Throughout the primary season, Republican activists have been turning out in droves to denounce the mistakes their own party has made under the reign of President Bush. The Republicans who elected Bush in 2000 supported a platform of non-interventionism, lower taxes, less spending, more individual freedom, and smaller government. Bush delivered almost exactly the opposite.
Republican figureheads have continued to stand by their man, but the party’s activists have not changed their philosophy to match Neo-Bush policies. The concerned citizens who make up the party’s activist faction continue to say things like “no nation-building,” “fewer regulations,” and “less government,” but the leadership and pundits ignore the massive crowds.
The overconfident GOP leadership will soon realize the price of ignoring their own party’s activists, who aren’t about to give up on their party’s conscience. In Missouri last weekend, county caucuses elected a surprising majority of delegates for a mainstream sideliner, Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Some Paul diehards believe he can still win the White House, but conventional wisdom denies the possibility.
Even if Paul’s White House bid is history, his effect on the Republican party is only beginning to take root. Missouri Republicans now support a reformation of the GOP platform, which will demand noninterventionism, Constitutional rights, abolishing the Federal Reserve, ending income taxes and the IRS, and returning to a fractional reserve metal-based currency. Recent non-partisan public concerns about the falling dollar, government exuberance, and the quagmire in Iraq–concerns of the seventy-some percent of Americans who show disapproval for Congress and the President–will become Republican concerns under the new party platform in Missouri. There is suspicion that Republican activists like those who supported Paul in Missouri will dominate GOP conventions all over the United States.
The old Republican leadership (the McCains, Bushes, Hannities, Huckabees and Limbaughs) may mold themselves to the new platform, as they did when Bush changed it during his Presidency. If they choose not to accept the new platform, they have two options: join the Democrats or form a third party. The real Republicans are taking charge of the party.