For those that know me rather well you know I am often at odds with my political party. Whether it is the Republican Party in New Jersey or the national GOP, there are plenty of areas for a conservative to bemoan.
To be quite honest, I find myself arguing with fellow Republicans more than I do with Democrats or leftists. The reason is that I expect my opposition to act the way they do, not those within my party.
I suppose one of the reasons is due to in-field experience. After dealing with the political process hands-on and not just reading pages out of a political science textbook, one can get an appreciation for how politics truly works.
The level of ineptitude in some political operatives is staggering. There are certainly a plethora of jokes about the ineptitude within the Republican Party, as I am sure there are in other political parties too. However, I can speak on behalf of the GOP because I happen to work closely with other politically active Republicans in New Jersey, whether they have an elected/appointed position or not.
So, it should come as no surprise that I find it repugnant that many Republicans despise Congressman Ron Paul and his bid for the presidency.
I knew some within the Republican Party needed to be slapped after the Republican primary debate in South Carolina a few months ago. Afterward, the Fox News Channel revealed that viewers felt Congressman Paul won the debate with 31 percent of the vote.
Prior to these results, on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes,” Michael Steele, chairman of GOPAC and former Lt. Gov. of Maryland, said Congressman Paul should be banned from future Republican debates.
Of course, Sean Hannity agreed, and upon learning the results of the poll proceeded to complain about how Republicans could possibly agree with this maniac.
Hannity could not comprehend why the congressman would question U.S. foreign policy in the manner in which he did.
Why would these two Republicans and, unfortunately, many others, have such a dislike for Congressman Paul? It is quite simple: the congressman represents a different brand of conservatism that goes against current, mainstream conservatism. Simply because Congressman Paul disagrees with some of the ways Republicans have handled things over the last few years, especially U.S. foreign policy, does not mean those two neo-conservatives have to start crying.
Really, think about what Steele had the nerve to say. He wanted to remove a candidate from future debates simply because he disagreed with mainstream conservatism, neo-conservatism.
This was a clear-cut act of censorship and it is these types of things that weaken the Republican Party.
Take a look at the current Republican presidential contenders. While Congressman Paul is still a long-shot, he has significantly increased his followers and resources. And even though some “conservatives” in the crowd booed Congressman Paul in the most recent Republican primary debate in Florida (who clearly have a minimal knowledge of what conservatism actually is), he won the Fox News poll once again (and Hannity was angry yet again).
Any attempt to carry out Steele’s machinations would surely follow a large public outcry, as it should.
Hannity and Steele’s embracing of neo-conservatism is in itself an abandonment of principle but they will frame it as if Congressman Paul is a liberal.
Neo-conservatism at its best is liberalism dressed up as conservatism. Neo-conservatism has hurt the national party arguably more than anything else. What President George W. Bush and the rest of the neo-conservatives have done to this once great national party is an abomination.
To set the record straight, I do not dislike Hannity and Steele to the degree that they dislike Congressman Paul – that can be certain. More often than not I actually agree with them, yet this is just another example of the frustration people like I can have with my own party, statewide or national.
But to Congressman Paul, I say keep doing what you are doing, for you are the only classic, paleoconservative in the race. My feeling as to why Congressman Paul is great for the nation, however, is a subject for another article.