Set to be held in Tampa, Florida at the end of August, the Republican National Convention will put to the test how effective Ron Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty” has truly been. Though never making a serious run at the GOP nomination, Paul boldly claimed his Liberty quest “has taken a tremendous leap forwarding this election.” Ron Paul has maneuvered unconventionally to send as many delegates as possible to the RNC, with hopes of infusing his principles into Mitt Romney positions and the GOP’s platform.
Indeed, Paul’s political integrity and strongly-rooted principles on the limited role of government have reigned in the eyes and ears of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. Paul has grabbed headlines and ignited political excitement in ways Mitt Romney has failed. Conservatives who observed the big government policies of Bush have found solitude in Paul’s platform for civil liberties.
But whether Paul’s support will have a significant impact on the happenings of the RNC remains to be seen. Ron Paul would love to see an end to the Federal Reserve, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and a finale to the War on Drugs. Romney has not shown signs of compromising on any of these fronts. Sure, Romney wants to get rid of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, but who doesn't?
Head of the Platform Committee at the RNC and Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, stated there is an 80% crossover between traditional conservative views and the libertarian views possessed by Paul. Paul's delegation at the RNC will have an opportunity to share their thoughts, but the magnitude of this contingency remains to be seen. McDonnell said that Ron Paul would have heavy influence on the GOP’s platform, instilling optimism in libertarian-leaning delegates.
By juxtaposing presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s views with Paul’s policies, however, leads to a murkier conclusion. Paul has been the biggest opponent of all wars, whereas Mitt has not denied the possibility of going to war with Iran if its nuclear program progresses.Without his feet entrenched in many political stances besides repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes, it is hard to tell if Romney will open himself to an infusion of Paul’s principles. If I were a Ron Paul supporter, I would vote Libertarian this election. Approving of Romney’s political vision is entirely contradictory to what Paul should pride himself most on: principles. The weight of the Christian right within the GOP is powerful--a faction opposed to the socially liberal policies Ron Paul has become renowned for.
Ron Paul supporters, including Trevor Lyman, are not pleased with Paul’s role--or lack thereof--at the upcoming RNC. Despite Paul not having a speaking role at the Convention, a rally has been planned in Tampa. In light of the Paul rally the day before the RNC, Lyman mentioned the rally is “a place where you’re allowed to protest and speak out,” which “also happens to be at a location where no one can hear you.” How Paul supporters react at the RNC could have a huge impact on this year's election and thee future of the GOP.