The Ron Paul R3volution has broken the back of the GOP.
Following the bitter factional fighting and open hostility between Ron Paul supporters and establishment Republicans in Arizona and Oklahoma, similar cracks were seen in the state GOP convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ron Paul supporters swarmed the convention early on, catapulting “one of our own” Kurt Bills to victory in the race for the Senate nomination. Ron Paul himself was also given a speaking spot at the convention, to a crowd and Minnesota Republican leadership filled with his supporters. Of Minnesota’s 40 delegates, Ron Paul now has 32 going to the convention. The delegates chosen during the convention would have been a clean sweep for Paul, had his supporters not graciously conceded a slot to Michelle Bachmann.
Everywhere, establishment Republicans backing Mitt Romney are looking to circumvent the strength of the libertarian movement. When the old guard of the GOP cannot cheat its way to success, such as in in Arizona and Oklahoma, they have opted to split from the party itself. As the movement stemming from Ron Paul’s campaign continues to sweep through state parties, capturing leadership positions, pro-Romney factions are creating “shadow parties” separate from the official state GOP. In states such as Nevada, libertarians occupy so many positions within the party that mainline Republicans have fled in order to form “Team Nevada,” a refuge for neoconservatives and Romney supporters.
The grassroots movement which now makes up the entirety of Paul’s campaign is forcing Republicans to thoroughly inspect their beliefs. Those who cannot conform to this rising Republican demographic have little hope in maintaining control of the party. The very same Goldwater Republicans who were chased out of the party in the 1970’s have returned, bringing with them a wave of young, energetic, and organized youths.
A new Republican Party is being born; and it appears to be a libertarian one.