The Nevada Republican Party convention this month was pretty much like every other GOP convention: Floor arguments over obscure Robert’s Rules of Order, bylaws and credentials. Lots of proverbial sound and fury signifying nothing. Only this year, on steroids.
The convention was fairly evenly split between Mitt Romney supporters and party loyalists vs. Ron Paul supporters and many tea party activists – with the insurgents enjoying a sufficient majority to not only elect 22 out of 25 of their own to go to the GOP national convention in Tampa, but to oust the party’s sitting National Committeeman and Committeewoman, as well.
The rabble’s success has many establishment Republicans gnashing their teeth, with one sour grapes GOP blogger referring to the Paul supporters as a bunch of “liars, cheats and thieves.”
But the reality is, the Paul folks played by the rules and more of them attended the convention than the other team. As the saying goes, the world belongs to those who show up. (Not surprisingly, the Reno blogger-whiner is one of the malcontents who didn’t bother to show up. Go figure.)
In the meantime, many in the media are scratching their heads wondering, “What was this all about? What do the Paul people want? Don’t they know that they’ve lost; that Romney’s going to get the nomination?”
While true that some Paul supporters still hold out hope for a Tampa miracle, the more realistic are already looking well beyond November’s election. They know that in politics you often lose a number of early fights in order to gain experience and grow your movement for the long term.
Indeed, should Ron Paul “fail” in his presidential effort, he will have nonetheless successfully planted the seeds for an emerging “liberty” movement (not quite the same as the “conservative” movement) that will (hopefully) enjoy far greater political victories in the years to come.
Call it Barry Goldwater 2.0.
As such, don’t be surprised when a lot of Ron Paul Republicans cast their lot in November with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson rather than with Mitt Romney. “But that’s stupid!” many establishment Republicans who have never heard of Dale Carnegie are already braying. “Don’t they know that will only help re-elect Obama?”
Oh, they know it. They just don’t care. The emerging Liberty Movement is sick of both establishment Democrats AND establishment Republicans. Their objective is for a return to the limited, constitutional government established by the Founders. In that pursuit, you’re either with them or against them, regardless of party.
Now, unless you’re part of this movement, such logic will seem insane. But for the Paul folks, it makes perfect sense. And the GOP establishment would be well advised to wake up and smell the revolution. Better yet, embrace it. Or else.