Early last month, Ron Paul conceded that his delegate total wouldn’t be enough to contest Mitt Romney for the Republican Party’s nomination in Tampa. Paul did, however, note that his supporters would be at the GOP convention in August, looking to make some changes to the party’s platform.
Paul had also hoped to earn a speaking slot at the convention, which would have been possible with wins in five states. Unfortunately, that hope seemed to die this weekend when Paul’s supporters were unable to score a majority of delegates in Nebraska:
Paul’s forces had hoped to pull out a victory at the Nebraska majority of delegates here would have guaranteed their candidate a speaking slot at the GOP convention in Tampa late next month.
Under party rules, a candidate cannot have his name entered into nomination at the convention unless he has won a majority of delegates in at least five states. Paul had won four.
In the end, Paul won only two delegates, to Romney’s 32.
Some will no doubt say that the Ron Paul Revolution hit with a thud since the campaign failed to gain a significant number of delegates with which to shake up the convention. They will say that this shows that Paul’s message was limited. However, Jack Hunter puts it all into a perspective:
During the George W. Bush years there was zero libertarian principle in the Republican Party. In the last four years, and thanks to Ron Paul, the small “l” libertarian principles that Barry Goldwater promoted and Ronald Reagan considered the “heart of conservatism” are finally back—with a vengeance.
Ron Paul’s movement is taking over the GOP from the grassroots up—with many local and state Republican Parties being staffed, and in many cases led, by Paul supporters. Every last volunteer who spent time and effort working hard in their state conventions to secure delegates and the nomination for Ron Paul, can know that it is PRECISELY their efforts that are helping to transform the GOP of Bush into the Party of Paul.
And not only Ron Paul, but his son Senator Rand Paul. And not only the Pauls. but this is also becoming the Republican Party of Congressman Justin Amash and future Congressman Thomas Massie. This is becoming the Republican Party of the overwhelming number of 18-30 years old who voted for Ron Paul in this year’s Republican primaries, far more than any other GOP candidate. This is becoming the party of a new generation of voters who know they’ll never see entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, and who also understand that you can’t police the world while expecting to have limited government back home. This emerging new electorate understands that true limited government means eschewing both domestic and foreign welfare in ways their voter predecessors never understood.
As I’ve said before, there is no reason for Ron Paul supporters to hang their heads here. Their candidate had an influence on the primary, unlike four years ago when he was largely dismissed by just about everyone. And it does certainly seem that the message that Paul so consistantly presented has at least been taken seriously by many Republicans, even if they don’t agree with it. He’s not the “fringe” any longer. Paul may be retiring from Congress, but his son, Sen. Rand Paul, and others will move it forward.