Four years ago, Ron Paul's supporters were barely a noticeable force in the GOP. Last night, the GOP specifically lost an election because it was unable to motivate Paul supporters to turn out for Mitt Romney.
Romney would have continued the status quo of the Bush/Obama years by deficit spending, behaving belligerently around the world, continuing the awful war on drugs, and further empowering the Federal Reserve bank — the god awful crux of it all — the method by which the super state funds itself. The Republican candidate was no better than Barack Obama.
The GOP is being introduced to demographics. Without the Hispanic vote or without the libertarian vote, the Republican Party will never win another national election. The occasional country club feel of the GOP (to borrow from a Chicago Democratic line, "We don't want nobody that nobody sent") will lead to a war within the party, in which participants will be left with the choice of either welcoming outsiders or face the fiscal and electoral consequences of watching party members age and die.
On election night I laughed a bittersweet laugh. Paul was the only candidate who could have beaten Obama. Additionally, he would have returned the GOP to its ideological roots and given America a national discussion, a great debate it would long remember. He was a candidate who stood for something more noble than the usual interventionism that the opportunist candidates espouse. Differentiating yourself motivates voter turnout and political discussion.
Instead we have the sorry state of affairs in which a mercantilist who invented Obamacare ran against the socialist who signed Obamacare into law. The Obamney campaign teams have statist candidates who stand for virtually the same ideas.
Today, I write to say I told you so.
As hard as Paul tried to show support for his party, he couldn't win an election for a party who didn't want him or his supporters. He told his supporters to be Republicans; the Republicans wouldn't have them though. Paul extended an olive branch to Romney time and again.
Through this entire year, I've written in these pages and others about how Romney's team sought to divide the Republican Party rather than unite it. The consequences of that behavior came to fruition last night and the consequences of that behavior will lead us into the next term in office.
Will Republicans be a shrinking party and perennial losers for the White House or will they seek to grow their party? Actions speak louder than words. Not until Election Day, 2016 will we know the answer to that question and the outcome of the struggle that will seethe soon within in the GOP as it begins to recognize the necessity of growth change or the inevitability of its demise.