Could Ron Paul Trigger a GOP Revival?
by Colin Colenso
Only the most
Panglossian Republican die-hard would not recognize the Republican
party is in serious trouble. Regardless of whether one supports
the war or not, it is pretty clear that Republicans are losing favor
due to the war and the effect that war spending is having on the
economy. The Republican party will struggle to survive if it is
to focus primarily on a policy that disenfranchises a large majority
of the nation.
is at the heart of the support for war then why does the party no
longer have the confidence to promote and fight for some its primary
conservative ideals of small government, free enterprise, constitutional
obedience and liberty?
party used to stand united and strong against the forces that strove
for social welfare, centralized big government, over-regulation,
big taxation and big spending. Lately it has compromised on these
ideals to appease fringe voters and to avert media criticism of
the party's perceived lack of compassion. The Republican party has
become the small government party in rhetoric only and usually with
a muffled voice when in the company of the party choir.
lie in the recent groundswell of support emerging for these conservative
ideals, that were not so long ago at the forefront of Republican
debates. The catalyst for this groundswell has been the campaign
of presidential candidate Ron Paul. His message does not merely
attract people of anti-war sentiment, but it ignites a forgotten
passion among many Republicans who have found no strong voice for
the traditional conservative ideals of small government, free enterprise,
constitutional obedience, low taxes and reduced spending.
And it isn't
just disenfranchised Republicans flocking to Ron Paul's message.
Many liberals and independents are becoming converts to these conservative
ideals. How long has it been since liberals began flocking to the
Republican party and becoming students of and active proselytes
for the ideals of conservatism?
that these ideals are powerful and gaining popularity in this Internet
age of communication. It is clearly not just the anti-war message
that inspires the Paulites; if it were then similar levels of grassroots
support would have arisen for Democrat anti-war advocates Kucinich
message is far deeper and complete than just being anti-war. At
the center of his message is the ideal of smaller government restrained
by the constitution and that by inference and with historical references
he teaches that war increases the scope and size of government.
It increases spending, taxation, debt and inflation. We are seeing
the effects of this quite clearly now and that is part of the reason
why many in the financial and economics areas are also being drawn
to Ron Paul's message of real fiscal conservatism.
Republicans should note with great interest the fact that Ron Paul's
campaign has enthused a huge, dedicated and determined grassroots
Republican movement that has changed the nature of political activism
and political fund raising. Ron Paul has over 100,000 Meetup members,
5 times more than all candidates, Republican and Democrat combined.
He has a growing nationwide army of door knockers, delegates, sign
wavers and so on. He raised over US$12 million dollars in just three
one-day online fund raising money bombs in the last few months.
donations came from around one hundred thousand individuals, most
of whom discovered Ron Paul on the Internet and most of whom have
never before donated to a political campaign. Nothing even close
to this has happened for any other presidential candidate, Democrat
or Republican, on the Internet.
movement is beginning to learn the ways of traditional political
grassroots action now, with many of them entering their local GOP
and becoming involved in local activities, by becoming delegates,
precinct leaders and all-round effective activists. A more passionate
and enthused bunch, who love what America stands for, is hard to
Yet this sometimes
motley crew, who could become the new blood of a powerful Republican
revival, is often met with chagrin by the Republican mainstream.
This is not entirely the fault of mainstream Republicans, who may
see Paulites as liberals and libertarians in disguise; this has
a lot to do with the Paulites themselves, some of whom see the mainstream
Republicans as the opponents of their ideals. But what we need to
do is find a middle ground.
Republicans should recognize, accept and encourage this new energized
movement for what it offers in promoting traditional conservative
ideals while the Ron Paul Republicans need to communicate with and
support the Republican movement, with a focus on reviving the party
as a powerful voice for traditional conservative ideals.
With more mainstream
Republican support, the Ron Paul Republicans would receive access
to larger and more receptive audiences. While the Ron Paul Republicans
assistance to mainstream Republicans would strengthen the GOP with
a powerful, energized and technologically savvy arm to the party
which resonates and communicates with young voters.
of politics will be determined by those who master the new technological
mediums. These masters will be decentralized and of large number,
unlike the information masters in traditional media. The first generation
of the new masters are quite clearly the Ron Paul Republicans. Why
risk losing this new generation to the Democratic Party or a third
It is time
for mainstream Republicans to welcome and assist the Ron Paul Republicans
in reviving a stronger GOP with a clear and powerful voice for the
future. It is time for mainstream Republicans to support Ron Paul
as their best chance, for not only winning the election in 2008,
but in reviving the Republican party and its conservative ideals.
[send him mail] hails
from Australia and runs several websites including www.liberty-legends.com.
© 2008 LewRockwell.com