Verne Strickland Blogmaster / June 28, 2012
This is not about making them mad. This is about policy, and only policy.
Paul supporters complain that a few bad apples discredit the entire movement and this may be true. They are not always wrong about this, but one charge against them that they freely admit to is disloyalty.
The following words accurately describe the overwhelming majority of Ron Paul supporters.
"I will not vote for anybody other than Ron Paul. Mitt Romney is the same as Barack Obama. No to Obamney. Ron Paul or nobody. Maybe Gary Johnson, but not Mitt Romney under any circumstances."
Ron Paul supporters have decided to hold a Libertarian lovefest in Tampa, Florida, on the days directly preceding the GOP Convention. They have every right to do this, and Republicans should have zero objections to them expressing themselves in the equivalent of the town square. This is what democracy is all about. If they have the permits in order, let them protest. If the GOP tries to shut this event down, well that would be morally wrong.
However, their event ends on August 26th. The GOP Convention begins on August 27th. The GOP Convention is a Republican Convention. It is a Mitt Romney Convention.
It is not a Ron Paul or Libertarian Convention.
Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable at this point to ban Ron Paul supporters from the GOP Convention.
That's right. An outright ban on their presence is the only way to prevent the event from turning into a debacle. There is no legitimate reason at this point for them to be there.
Conventions, for better or worse, are no longer nominating events. Nominees are chosen through the primaries. The conventions are coronations for the winners of the primaries. To the victor go the spoils.
In the real world, losing candidates accept whatever role the winner gives them. Ron Paul supporters live in a world where they continue to make demands.
Ron Paul supporters still do not understand why they lost the GOP nomination. It was not due to any conspiracy. The issue is ideological.
Paul supporters are Libertarians, not Republicans. The GOP nominee is a Republican, he is not a Libertarian.
The original Libertarians were fiscally conservative and socially liberal. They were too liberal on social issues for the Republican Party and too conservative on fiscal issues for the Democrats. They tried to split the difference.
While many people by nature actually were Libertarian, they didn't support the party with votes. Foreign policy issues were in the background.
The newer breed of Libertarians is slightly different. They are fiscally conservative and anti-war. Social issues are not agreed upon. Dr. Paul is pro-life while Gary Johnson is pro-choice. Again, the newer Libertarians are too conservative for the Democrats fiscally and far to the left of most Republicans on foreign policy.
They are trying to take over the Republican Party because their attempts to grow the Libertarian Party failed.
There are many arguments where Paul supporters claim to be "slurred," and "slandered," but calling someone a Libertarian should not be an insult.
It just means they are not Republicans.
This brings everything back to the convention. One ritual that no longer gets prime time attention is the roll call of the states. It is pomp and circumstance, but not news. The actual news comes from the speeches of the presidential and vice presidential nominees.
The delegates of all of the candidates can submit their votes any time between now and the convention. There is no need to do this on the convention floor.
Nobody other than Mitt Romney is entitled to any media coverage at the GOP Convention.
The purpose of the modern day convention is to unify the party. The Paul supporters are trying to blow it up. What do they think will happen? Do they think Ron Paul will be allowed to make a prime time speech advocating an anti-war platform?
The last time a Convention was spontaneous came in 1992 when President George Herbert Walker Bush allowed Pat Buchanan to blackmail him.
Mr. Buchanan gave a disastrous primetime speech. Mr. Bush looked weak and the Houston gathering was a disaster.
The Democrats in 1992 understood how to win the election (which is the actual goal). Bill Clinton treated Jerry Brown supporters as sub-human. Mr. Brown was given a terrible speaking slot, and his supporters showed up with tape over their mouths in protest.
Since then, losing candidates have been given the choice of shaping up or shipping out. Barack Obama made sure Hillary Clinton either stayed on message or said nothing.
Ron Paul could have run as a Libertarian. He could have held his own convention. Yet he decided to use the GOP infrastructure. In short, he tried to lead an insurgency while hiding behind the safe, comfortable cloak of the establishment.
His supporters are still an insurgency. They do not want to prop up what they see as a failed two-party system. Their goal is to tear it down.
They have every right to do this everywhere across this land, except at a private event for Republicans.
The final rationale they offer is that the GOP needs them to win in November. This is false. They are bluffing. Since they will not vote for Governor Romney under any circumstances, there is nothing for the GOP to lose.
Many Paul supporters actually want Mr. Romney to lose because that way they can take credit for any close loss. If Mr. Romney wins without them, they get absolutely nothing. They are marginalized forever, along with the Buchanan Brigades and the Lyndon Larouche supporters.
Jews do not get to give keynote speeches at Palestinian gatherings. White people do not get to lead NAACP dinners. White, male conservatives do not address attendees at the NOW gatherings. Big oil supporters are not welcomed with open arms at greeniac environmental conferences.
The Republicans made their choice. They chose Mitt Romney. Supporters of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum accepted this. Ron Paul supporters have not and they have zero loyalty to the GOP.
This is not about whether they are noble patriots or raving lunatics. This is not about whether they are intolerant zealots or the one true political faith.
They are simply square pegs trying to force their way into a round hole.
People who are not Republicans, don't like Republicans, detest the Republican Party, reject the Republican nominee, and want an agenda different from the current Republican agenda, all fall into one category.
They are non-Republicans.
Non-Republicans should be banned from the Republican Convention to prevent 1968-style Chicago riots. The time for arguments on the right has ended. It is time for strict iron-fisted party discipline. It is time for Republicans to be good soldiers and fall into line. Anti-war protesters from Occupy Wall Street to Code Pink are there solely to make trouble. Security escorts them out.
Ron Paul supporters can either put on Mitt Romney t-shirts and pledge loyalty to the GOP or find a place where Ron Paul is in charge. They made their choice, and now have their own festival.
Happy Festivus for the rest of them.
Those who refuse to pledge loyalty can attend the events the day before the convention in the park. Paulopalooza can accept everybody, or ban establishment Republicans from attending.
As for the Republican Party Convention, party-crashers are not welcome.