Tea Party and Occupy phonies: Ron Paul's Liberty Movement is the real deal

The Tea Party and Occupy movement have been co-opted by the Republicans and Democrats. Ron Paul can't be co-opted, and neither can the Liberty Movement. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, When Kentucky Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program to endorse presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, it sent shockwaves across the political blogosphere. 

Ron Paul supporters and participants in the Liberty Movement were angered and dismayed over Rand Paul’s apparent rejection of his own political roots. Many called the Senator a “traitor” and believed that he was selling out his own father in order to advance his political career. Worse, some thought this might be a sign that the Paul campaign would be willing to sell out, destroying everything that the Liberty Movement worked so diligently to promote. 

It is during just such times of crisis that the Liberty movement proves itself “the real deal,” truly dedicated to changing the status quo, and unlike any other current political movement in its uncompromising ideology.  

The Tea Party burst upon the scene to protest the reckless spending by our government. At one point, most Americans had a more favorable view of the Tea Party than they did of Republicans or Democrats. Soon, the Republican Party and many conservative pundits realized that by using the rhetoric employed by the Tea Party, they could further their own political agendas. People like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin positioned themselves as leaders of this movement even though both had supported the bailouts, reckless spending under Bush, and a blatant disregard of the Constitution.

The movement soon evolved from a gathering of Americans who were angry at their government over the accumulation of debt into another arm of the Republican Party designed to elect candidates under the Tea Party banner. Most of the “Tea Party” members of Congress who were elected have shown no signs of trying to seriously cut spending and are continuing to help maintain the status quo.

Occupy Wall Street arose to protest the inequality of wealth in the United States and demanded that our politicians not cave to Wall Street’s demands. Despite these lofty and well-received goals, the Occupy movement, similar to the Tea Party, is being hacked by the Democratic Party, instead of the Republicans. According to a poll by New York Magazine, when Occupiers were asked what they thought of President Obama, they gave the following responses: 40 percent, “I believed him and he let me down”; 1 percent, “He’s doing great”; 27 percent, “I never believed in him”; 22 percent, “He is doing the best that he can.” Clearly, the Occupy movement, camping out in harsh conditions to bring public awareness to its concerns of big-business takeover and social inequality, has itself begun to conform to established political movements, aligning with individuals such as Van Jones and Moveon.org. 

For all intents and purposes, Occupy Wall Street has become another arm of the liberal status quo, feeding the very machine they swore to dismantle. In keeping with the healthy tradition of total movement perversion, we will soon see candidates in the Democratic Party running under the Occupy Wall Street banner. 

The degenerative evolution of the Tea Party and Occupy movements serve to define the Liberty movement as more of a natural rights ideology, impervious to the selfish and self-serving interests of the few. Its consistent message demands a “staying of the course” and a refusal to accept the status quo. A good example of its unwillingness to compromise on principle is it’s dismissal of Mitt Romney, even when Romney offered to add some of the Liberty movement’s positions to the official Republican Party platform. Contrast this view with most of the Tea Partiers who will probably support Mitt Romney despite his big government views. Occupy Wall Street, if given the choice between the two major candidates, will probably vote for Barack Obama despite his administration’s control by the special interests and corporations that the Occupiers claim to despise. Instead of holding fast to their principles and expecting the same of their candidates, the Tea Party and Occupiers have decided to compromise and vote for the lesser of two evils.

Yes, Rand Paul’s endorsement personally angered many in the Liberty movement. Yes, there are those who fear the movement being hijacked by individuals more interested in expanding their own profile than in promoting the message of liberty. Yes, Ron Paul could be flashier and, let’s face it, a better orator. And, yes, the Liberty movement is still in its infant stages. But it is growing, and its followers seem to be of the unique perspective that they deserve to be heard and represented by uncompromising individuals like themselves. 

The reason thousands show up to hear Ron Paul speak has never been because of a polished Obama-like presentation or a Romneyesque return to 1950’s values; neither have his followers stood by him in hope that they will receive some special consideration.  Ron Paul has lived and dreamed his simple message of liberty for thirty years, a message of free markets, sound money, ending the Federal Reserve, ending our wars overseas, and restoring our liberties. This will ensure that the movement will continue long after Ron Paul and Rand Paul have left the national stage. 


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Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly is currently a college student majoring in History and Political Science. His writings have appeared in The Daily Local, Lew Rockwell.com’s blog, The Washington Times, Antiwar.com, and Freedom’s Phoenix Online Digital Magazine. He has been a popular guest political contributor to numerous national radio shows across the country, offering his perspective on a wide array of issues. 

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