As the US gears up for the first major presidential election events of 2008 in Iowa and New Hampshire, we asked a panel of six Iowans to tell us who they will be voting for in their state caucus on 3 January, and why.
Teacher | Independent/Republican
The only candidate who truly stands for rights, freedom and me is Ron Paul.
"As a country we have an opportunity to choose a new leader who will make changes in foreign and domestic policy. The approval ratings for our president and legislature are embarrassing. It is time for the people of America to stand up and be counted.
Lives: Iowa City
Occupation: High School teacher
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Striving to live, enjoy and improve life
America was founded upon the principles of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The purpose of our government was supposed to be securing those rights. How far we have deviated from those basic principles is deplorable.
Government cannot solve all our problems; the people need to be able to solve their problems.
I want a job that provides healthcare, a comfortable lifestyle and allows me time to enjoy life. The ability to spend time with friends and family and enjoy both a prosperous and secure future are the things I desire most.
Every candidate is a compromise, but Ron Paul best represents my views. If America is to survive another 200 years, the rampant spending, aggressive foreign policy, porous borders, trampling of liberty, excessive taxes, and suppression of alternative viewpoints must end.
The only candidate I've found that truly stands for rights, freedom and me is Ron Paul."
We want to hear what you think, so send us your comments using the forms at the bottom of the panel's updated views.
The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.
I am voting for Ron Paul because he is the only true Republican running. He has a consistent, constitutional record and is exactly what this country needs. He is the only one promising to end the war right now. The Democrats say they will, but are unwilling to give specifics. The other Republicans are "Neo-Cons" which have hijacked our friendly, non-interventionist party that used to stand for fiscal responsibility and personal freedoms. Ron Paul is "The Champion of the Constitution" and will reign in our run-away government which is spending recklessly, involving us in other country's business, and meddling in the personal lives of our citizens. We need to defend America from America, not to fight our battles in other peoples' backyards and stir up discontent. We also need a government interested in protecting personal liberty and privacy instead of fear-mongering and protecting corrupt corporate interests only.
John Van Vliet, Hawthorne, NJ, USA
Zarmun Duke, it is refreshing to read the views of an American who sees that we have overstepped our bounds on the world stage. Ron Paul is certainly a breath of fresh unspun air on the electoral stage. Unfortunately, I am skeptical that AIPAC (the Israeli lobby) will just sit idly by while a candidate calls for ending overseas entangling alliances. If America pulls out of the Middle East, who will do Israel's bidding there?
Brian Plozay, American Expat
It is disturbing to me to see how little coverage Ron Paul gets in main stream media considering how incredibly popular he is.
Ron Paul is a true man of the people, not a puppet for big business interests like the other candidates. I wish him all the best. Lets hope he doesnt end up like Bhutto in Pakistan or JFK.
This is serious business.
Jason Barnett, Wellington, New Zealand
My only Problem with Paul is his revisionist stance on American history. It proves that no matter how logical he sounds, he's living in a fantasy world. By the time we get a new president, we will have 8 years of a president who lives in a fantasy world. 8 years is enough.
Scott_From_Columbus, Columbus, USA