OUR GOVERNMENT IS BROKEN.
That isnâ€™t surprising, being a generic statement and all.
The funniest bit is that a 72-year-old gynecologist seems to have been the first one to notice.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is a Republican candidate for president who, though still technically in the race, is out of the running for the nomination. If you listen to anyone but him and Gov. Mike Huckabee, war hero Sen. John McCain of Arizona has the 2008 nomination all sewed up.
But itâ€™s Paul who has the tonic to mend Americaâ€™s ills.
After all, thereâ€™s some truth to this â€œbroken governmentâ€ claim, and there has been for some time now.
Think ideology: â€œOur governmentâ€™s ideology is unbalancedâ€ is fairer to say, but not as exciting.
This is a subtle crisis, but a worrying one. For more than sycophantic babble in any debate, it needs intelligent people on either side.
The Democrats called dibs on big government a long time ago. So, apparently, have the Republicans.
In their in-power years, the Republican Party hasnâ€™t acted on behalf of small government or fiscal responsibility in any year dating back to at least Ronald Reagan, and probably earlier.
Ironically, small government has been a Republican rallying cry since the four-term Franklin Roosevelt administration fundamentally changed the platform of the rival Democratic Party.
New Deal Democrats stood for, among other things, the welfare state, Social Security and restrictions on corporations.
In short, thatâ€™s big government.
Since the same realignment, Republicans, if only by staying reactionary, stood for undoing much of that. In short, thatâ€™s small government.
Republicans brush the dust off their small government stance every two years come election time, but they sure donâ€™t act that way.
The Republican platform has lately been nothing if not big government.
Take away the Iraq War, and George W. Bush still has spent more money than his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton.
This isnâ€™t new ground for Republican presidents, either. This is the precedent set by the years of his father and Reagan.
Look at it this way â€” fiscal responsibility hasnâ€™t been much more than a talking point for the national Republican Party for longer than most Fresno State students have been alive.
Together with small government, the Republican Party has made those planks out of balsa wood. A stiff breeze would blow them down, and as long as it isnâ€™t an election year the Republican Party as a whole couldnâ€™t care less.
Thatâ€™s where our 72-year-old Texan gynecologist comes in the picture.
Paul is a little crazy in the head, and not all of his ideas would be workable in even a Republican-controlled Congress.
Reinstate the gold standard?
Does the NAFTA super-highway even exist?
The most troubling thing is that he alone is solid on the issue that the Republican Party needs to make a priority again, especially during the forthcoming Democratic regime.
Small government. Fiscal responsibility.
A vote for Paul is a vote for a principled conservative with some libertarian ideas. Itâ€™s also a vote for a doddering old conspiracy theorist with some nationalistic isolationist ideas.
It says something about our political spectrum if it takes a wingnut also-ran to put a controlled budget back in the spotlight.
Unfortunately for his party, Ron Paul is the most credible conservative out there.
I knew our government was broken.