OPINION – Hubris is commonly defined as “excessive pride or arrogance.” The ancient Greeks also portrayed it as overconfidence in one’s capabilities with a corresponding loss of contact with reality. Hubris may well have played a key role in the GOP’s stunning loss in last week’s presidential race.
GOP leadership and analysts have offered many different excuses for Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama. Among the more popular explanations are Hurricane Sandy, the Hispanic vote, the women’s vote, the dependent class, and ongoing media bias. While it’s true that these reasons may each have played a role, there is another possibility that most party leaders, pundits and talking heads don’t dare to mention.
It’s the Ron Paul factor. More specifically, it was the systematic disenfranchisement of Congressman Paul and his supporters throughout the primaries and at the GOP convention in Tampa. But it may be the most substantial reason why the GOP failed to carry the day against Barack Obama.
Republican apologists have long sought to explain the GOP’s hostility toward Congressman Paul due to his being “unelectable” or “lacking enough public support.” But these were simply lies told by the GOP establishment whose grasp on power was threatened by Paul’s message of limited government, sound money, a sane foreign policy, and personal freedom.
When their whisper campaign failed to contain the growing momentum of Paul’s liberty movement, the party got nasty. He was labeled a “kook” a “moonbat” and a “crazy old man.” But the ad hominem attacks against the man still couldn’t blunt the power of the ideas he was promoting.
As The Daily Bell explains: “Crowds were growing, delegates were falling into line. Ron Paul was attracting bigger and bigger audiences. The powers-that-be had tried everything – ignoring him, ridiculing him … even controlling the “movement” by placing “handlers” around him surreptitiously.
Finally, as none of it truly worked, the top GOP began to use violence and outright fraud. Ron Paul delegates were intimidated, beaten up and banned. Rules were changed, votes were ignored and the election, which was trending toward Paul, went to Romney.”
Had GOP leadership so much as given a fair hearing to Ron Paul’s ideals, it’s likely that many of his supporters would have still rallied around the GOP nominee. But instead, they saw a concerted effort by party bosses to censor so much as the mention of Paul’s name. Many of these voters chose to stay home. Others wrote in Ron Paul as a symbolic vote. Some voted for Gary Johnson. But the common thread that connected their refusal to support the GOP nominee was a resolve not to validate the anti-liberty hubris of Republican Party bosses.
For those disenfranchised by the GOP, the sadness of watching Barack Obama elected to his second term was balanced by a sense of relief that the Republican establishment’s lust for power went unrewarded. Better to deal with a wolf in wolf’s clothing than a wolf that keeps trying to convince you that he’s really a sheep dog.
By throwing the Ron Paul supporters under the bus, the GOP arrogantly dismissed a young, well-informed, organized, and highly active voting bloc that will be around for many years to come. The liberty movement wasn’t stopped by this dismissal; it was simply forced to remove its support from an increasingly schizophrenic party that is currently tearing itself apart.
Republican leadership is currently debating how to appeal to the various voting blocs by moving even further to the left and championing more government-dispensed goodies. They still don’t get it and likely never will. This campaign was never about a single candidate named Ron Paul. It was about the ideas he upheld.
The message that effectively unites across party lines and speaks to the heart of every voter bloc is the message of freedom. This can only be realized by adhering to proven principles like limited government, sound money, non-interventionist foreign policy, and personal freedom. The proof of this can be seen in how Paul’s Campaign for Liberty drew enthusiastic support from the every part of the political spectrum.
To claim that the government goodies crowd is simply too strong to counter is to wave a pitiful flag of surrender. Sadly, it appears that the Republican Party will seek to appease this crowd rather than return to correct principles.
Meanwhile, the liberty movement will go on and continue to expand, even as Ron Paul steps out of the spotlight. The future of the GOP is far less certain.
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.
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