The Liberty Movement is Not for Sale

The rise of the Liberty Movement has had a strong impact on American politics. The 2010 mid-terms and primary races in the current cycle have showed that the grassroots base is not going to stand silently by while the Republican establishment chooses politics over principle.

Some have explained that the Liberty Movement is in the midst of a “hostile takeover” of the GOP. And while we have seen overwhelming success — far more than pundits predicted, there are constant reminders that the establishment is trying to leave its mark on our movement.

Perhaps the best example came yesterday with news of Jesse Benton, who served as chairman of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, signing on to run Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election in 2014.

“Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements, and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign,” Senator Mitch McConnell told the Washington Post.

This should be a dead giveaway that both Jesse Benton and Mitch McConnell simply do not get it. Benton is wrong for billing himself as someone who can start a movement. Moreover, Senator McConnell for thinking he can hire someone to step-in and use them to create buzz around his campaign, hoping to avoid his failures as leader of the Senate Republican Conference.

But credit is due in some respect. McConnell is smart in that this mercenary acquisition can tap into a consultant and party power infrastructure that would otherwise be best positioned to defeat him, but it absolutely will not bring true grassroots fervor.

Anyone who is a part of either Ron Paul’s campaign or has attended a Tea Party rally understands the true nature of this freedom movement is that of a decentralized network driven upon steadfast principles and ideas — not politics. During his time as Senate Minority Leader, McConnell has demonstrated both a lack of leadership and a severe lack of ideas. Even in primary races around the country, McConnell frequently, if not always backs the establishment. An ironic example came in 2010, when McConnell backed Trey Grayson over Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul.

For dedicated Ron Paul supporters who are familiar with Benton -– this may, in fact, have the opposite effect and energize them to fight harder. It also may damage the Paul brand with the grassroots.

So for those in the Liberty Movement keeping score on the Paul family political maneuvers post-Ron Paul. With Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney coming first and now helping Mitch McConnell skate to a re-election that should be challenged in a primary, it is, sadly, Principles 0 – Politics 2.

Grassroots activists that make up the core of the Liberty Movement should be concerned. Not only must we continue to watch the GOP establishment, but apparently also those from within our own ranks.


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