I don’t know if this is true, but some of the facts are well-known, and if it’s true in any measure, the people who are supporting Ron Paul will be asked to shuffle across the convention floor to support Mitt Romney, not in exchange for the Vice Presidency, and not even for a cabinet posting, but for a speech for Paul and his Senator son in prime-time during the Republican National convention. Ron Paul supporters should know that this is the extent of the goal of this entire campaign, and that Mitt Romney has designs on their support. This is the reason that throughout these debates, and throughout the campaigns, Ron Paul hasn’t run one negative ad against Romney, and hasn’t even ruffled Mitt’s feathers in any of the debates. He has a strategic alliance, and he’s willing to carry out this charade in order to get a speaking platform for he and his son.
This leads me to several questions I have long suspected I would have to ask of the folks who have with such vigor and diligence supported Ron Paul, through thick and thin, and against the taunts of most of the other campaigns or candidates. Is that what you Paul supporters have been angling to achieve? Will you put down your Paul signs and pick up Romney placards instead? Is this the ultimate meaning of your money bombs, your poll-slamming, and all the other activities in which you have participated in support of Ron Paul’s agenda? How much influence do you now think Paul will wield in a Mitt Romney administration? Do you think Romney will legalize drugs? What about the military and foreign aid budgets? What of the commitment to the Constitution? What becomes of eliminating the Federal Reserve? What will you do when you discover that not only has your candidate undercut you, but that all he managed for your trouble were twenty-four dollars worth of costume conservatism?
I know the diehards will be unable to believe this, much as we who support Sarah Palin couldn’t grasp for some time her announcement of the 5th of October. Knowing at least a little of what they will ultimately feel, I am angry for them, not because of the alliance, but that it’s been so well-hidden from them in plain sight. I agree with much of Ron Paul’s spending cut agenda, and I agree with his stance on the Federal Reserve, but if all this has been in pursuit of a speaking platform, I must ask them if this entire exercise will have been worth it for a few minutes of prime-time exposure of your issues. To my friends in the Ron Paul legions, and you are my friends in many important ways despite our disagreements, because I know you love liberty, I must confront you with this not in order to say “I told you so,” but instead to commiserate with you. You may remember that some time ago, I decided myself that if Paul could only make himself a little more palatable on foreign policy, I could potentially support him. I told voters in Virginia that to vote for Paul as their only alternative to Mitt Romney was a vote in the name of restoring the party. Now, you see, I advised those Virginians to what appears to have been no more than a ploy.
In truth, this sickens me, and I am tired of the manipulations this entire primary season has revealed. As time goes on, it may yet get worse, and if it does, I’m going to say so without apologies. Some things are simply “a bridge too far,” and the idea that a politician would use their influence with supporters in such a way is frankly unforgivable in any context. I realize that there will be attempts to gain some promises from a potential future Romney administration, but for the love of all things good in the world, that seems a tiny prize to exact for all the laborious efforts Paul’s supporters have poured into this.
Some of you will remember when I said of Paul that I love his domestic spending agenda, and his general temperament toward government growth, but you and I know that Mitt Romney will not follow that plan, as he already offers glimpses of “strengthening the safety net.” My friends, I would not blame a one of you if you took one look at this and simply walked away. Really. I feel for you. I do. This abandonment of principle in the name of such pathetic rewards makes me steam. Surely for withholding his fire against Romney in the early primary states, he should have gotten more than this dry bone to toss to his supporters. If it is true, I expect the backlash may be ferocious, and it would be deserved, but there’s one person I really wouldn’t want to be, and his name is Ron Paul. Maybe they’ll take some of their inevitable anger out on the GOP establishment that deserves no small measure of the blame.