OPINION – Hezbollah. The Mexican cartels. Kim Jong Un.
How curious that among all the terrorists, drug lords, and oppressive bogeymen in the world, none generate the kind of tangible panic in the GOP that a principled 77-year-old congressman from Texas has sparked.
The Republican National Committee has long resented Congressman Ron Paul for his unswerving devotion to the principles of liberty and limited government. Who could blame them? Congressman Paul has consistently refused to play by the Machiavellian playbook favored by most Washington D.C. politicians.
For nearly three decades, his votes and leadership have been based upon whether a specific policy is “right” or “wrong” rather than “useful” or “not useful.” This means that his core values are not purely political, but are foundational principles that extend beyond the false constructs of party lines.
This is particularly true when considering Paul’s opposition to the War Party’s insistence on endless foreign entanglements that have nothing to do with protecting the actual security or freedom of Americans.
Machiavelli himself explained why this is so, “A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.”
The Republican Party prefers to abide by another of Machiavelli’s observations, “Politics have no relation to morals.”
This may explain why Republican leadership has gone to such great lengths to retroactively change their rules for the purpose of removing duly-elected Paul delegates before the Republican National Convention. As Justin Raimondo noted: “In Maine, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Oregon, Oklahoma, and elsewhere, the party bosses have disenfranchised Paul voters — closing down party caucuses, rejecting as delegates anyone under 50, and calling the cops when all else failed.”
It’s also why the Texas congressman was offered a speaking slot at the convention only upon the conditions that he would fully endorse their nominee and have his remarks censored – sorry – vetted by the RNC.
For a party that claims to be the party of freedom and limited government, Republican leadership is as authoritarian about potential dissent as North Korea’s Dear Leader.
Daniel Webster wisely summed up such partisan motivations when he said, “Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
Republican hardliners are loudly insisting that all is well and the changes to their rules had to be made to prevent mischief at the convention. What remains to be seen is whether those voters with whom Paul’s message of liberty has resonated will reluctantly fall back into line and vote for the GOP nominee.
Republican leaders are desperate to maintain an illusion of unity in the face of a clearly growing schism within the party.
What they don’t realize is that the GOP may have played the part of the sociopathic drunk who habitually abuses his wife and then tells her “You made me do this” one too many times. The long list of broken promises, the insistence that “this time it’ll be different” sounds all too familiar. Even the fear-mongering slogans that would insult a fourth grader’s intelligence may not be enough to blind informed voters.
The Republican Party may well have shot itself in the foot with its latest efforts to strong-arm or purge independent-minded voters from its ranks. Principled voters who for too long have been taken for granted are catching on to the party’s insatiable lust for power. Their support can and will be taken elsewhere when the breaking point is reached.
What the GOP establishment fails to recognize is that Ron Paul is not the singular leader of the liberty movement. Though he has been an icon during the past two election cycles, the millions of independent thinkers for whom liberty remains a top priority will not fade away at his retirement.
This is what the party fears most about Ron Paul; he is not alone.
How will Republican leadership explain the growing lack of party fealty when its smears and machinations can no longer be focused upon a single individual who still values right over wrong?
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.