Ron Paul on Sunday gave one of his biggest speeches yet. On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Paul, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 but who won’t be a part of the RNC, spoke to a packed stadium during the “We Are the Future Rally.” He outlined his views on having a pared-back foreign policy, more fiscal restraint, and less military spending.
His biggest point, though, was that the young people who have fueled his campaign will become the future of the Republican Party. Libertarianism may be the future of the GOP.
“Young people really have the enthusiasm to push us forward,” Paul said. “We have been kept out of the tent. But we will get into the tent, believe me, because we will become the tent eventually.”
Paul’s point on young is an important one. Paul, the figurehead of the libertarian movement, has been alienated by the GOP, despite leading a popular and successful 2012 presidential run, one in which he was especially able to mobilize young voters and lead a viral internet campaign — something Romney in comparison has failed to do. By some counts, Ron Paul will have as many as 500 delegates at the RNC next week, a massive haul for a politician some people call a fringe candidate.
Sidelining Ron Paul at the RNC and in the wider 2012 election means the GOP is sidelining one of its biggest assets in election 2012. They’ll lose out on the energy that the Ron Paul campaign brings, and risk alienating a voting bloc for years to come, one which may now instead turn to other parties. Libertarianism won’t go away, either, and will only continue to be a driving force in American politics. One poll actually finds that there are more people who identify as libertarians than conservatives in America.
“The GOP is absolutely shooting themselves in the foot with the way they are handling the Paul grassroots organization and the libertarians trying to work within the party,” PolicyMic libertarian expert Robert Taylor said. “Romney may well get the nomination, but not after some battling. More so, alienating potentially 15% to 20% of possible Republican votes is suicide in the general election.”
And suicide is exactly what the GOP now seems to be doing.
If the GOP hopes to win this election, they must be more inclusionary of other groups.
But one of the biggest surprises of the event, though, came when son Rand Paul — the junior senator from Kentucky — was introduced. Rand Paul has been demonized by the GOP ever since he endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Many supporters of Ron Paul considered Rand’s move to be back-stabbing and hypocritical. Still, Rand was greeted by huge cheers and even long chants of “Paul 2016, Paul 2016.”
Ron Paul will be retiring in November, and it’s clear that his supporters are looking for a new leader. Ran Paul could that leader.
Rand’s own speech focused on military spending cuts and cuts to government agencies like the TSA and the Federal Reserve.
“We have to look for waste in every department of government,” Rand Paul said.
“We have had the beginnings of some great victories, but we have yet to have great victories,” he added.”