Pubdate: Wed, 11 May 2011
Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA)
Copyright: 2011 The Eagle-Tribune
Author: Steven S. Epstein


To the editor: Unlike many pundits in the media, I found the first
Republican presidential debate on May 5 interesting and refreshing.
With the better known conspicuous by their absence, the five
candidates in attendance exposed two significant schisms within the

Both Congressman Dr. Ron Paul and former New Mexico Governor and
businessman Gary Johnson voiced libertarian ideals.

They alone supported ending our imperial wars abroad, our domestic war
on drugs, and Washington politicians dictating to the states on social

While former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen.
Rick Santorum played to the social conservatives who seek to tyrannize
homosexuals and cannabis users, dictate a woman's choice.

The fifth presence on the stage, businessman Herman Cain, had no solid
positions on most topics sounding like a broken record as he mostly
spoke not to the issues but the process he would use to make his
decisions if elected.

With the Obama administration's Justice Department making threats to
states with authorized medical marijuana programs, programs supported
by over 70 percent of the electorate nationwide, Paul's and Johnson's
calls for ending the federal prohibition certainly set them apart.

Will one of these Republican peace candidates win the party's
nomination? Or, will the Republican nominating process produce a war

We should know by this time next year.

As a libertarian, unenrolled in any party, voter, I do look forward to the
campaign and the second Republican presidential candidate debate in New
Hampshire on June 13 at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. Maybe by then
those still "exploring" a run against the incumbent will join the contest.

Steven S. Epstein 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake