Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ron Paul Supporters Could Save the Republican Party From Itself in 2014 and Beyond

POLICYMIC | Alex Martin | November 12, 2012
Now that it's official President Barack Obama also won Florida, enlarging his Electoral College tally over Republican challenger Mitt Romney 332 to 206, the so-called Republican Party's soul searching is in full swing.

And one of the most recurrent "come to Jesus" moments has to do with America's shifting demographics to a more diverse and younger group of voters who, while keeping some of the same political positions than their parents and grandparents, are coming of age with newer values that are more in tune with 21st century America.

It is hardly a secret that younger voters propelled then Senator Barack Obama to victory in 2008. And, surprisingly for Republicans, millennials also went to the polls — in even larger numbers — in 2012 to support the president's reelection.

And though most Republicans dismiss millennial voters as a naturally liberal constituency, preferring to focus their efforts on winning over older white men and other "traditionally" Republicans groups, the party missed a huge opportunity in 2012 due to their shortsightedness and intransigence.

Representative Ron Paul's (R-Texas) young and passionate following could have helped the GOP balance the Democrats' dominance among millennial voters. This group of liberty-minded college-aged lovers of the United States' founding principles and the Constitution were vocal supporters of Paul's 2012 presidential run all the way to the states and national conventions — on an often rocky path during which they were mistreated by the establishment wing of the Republican Party.

So instead of embracing the younger and more libertarian wing of the party, old Republicans —solely focused on coronating Mitt Romney as the party's standard bearer for 2012 — alienated this young blood that could have helped them not only to bring more millennials into the GOP tent but also to project conservative values (fiscally ones, that is) into the future.