Anyone who knows me well knows that principle always outweighs pragmatism. I refuse to hand over my right to vote my conscience for the right to please the majority. Part of my young life has been dedicated to communicating this message.
This evening was another example of pragmatism at work. The party abandoned all principles and voted for the most electable. My state of Florida decided to endorse Senator John McCain, while Dr. Ron Paul received over 55,000 votes, placing him last among the ever-diminishing pack.
McCain has received the righteous wrath of radio stars like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Limbaugh has observed numerous times that a McCain victory will end the Reagan coalition and the Republican Party as we know it. In my estimation, the Republican Party has been dead for a long time; it is just that the carcasses do not seem to rot as quickly. If anyone put a seal of death on the GOP it was George Bush. Bush did everything Republicans claim to oppose. He grew the government like a spoiled father rears his son: with uncontrolled and unrestricted boundaries. The sky is the limit in this abusive and destructive administration. Nevertheless, if the Limbaugh’s and the rest of the neo-conservatives wish to set a timetable for the destruction of their own party, then let it be at the Convention.
Certainly not all in the GOP is lost. Ron Paul is still in it. Why does he remain in the GOP and not embrace another party? Because the media and the establishment political leaders have too much at stake. Other voices, other parties would conflict too much with the establishment’s agenda, which incidentally coincides with the media’s. Ron Paul still remains as the lonely voice in the political wilderness crying out: Return to the Constitution! Perhaps that is his role at this point in history. Perhaps Super Tuesday may be a surprise for all the pundits who have essentially written him off the polls. The 72-year old is not dead yet; he still has–last I checked– over 300 million people to educate.
Though I am principled, I am also realistic. Here’s my realism: Paul’s campaign is not over and there is much more of Paul left in this campaign. I refuse to embrace the pessimism of some. Months ago Rudy Giuliani was the front-runner. This evening, he has proven to be a complete failure. Result: Rudy is gone. Paul is still in.
The future of this election holds a few interesting developments:
First, Giuliani will endorse McCain. This will enhance the warmongering thirst of some Republicans and will naturally boost McCain’s campaign. Rudy may now be vying for an Attorney General position in McCain’s administration.
Secondly, Huckabee will stay in the race and split the evangelical votes with Romney. Huckabee has played a central role in McCain’s victories. If Huckabee were not drawing the evangelical votes, Romney would be ahead of McCain this evening. Huckabee may now be strategizing–secretly–with McCain for a future VP position, though I do not discount Thompson for that role. Hence, Huckabee is crucial to a McCain victory.
Thirdly, Romney is somewhat doomed. His millions have earned him few victories and new enemies. It is difficult to decipher Romney’s strategy on Super Tuesday. He needs several important victories on February 5th to propel his candidacy in the final states and perhaps take it to the Convention.
Finally, Ron Paul is the unspoken hero. He understands the economy; he grasps the significant philosophical questions of foreign policy, and he understands that this is a Republic, not a fascist state. His future depends heavily on February 5th. Furthermore, he still has money left, which McCain does not.
The Republicans who endorse McCain support him because of his straight talk on the war. Indeed his straight talk has brought him far; far into the center of a party who pleads for more war; a hundred years of war. Republicans may have found a man who can beat the Democratic nominee, but if this is a victory, it is a Pyrrhic victory. The Republican victor will cheer, while the world bleeds and our country suffers with tears of recession.