Friday, 30 March 2012

Paul on Ballot in 50 States, Calls ObamaCare "Unconstitutional Monstrosity"

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On Wednesday, Republican presidential contender Dr. Ron Paul delivered a rousing speech in defense of liberty to a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Maryland-College Park Campus.

 The crowd roared with support as Paul promoted his “hands-off” foreign policy, and chants of “End the Fed” drowned out the Texas Congressman as he decried the boom-bust cycle perpetrated by the Federal Reserve.

Apart from these familiar campaign themes, Paul praised America’s “exceptionalism” and warned that we cannot impose it at the point of a gun. Said Paul, "The exceptionalism that we once had is no longer with us. The idea that you can spread exceptionalism through force is completely wrong. Why don't we have a third option? Why don't we just mind our own business?"

According to a spokesman for the university, there were nearly 1,700 people listening to Dr. Paul’s speech and many hundred more who were denied entry after the facility reached its legal capacity.

Judging by the size of the crowds that consistently pack into auditoriums to hear Ron Paul speak, it would be difficult to believe that he presently trails the other three GOP presidential candidates in the predicted delegate count. While Paul has not won any of the state primaries (the results of which mean next to nothing), his popularity among a diverse group of Americans is as impressive as ever — especially on campus.

A member of the faculty at the University of Maryland has an opinion regarding Paul’s appeal with students. Donald F. Kettl, dean of the School of Public Policy, reckons that it is the philosophical roots of Paul’s libertarianism, the timeless values he espouses, as well as his inimitable flair for public speaking.

While such qualities attract a certain segment of the electorate, Kettl suggests that they may also alienate other more traditional members of the Republican Party who try to portray him as a “novelty candidate.” Regardless, Paul will have the last laugh if he is out front of a wave of an increase in the political power of young voters that will reduce the influence of older, less-libertarian Republicans.

Of all his principles, it may be his decades-long record of battling to reduce the size of the federal government that resonates most loudly with the college crowd.

"Perhaps the single most fascinating aspect to this entire campaign so far is the cross-generational lore that Ron Paul has," Kettl said. "This sense that smaller government would be better ... that's a message that's just resonating incredibly well with young voters."

An article in the Baltimore Sun reports some of the comments made by those students in attendance at the Paul event:

Sam Franklin, a 20-year-old freshman studying computer science, said it was Paul's foreign policy platform that appealed to him most.

"We don't need to [spend] all this money that we spend on our foreign wars when we can barely afford to take care of our residents at home," said Franklin, a Perry Hall native, who heard about the Paul event through a social media site.

But at least some of the students who packed Ritchie Coliseum came for the spectacle of a presidential candidate itself. Rachael Gala, a 19-year-old freshman, said she was impressed that Paul made the University of Maryland a stop on his campaign.

"It's not so often that someone this powerful comes to our school," she said.

Apart from the steady growth of the Ron Paul “revolution,” the latest news from the Paul 2012 Campaign Committee is encouraging to those supporting the former Air Force flight surgeon's run for the White House.

According to information released by his campaign, Dr. Paul is the first of the four Republican presidential candidates to qualify for a spot on the ballot in all 50 states.

The statement explains:

The 12-term Congressman from Texas filed to appear on the ballot in New Jersey on Tuesday, March 27th with double the required 1,000 signatures, which gave him the status of first candidate to have nationwide ballot access. Romney is expected to file in New Jersey in the coming days, making his 50-state ballot access likely.

In fairness, not all of the state electoral commissions require anything other than permission to allow a candidate’s name to be on the ballot. There are at least 30 states that have very specific regulations mandating some form of filing, ranging from the submission of a threshold number of signatures to the payment of fees or the combination of several such requirements.

One of the most stringent state laws governing ballot qualification is that of Virginia. In the Old Dominion, a candidate is required to file appropriate documents buttressed with the signatures of thousands of supporters.

As was well-reported at the time, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney were the only two Republican presidential candidates who cleared Virginia’s high hurdle.

Paul campaign officials explain the significance of their state-by-state strategy for ultimate victory:

“Success in accessing ballots no matter a state’s requirements is a barometer for the strength of a campaign organization. Being first to appear on the ballot in all fifty states proves that Ron Paul is the only candidate with the organizational muscle, resources, and stamina to challenge Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination,” said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate.

“In concert with our delegate-attainment strategy, which is working well in states like Iowa, Nevada, Washington, and Missouri, we’re prepared and eager to continue on the long road to Tampa,” added Mr. Tate, referring to the Republican National Convention in to be held in Florida in September. “See you on the campaign trail.”

Why, one wonders, in light of the Ron Paul campaign’s advancements, including the size of the crowds he habitually draws, as well as his unrivaled success in achieving nationwide ballot presence, is there such a near total blackout of coverage by the multiplicity of television news channels?

In defiance of the near systemic disregard for Ron Paul and his constitutionally consistent platform, the candidate continues to call ‘em like he sees ‘em. In an interview conducted earlier this week with Bloomberg Television about the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision in the ObamaCare case, Dr. Paul expressed his scant hope for any real constitutional retrenchment by the nine justices.

“I suspect they're going to rule it constitutional, but that is a big guess out of thin air.” He continued, saying that “this Supreme Court is slightly better than in the past, [but] they haven't done a real good job in defending the free market and the original intent of the Interstate Commerce Clause.”

Section 1, Article 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the authority to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states.” The fact that Congress passed and President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law demonstrates that neither the legislative nor executive branch of the national government is bothered by constitutional restrictions on their power. As a matter of fact, it is imprecise to say that the Constitution restricts the power of the national government. The truth is that the Constitution empowers the national government with very specific, limited and enumerated powers, leaving all others to the “states, respectively, or to the people.”

Undaunted, the federal government has continued misinterpreting the Commerce Clause for over 80 years in order to justify its unlawful behavior and hide its untenable growth behind a cloak of constitutionality.

While the Constitution explicitly authorizes Congress to regulate commerce, and prior Supreme Court decisions have validated the exercise thereof in a string of decisions, there is no precedent in our over 200 years of constitutional jurisprudence for the ability of Congress to force citizens to buy something regardless of their own preference. This is the essence of the constitutional challenge to the enforcement of ObamaCare.

Ron Paul told Bloomberg, “This would be a real tragedy if they ... support this law."

In previous statements, Paul has described the healthcare law as an “unconstitutional monstrosity.”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court wrapped up three days of oral arguments in the legal challenges filed against ObamaCare, specifically questioning the individual mandate provision that forces Americans to purchase a qualifying health care insurance policy or face stiff tax penalties.

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