Excuse this ghastly wall of text, but I felt that it would be better for it to not go to waste. I was initially going to post this in a thread in Off-Topic, but it turned out to be much more bloated and Off-Topic than intended. A TL;DR version is highlighted in red at the end. Without further ado, words.
Dear GameSpot Forums Off-Topic Discussion,
I have an announcement:
It has come to my attention that I, as a right-leaning bloke, have not yet officially endorsed a candidate. This has partially to do with indecision with respect to who I actually want to endorse and more to do with the fact that I am lazy.
I will address my thoughts of individual candidates of the field, starting with the frontrunners and briefly touching upon the others.
For a while, I have been struggling with whether or not I think Ron Paul would be an appropriate nominee. As somewhat of a libertarian, I share many similar views as he on an array of issues, both foreign and domestic, especially regarding the optimal scope of involvement or the role of the U.S. Government on those issues. However, though I consider many of his proposed policy moves to be a step in the right direction, he frequently takes a far more drastic approach than I deem beneficial and frankly I tam of the opinion would be highly detrimental in practice. For a while I maintained that Ron Paul would not be able implement the more crazed/radical portion of his agenda-- such as the abolition of the Federal Reserve, for instance. Upon reflection, I have come to the tentative conclusion that this holds more true for domestic issues than foreign ones -- where he takes anything but what appears to be a pragmatic approach. The other issue I take with him is his unyielding, dogmatic stance in politics in practice. This lack of flexibility, I think, would severely inhibit his performance as an executive and, all things considered, would not benefit the United States.
Romney, in short, though I have spoke favorably of him in the past, is too inconsistent for even myself to forgive at this point. In particular, I find his recent stances with respect to foreign policy (both trade and war) and immigration, in order to pander to the base, to be pig-headed and too heavy handed. If he maintained more moderate positions on these issues, I could probably support him, but this is the straw that broke the camel's back.
Newt Gingrich is a loose cannon and frankly does not strike me as a well-grounded person fit for a position of such consequence. He seems too volatile, eccentric and I can only wonder when the next time his campaign will implode shall it not finish doing so before the end of the primary. His personal conduct happens to also leave me with much to desired. Additionally, I disagree with him more than either of the two aforementioned candidates on policy.
The other candidates are hardly worth mentioning; Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum are domestic culture warriors who seem to have a poor grasp on economics on the national and international level and are also quite hawkish on foreign policy. Rick Perry, though he would be less disastrous than those two, is dumb as a rock and I take similar issues with him on policy as I do Gingrich. In case I have not left the impression already, I could not vote for these candidates in the general election.
Frankly, this primary has been nothing short of a circus. The fact that Herman Cain, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump were frequently covered by the media as potential presidents was nothing less than worrisome and damaging to the fledgling "conservative" movement in this country.
There are three adults in the room. Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. One is dishonest and inconsistent;one is senile and impractical; the other is quite acceptable, but stands an infinitesimal chance of winning the nomination. Due to this reason, I previously overlooked Huntsman as he appeared to have positively no chance of winning the nomination – that hasn't changed. Until recently I expressed faint support for Romney and sympathies towards some of Paul's viewpoints. My problems with those two candidates have not been assuaged in recent months, but rather they have been aggravated to the point where I think I would rather endorse a candidate who will not win the primary rather than an unsatisfactory one who will.
John Huntsman strikes me as an eminently reasonable man with upstanding moral character. I consider him to be well-prepared for the position of the Presidency of the United States; he has experience as a successful, consistent, reasonably conservative, multi-term executive as the governor of Utah; he has plenty of foreign relations experience as an ambassador to multiple countries, including China, an area of the world which is becoming increasingly relevant and Huntsman has been demonstrated to be quite knowledgeable of it and that region of the world in general. He seems to be a man who critically examines the issues, a trait which is remarkably absent in this disturbingly lackluster and superficial field of candidates. His positions on policy regarding economics, foreign affairs, trade and most of the social issues, especially in comparison to his rivals, are largely in line with my own and I am of the opinion that his proposals would improve the condition of the nation. Finally, I think the levelheadedness which has escaped the Grand Old Party in recent years is an issue of grave importance, an existential threat to the legitimacy of a sound, conservative party even. Jon Huntsman, as a presidential candidate, in my humble opinion, would move in a direction alleviate that concern and in my opinion would restore some dignity to the party. In short, he is the only candidate currently that I could, without any reservations, pull the proverbial lever for. Due to the fact that he will not appear on the ballot in Virginia, I plan to write him in. It will be a wasted vote as he is all but certain to lose, but individual votes do not matter anyhow and I frankly do not think that I can justify voting for any other candidate in this disastrous field of contenders. I hope that I have clearly and sufficiently explained my reasoning and thank those that took the time to read this rant.
TEAL DEAR VERSION: I endorse Jon Huntsman because eh's a cool guy and doesn't afraid of anything.