Ron Paul and the state of the Republican Party

The GOP is better than it was four years ago, but that's not saying much. If it wants to be here in 20 years, it needs to listen to the man it mistreated: Ron Paul. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 9, 2012 — It has now been over a week since the Republican National Convention nominated Mitt Romney. Now that there has been some time to reflect and examine the situation, it is imperative that we look back and analyze the state of the Republican Party and its future.

The Republican Party has been especially maddening in the past few months, going back and forth between sensibility and stupidity, mostly stupidity. On the one hand, under prodding from Ron Paul they have begun to adopt more logical positions on foreign policy and the Federal Reserve. 

On the other hand, they have nominated the weakest candidate they had with one of the worst records to face President Obama in November. They have snubbed Ron Paul and his followers, and have likely lost a large chunk of new voters.

Before the convention, we were told that there would be a special guest. That guest ended up being famous Hollywood actor and director, Clint Eastwood. While Eastwood’s gimmick with the empty chair representing Obama got the most attention of his appearance, this was not the most interesting part of his speech. The most striking aspect was when Eastwood criticized the President for his handling of the war in Afghanistan. The famed director even went as far to say that we  should come home “tomorrow” and never should have gone in the first place, referencing the failure of the Soviets before us.

Eastwood’s comments would have been unthinkable at an RNC event even four years ago, yet they received strong applause from the audience. A reaction such as this from a Republican audience could mean that the GOP is wising up to the follies of American empire and our costly foreign policy. One can only hope.

While supporters of Paul’s presidential bid are disappointed with the results of the nomination process in Tampa, there were enough Paul delegates to force the Republican Party to acknowledge the problem of the Federal Reserve by making it an official part of the Party platform.

“The first step to increasing transparency and accountability is through an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities.” This is a very small, but important step towards keeping the Fed in check. After recent suggestions that there will be more “economic stimulus” in the near future, careful oversight of the Fed is needed now more than ever.

More important than what has been added to the platform is what hasn’t. Although it is good news that the Republican Party has finally acknowledged the Fed as a problem instead of a solution, it is not nearly enough. The new wording in the platform about the Fed is extremely vague with regards to solutions to the problem of debt and inflation. Perhaps the most irritating omission in the section on the Federal Reserve is that the Fed is not acknowledged as the cause of the business cycle. It is instead treated as another government agency which has simply been counter-productive to healing the economy. Most Republican lawmakers are still too woefully ignorant of the true threat that the Fed poses.

If this economic ignorance isn’t enough, the Republican Party should also be ashamed of the deplorable treatment of Ron Paul, his followers, and the libertarian leaning members of the Party. The RNC paid a small video tribute to Paul’s influence, but this was merely an attempt at appeasing his supporters, who were justifiably angry at the Party’s dismissive attitude toward the Texas congressman. 

Perhaps former RNC Chairman Michael Steele explained it best when he was a guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. “What the Republican National Committee did to Ron Paul was the height of rudeness and stupidity. Why you would alienate an individual who has the ability to attract a new generation of voters, who are already skeptical of your institution, but are willing to at least listen through the vehicle of this individual and the words that he’s saying; why would you alienate him?” 

The good news is that the Republican Party is not as incompetent as it was four years ago. Unfortunately, that’s not saying very much. If the Republican Party wishes to remain relevant in the next twenty years, it must embrace the libertarian leaning philosophy of these young voters who are, and will remain relevant. Not doing so will spell certain doom for the future of the Republican Party.


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Conor Murphy

Conor Murphy is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in political science. As a former radio talk show host on WVCW, Conor hosted two popular shows, Murphy’s Law and Son of the Revolution.

In addition to this, Conor was also a contributor to the Commonwealth Times and a founder of the Broad Street Journal.

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