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Straw polls, debates and primaries anticipate the GOP’s attempt to reclaim the White House. The wide field of right-wing contenders all vie to take the place president Obama will have held for four years.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads early in the polls, but he may not be the most interesting candidate from the Lone Star State. Perry could certainly learn something from his statesman.
Congressman Ron Paul, admittedly not the most electable of choices, has a unique following that the GOP might need to woo. The self-described Libertarian has support not from hometown churchgoers and old-time conservatives, but from young, educated and technologically savvy new voters.
The group Young Americans for Liberty was formed by students to educate peers on issues Paul supports in 2007. It is active on more than 220 campuses.
These vocal activists are very much a part of the youth vote. That same youth vote was essential to Obama’s success in 2008. While they don’t particularly gel with the left or right lines, they want a country that supports individual rights and conservative economics.
They are bothered by corruption in government, growing debt and the widening social classes.
“I believe there are literally millions of more people now concerned about the very things I talked about four years ago,” Paul said at a campaign event in Iowa. “The excessive spending, the entitlement system, the foreign policy, as well as the monetary system.”
The GOP may not have found their messiah in Paul, even if some of his followers wouldn’t mind likening him to Christ, but Paul’s fan base should be an eye-opener to the more traditional field. There are many conservative values that moderates and the youth believe in, and if the right focuses on abortion, health care and immigration, these middle-of-the-road voters may go somewhere else.
To create change in Washington, the Republicans need to evolve, and not like the Tea Party already has. The Tea Partiers who rally behind Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin were the ones shouting that an uninsured man deserved to die at the CNN/Tea Party Republican debate Sept. 12. This uber-conservative emotionalism alienates any moderates who may be inclined to vote Republican.
Perhaps Paul has the answer. Maybe we should abandon our ideas of foreign expansion and government growing policies like the Patriot Act that have become a mainstay of the Republican party since Sept. 11, 2001.
As the U.S. poverty rate hits a 30-year high and even Warren Buffet says that the super rich need to pay more taxes, something must change. Democrats aren’t the only ones who believe in social justice.
Or perhaps we should just keep supporting mainstream Republicans like Perry. If what he says is true, evolution isn’t real anyway.