Photo Credit: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News
I’ve made no bones about which candidate was mine this primary season, and that candidate has always been straight forward about his intentions should he fall short of the GOP nomination. Ron Paul has maintained that his ultimate goal is the Oval Office, but he has also been telling his followers that affecting the national dialogue -- and by extension the Republican Party platform for the next four years -- is a close second.
Barring a political miracle, Mitt Romney will be awarded the GOP nomination for President at the Republican National Convention in August. He clinched the 1,144 delegates needed with his symbolic win in Texas last month, long after his rivals -- Ron Paul included -- had ceased campaigning. Romney however, will be far from the only candidate with clout on the convention floor.
Ron Paul alone will send almost two-hundred bound delegates to Florida, and if all goes well several hundred more who are not bound, but support his positions and policies will join them. They won’t be enough for the presidential nomination Paul set out to win last year, but amidst the media frenzy that is sure to surround the official naming of the GOP nominee will be a quieter re-hashing of the party’s positions. It’s in those items of business where the delegates will enough to help the Texas Congressman pull some political strings; a welcome prospect for many conservative libertarians and just plain old liberty-valuing conservatives like myself.
The way I see it, Paul has been not just the most consistently pro small-government presidential candidate this election season, but perhaps the most consistently pro small-government politician of our time. His policies and ideologies are virtually indistinguishable and those ideologies more closely align with a conservative interpretation of our constitution than any other in recent history.
If nothing else, compared to Romney’s “anti-Obama, but only-slightly-different-than-Obama” positions, Ron Paul seems downright refreshing and his convention clout could be our last hope for smaller government between now and 2016.
Diana Prichard is a red-leaning freelance writer living and working in a blue state. Follow her on Twitter: @diana_prichard.