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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ron Paul is key to GOP survival

It’s no secret anymore that the GOP has been in a major identity crisis since the utter catastrophe that was George W. Bush’s presidency. With Congressman Ron Paul’s visit to UW-Madison I feel it’s the perfect time to comment on not only Paul, but also with the very character of the Republican Party itself.

I find it so absolutely bizarre when I hear elitist pundits declare Paul, and his message of libertarianism, to be outside of the Republican Party. At the exact same time, the very same elitist pundits are gushing over the overbearing influence of the tea party, a group which largely borrows from Paul’s philosophical ideals. That brings me to Paul’s most important trait, especially when compared to the tea party.

Paul is leading a philosophical and political movement that isn’t necessarily about him at all. That’s what makes him so critical to the GOP’s survival. The tea party was invented and characterized by Dick Armey’s Freedom Works, whereas the source of Congressman Paul’s movement is entirely philosophical.

That’s why I get so annoyed by the elitists and establishment party puppets try to force Paul out of the race. This is of course despite Mr. Inevitable, Mitt Romney, has had to spend nearly $70 million dollars just to secure the nomination. If money is the blood flow of political campaigns then Romney’s heavy spending has to be a sign of anxiety. If the undeniable has been denied, then there are surely other elements to the story.

The missing link is that Romney doesn’t embody anything other than being a typical politician and, even worse, an alienated elitist. The pundits love to dig at Paul as an out-of-touch old man incapable of rendering relevant thought. I find that sentiment to be actually offensive, because there is no doubt that at the very least, no matter your viewpoints, Paul gives voice to the importance of civil liberty.

Congressman Paul’s genuine concern and effort to warn and hopefully stop legislation that aims to reduce the rights that we as Americans have is his greatest appeal. Liberty is a state of being for the individual and as all individuals deserve rights, theoretically empowering individual liberty minimizes potential systemic racism or other methods of collective punishment.

The desire to be free is the strongest desire that we as individual beings possess. The dream, as Martin Luther King Jr.’s was, to be free is a state-of-mind any human being can possess that goes far deeper than arbitrary traits like skin color or other surface-level differences. In effect, Paul and the movement he’s harnessing represents one of the greatest possible futures for the identity of the Republican Party.

Embracing the cause of strengthening individual liberties could bring in demographics of Americans that would make pundits swoon. If the GOP really wants to step out of its antiquated form then it needs to start embracing the platform of strong civil liberties. Paul’s supporters vary greatly in their makeup precisely because of this platform. No matter how you feel about his policies there is no denying that you’d be better off having more civil liberties than less.

It’s almost painful to sit back and watch the Republican Party watch their greatest hope go by them as they continue to marginalize the movement. Not only have they ignored Paul for years, but they made a huge mistake when they attempted to totally smother him out in 2008, only to anger the movement and give them greater morale. There is no going back, libertarianism has returned to contemporary American politics in the form of the “Ron Paul Revolution.”

It’s now up to leaders of the party establishment to relinquish their need to control and embrace change or accept their own political deaths. If they decide not to, the evolution of history, and the realities of the times will do so for them as the party becomes more irrelevant and out-of-touch with hearts and minds of their own people.

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