Ron Paul And The Future Of The Republican Party

There is one candidate running for the Republican nomination for President who not only speaks the rhetoric of individual liberty, limited government, and the idea that the Constitution means what it says and should be respected by all branches of government, he also actually believes what he says and has voted that way all his career.

His name is Ron Paul and he has almost no chance of winning the nomination or even a single primary.

If that isn’t a testament to the proposition that the libertarian wing of the GOP is dead, I don’t know what is.

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  • Dallas

    Sign the petition to see Rudy Giuliani debate Ron Paul on foreign affairs!

  • tarran

    Most people don’t care about ideas. They naturally turned to gate-keepers to tell them what ideas are reasonable and what are not.

    Ron Paul is not popular with the most influential of gate-keepers since he has little to offer them as a quid-pro-quo.

    I wouldn’t count out the libertarian wing of the republican party quite yet, though. I actually am quite optimistic, the ideas are far more easily accessible today than they were a decade or two decades ago.

    Communism and socialism are largely discredited. The bad theories of John Maynard Keynes are also widely recognized to be a failure.

    It’s like a plant that expands its coverage by extending its roots just under the surface and when they have established themselves, sending shoots skyward.

    I think it might take another decade, but I wouldn’t be surprised after a period of time in the wilderness, the Republican party rediscovers its “small government” roots.*

    *Disclaimer: I really don’t consider the Republican party to be proponents of limited government per se. They are the intellectual heirs of the Federalists who were mercantilists at heart. The true pro-freedom guys were the Jeffersonian Democrats. Their intellectual heirs were driven out of the Democratic party in the 1890’s. It was the New Deal that attracted the Jeffersonian Democrats into the Republican party, but the mercantilists have always maintained control.

  • bumbledraven

    Remember that the first primary will be in the Free State. Anything can happen.

  • Kevin


    I think I’m in agreement with tarran, though for different reasons than him.

    Ron Paul is not connecting with Republican voters, its that simple and was even before Tuesday night’s debate. While he has many of the right ideas, he comes off as frankly, a nut. He’s too angry when he tries to be passionate. When he’s rattled by an attack, he babbles incoherently. There has to be an emotional connection with a candidate for any political office.

    Also, Ron Paul has not been talking about “individual liberty, limited government, and the idea that the Constitution means what it says and should be respected by all branches of government,”; he’s been running a single issue campaign against the War in Iraq. If you base a campaign on that alone, you’re going to turn off Iraq War supporters, no matter what you’re other stances are.

    Case in point, Tom Tancredo. His overall record in Congress would make him either a first or second choice for every single contributor here. The reason why I can safely say, no contributor here will vote for him is because of his single issue campaign built around a very hardline approach to illegal immigration, an approach we all disagree with; no matter our stance toward illegal immigration in general.

    Also last night, every single candidate; except for probably Duncan Hunter; was using the rhetoric of limited government and individual liberty. Granted, some are more sincere (Tancredo, Gilmore from I’ve been able to learn about him, McCain to an extent) than others (Giuliani, Tommy Thompson, Huckabee, and Romney); but the simple fact they continue to use the libertarian leaning rhetoric tells me that the libertarian wing of the GOP is alive and well, in spirit at least.

    Finally, the libertarian wing of the GOP is (I hope) bigger than just one man. If it is, like you seem to insinuating, than the libertarian wing is already dead.

  • Charles Bowen

    Tancredo splits himself with the Hard Right because he is pro-Iraq War and very much in the pocket of the Israeli Lobby. I sort of like the guy, but he isn’t ready for prime time and not that serious about a rightwing run. He staked out some ground but is so concerned some Leftie is going to call him a racist, he self-censors himself which makes him look rather weak.

    BS, on Paul coming across as angry. Gates of Hell McCain, and Double the Size of Gitmo Romney, and now add Cowardly Duncan Hunter giving read between the lines orders to torture to subordinates, and Paul looks every bit as folksy as one would expect.

    Personally, as a student of rightwing populism, he isn’t angry enough.

  • Bill Westmiller

    “…almost no chance of winning…”

    Three weeks ago, it was:
    … ABSOLUTELY no chance of winning …

    In three more weeks, it will be:
    … very slim chances of winning …

    And, we have eight months to go.