Fellow Lawrentians, This Tuesday, you are empowered to send America a message, a message that we want change, not only a change in who runs the White House, but a change in how it is run. Republican Congressman Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who promises a significant departure from the status quo by ending the war and returning the presidency to its original constitutional form. This Tuesday, you are empowered to tell America we want the war to end and the troops to come home. The war was sold on false pretenses, and the immense human toll and skyrocketing costs, which could top two trillion dollars, have weakened the economic, military and moral fabric of our nation. America is in more debt than ever before, nearing 10 trillion dollars, and our military preparedness is at its lowest point in decades. Ron Paul opposed the war before it started. In 2002, he told Congress there was “no convincing evidence that Iraq is capable of threatening the security of this country, and, therefore, very little reason, if any, to pursue a war.” Unlike Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul voted against the original war authorization. Unlike Barack Obama, he has never voted to fund the war. Ron Paul’s first act as Commander-in-Chief will be an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and unlike Obama and Clinton, Ron Paul will not leave behind residual forces in Iraq. When he says all the troops, he means all the troops. This Tuesday, you are empowered to tell America we want a leader who will exercise presidential powers with great hesitation and humility. In the last century, the powers of the president have expanded dramatically beyond the original intent of the Constitution. What used to be an office that faithfully executed the laws and commanded the military has become an office that commands all aspects of our lives, our jobs and our wallets, what we can and cannot do to our bodies, and even who we can and cannot marry. Ron Paul isn’t running for president to control your life. He won’t propose a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He won’t try to garnish the wages of those who don’t buy health care. Instead, he wants to roll back many of the expanded presidential powers created by President Bush. A disturbing example of this expansion emerged in the post-9/11 period when the president announced he could declare any American citizen an enemy combatant and detain him or her indefinitely without charge or assistance of counsel. This really happened to Jose Padilla, an American citizen arrested at Chicago O’Hare in 2002, held in custody on a Navy brig, tortured, and finally charged two years later. As president, Ron Paul will uphold the Constitution, especially the part that guarantees the right to habeas corpus, the right to a speedy and public trial, and many other rights that our founding document enshrines. This Tuesday, you can tell America we want a president who will resist the temptation to take power a president shouldn’t have; we want a president who will defend our liberties, not attack them. This Tuesday, I implore you, my fellow Lawrentian Republicans, Democrats and independents, to follow your conscience and vote for Ron Paul.