The era of conservatism may be coming to an end. Well, for now, that is. In light of the upcoming Republican National Convention, it appears Ron Paul will not be among the keynote speakers to discuss the GOP’s case for the presidency. Nor does it seem likely Paul will be among the introductory or smaller stage speeches. Nope, Paul won’t even be recognized for his lifelong dedication to the Republican party as he elegantly strides toward retirement.
This has to be one of Mitt Romney’s most bone-headed moves yet.
First, we’ll start with Romney’s self-interest. By effectively SHHH-ing Ron Paul from the RNC, Romney further solidifies the notion among Ron Paul-conservatives that Romney is not conservative. Giving Paul even a tiny role would help appease some of the supporters yearning to see some of Paul’s views re-instilled in the flailing Republican Party. But this appears not to be. Paul-Bots, as they are so affectionately known, will surely see this as the final straw (if they haven’t already).
Beyond Romney’s self-infliction, this is a HUGE slap in the face to a (mostly) well-respected, longtime conservative whose principles run true to his core. Politically, this is bad form. Ron Paul has been the stalwart of conservative ideals for decades. But with his big money donors, Romney is probably slapping high-fives. To throw salt on the wound, the Republican National Committee has opted for Ron's son Rand Paul to speak at the convention...Whoops!
Romney wants to repeal the “bad policy” Obamacare law that he laid the blueprints for. Republicans and Mitt Romney want small government, right? Not when it comes to social issues, military spending, government monitoring of its own people, and censorship of the internet. It’s one thing to have an opinion. Its another thing to claim one thing (limited government) and not believe it at all. About the only thing Romney wants the government’s hands off of is his money, but hey, at least he’s honest about that one.
It remains possible that some libertarian-leaning folks will continue feasting on anti-Obama sentiment, and still vote for Romney. The entire case for Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty has fallen more under the domain of political inspiration than practical policy reforms. For now, his ideas remain too radical in the eyes of many who still hold office. Paul’s supporters are passionate, yet fall short of competing with monied interests influencing elections.
Romney’s and the GOP's move to snub Ron Paul defies logic. He is de-motivating (or rather, infuriating) one of the prime intellectual movements behind conservatism. Romney will absolutely begin losing more and more of his conservative base to Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson. A legendary supporter of true conservatism will go unnoticed by his spotlight--or so he has planned. Maybe Romney is plain scared of Paul or terrified of not getting an endorsement from him, or afraid of seeing Paul rant tangentially. Or maybe he’s scared that Ron Paul’s policies just plain outshine his own, but doesn’t want everyone to see it.