Exploring choices on the Republican ticket


By Boswell Hutson

Can you feel it? It’s almost election season. The time will soon come when I can’t even watch a YouTube video without being bombarded with political rhetoric. Undoubtedly, some intern will come knocking on the door of my home, and they will ask me to take a pamphlet about their candidate. The pamphlet will likely be filled with the candidate’s accolades and heartwarming pictures of them frolicking through fields with a dog, or maybe even their family. These are just a few of the goofiest aspects of one of the most bizarre parts of American politics: campaigning.

Earlier this month, the United States of America was blessed with two of the best presidential candidates in the history of the American political landscape’s existence: Former Rep. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Both announced their candidacy this month, amongst a firestorm of praise from the nation’s right wing.

In honor of that, and the fact that Ted Cruz recently announced a campaign fundraiser in my hometown of Monticello, Illinois, I decided to reflect on how a Cruz/Paul 2016 election nomination — whether together as president and vice president or separately — could be really great for America.

Let’s take former Rep. Cruz, for example. Just last week, in his complete and infinite wisdom, he stated that by opposing anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” laws (such as the one put in place and subsequently taken out of place in Indiana), gay Americans were waging “jihad” against Christians. He’s totally right — gay people should definitely be refused service in certain places due to their sexual orientation; the fact that the LGBTQ community is even a little mad about laws like this is ridiculous. Those who have a different sexual orientation than me shouldn’t have the same rights as me! Spot on, Ted. Those are really sound opinions, and definitely what I want my next president to think.

While Rand Paul has a couple of policies that plan to progress the nation, he also has a fair amount of ridiculous(ly awesome) views, especially on social issues. Speaking in 2013 on “Meet The Press,” he said that the “war on women” didn’t exist, citing a plethora of examples from his own family. I’m glad he illuminated this for me, because I was still worried about the fact that women, on the whole, still only make $0.78 for every dollar that men make. It’s good to know that women are no longer “downtrodden.” Thanks for clearing that one up, Rand!

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On the environment, both former Rep. Cruz and Sen. Paul oppose the idea that climate change is happening, despite 97 percent of climate scientists claiming the opposite. When asked about climate change, Cruz simply states that data does not support the notion that the climate is warming. Unsurprisingly, Paul also claims that he’s “not sure anybody exactly knows why” climate change is happening. (I swear NASA says it knows, but what do they know about science, right?) Way to stand up to the establishment, guys! You’re both true mavericks for that — Tom Cruise and Sarah Palin would be proud.

So please, Republicans, when primary season comes around, vote for one of these two sterling candidates. Progress is overrated, anyway. If anything, we should be going back in time — and a Ted Cruz/Rand Paul ticket is the exact time machine American needs for regressive and stationary social and environmental policies!

Though this should probably be apparent by now, this entire column was written sarcastically. Don’t get me wrong — I believe there could be a moderate candidate from the Republican Party that could be a viable option (OK, it’s a long-shot), but Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are certainly not options that fit that criteria.

Socially and environmentally, their policies simply do not progress the country. At a time when attaining equal rights for all Americans is becoming more and more likely, candidates like Cruz and Paul are stagnating progress. At a dire time for the world’s climate, they are denying the scientific consensus.

At the very least, make sure to do research on candidates before voting. As many candidates are coming forth now, such as Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton, now is a prime time to start researching everyone’s beliefs and ideals. But no matter who you choose, it’s important to have an informed vote.

Boswell is a senior in LAS.

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