be running for the Republican nomination, but he is a Libertarian through and through.

Paul is one of four remaining presidential hopefuls seeking the Republican nomination for president in the 2012 election.  The other three are former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Students for Liberty’s focus is informing students about the ideals of libertarianism, so it seems that they would support Paul’s campaign.  However, according to Butler students Josh Ackermann and Dan Schramm, former executive officers and founding members of Students for Liberty, the group is not tied to any political party and does not endorse any candidate.  The group leaves this up to individual members.

Schramm said that he is endorsing the Libertarian party’s nominee, Gary Johnson, and Ackermann said that he has been a Paul supporter since first hearing him speak in 2007.

It makes enough sense that a group that champions individual liberty would refuse to choose what candidate to endorse for its own members.

It is a respectable stance, but they are letting this incredible opportunity slip past them.

So, Students for Liberty members should get out on campus and vocalize support for Paul.  Supporting a third-party is respectable, but look at history.  The most successful third-party candidate was Ross Perot in the 1992 presidential election, and he did not win a single electoral vote.

Third-party candidates cannot win; it is a historical truth, and it is a trend that does not look to be broken any time soon.  However, there is nothing wrong with supporting what you believe in.

Chase Smith, president of Butler University College Republicans, said that he respects the young group for separating themselves from the Republican and Democrat groups.  Smith also said that Ron Paul was one of the few candidates that he has seen in his lifetime that truly believes what he says.

Paul’s libertarian ideals have led media figures and politicians alike to declare him “dangerous,” but looking at his stances on the issues, he does not seem dangerous.

Like Republicans, he is pro-small government, wants to lower taxes and repeal “Obamacare.”  Like Democrats, he is against U.S. involvement in foreign affairs.  Paul supports pulling U.S. troops from Afghanistan quickly and even shutting down military bases in countries such as Germany and South Korea.

Unlike Republicans or Democrats, Paul wants to end the Federal Reserve and legalize marijuana  and other illegal substances.

It is easy for college-age citizens to like Paul’s stances.  He wants to empower the citizenry by keeping government out of the lives and wallets of the people.  He also wants to legalize marijuana, but that would only cater to some people.  College students usually like having more money at hand, so that’s a plus for Paul.

Paul is the best bet that Libertarians have in 2012.  The Students for Liberty can stick to their guns and leave campaigning up to the individual members or take a stance and support a candidate who is libertarian to the core.

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