In between phone calls and emails, I watched portions of the roll call vote at the Republican National Convention yesterday. If you missed it, and I’m sure most of you had better things to do, Congressman Ron Paul’s supporters were a bit upset.
The Republican National Committee refused to seat a number of Paul delegates and all but ignored the hundred or so votes for the Texas Representative. This prompted Paul’s supporters to waive middle fingers and shout expletives at the RNC Chair.
Now, let me preface what I am about to write by saying that (1) I believe the RNC is in the wrong. They should have seated the delegates and counted the votes. (2) With the exception of foreign policy and the occasional conspiratorial pronouncement, I agree with Ron Paul. His straight forward way of speaking is refreshing. He is well read and generally adheres to the Constitution (what a concept!). I love that he has re-introduced libertarian economics into the general political dialogue.
That being said, the tantrum thrown by Paul’s supporters was nothing short of childish. Two wrongs do not make a right and their red-faced wrong just reinforced the media stereotype that Paulites are extremists. Moreover, anyone with any common sense knew what was coming! The RNC had made their position very clear before the convention began. Throwing a fit on the floor was a bit like Claude Raines in Casablanca smugly decrying the presence of a gambling parlor while collecting his winnings.
In the end, Congressman Paul lost–plain and simple. His supporters need to accept it and think about the future. If they want to continue to be a force on the right, they can’t act like children in front of the C-Span cameras.
I don’t mind the Paulites protesting the RNC’s decision. As I stated earlier, I certainly disagreed with it. But how one protests is often as important the protest itself. In 1976, Ronald Reagan supporters carried on a lengthy, but profanity free, demonstration. It was reported positively and helped Reagan with his 1980 run. It is important to remember that politics is an important part of…well…politics.
I want the “Ron Paul Revolution” to continue. I have high hopes for his son Rand. BUT it will not continue if the face of the movement is red and the “love” symbol is replaced with a middle finger.
Take a cue from Bill Murray in “Ground Hog Day” and “don’t drive angry.”