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Political Commentary: Can Ron Paul's movement continue despite his son Rand Paul's endorsement of Mitt Romney?
L-Rand Paul, R-Ron Paul.
Many supporters of former Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul, were hit with a bombshell back in July of this year. Congressman Paul's son, Rand Paul -- who is a junior senator from Kentucky, announced his support for then presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Now someone who maybe doesn't pay much attention to political issues often may ask themselves; "Why is this such a surprise?" Both Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are Republicans right, so it should make sense for them to be united right? WRONG! Despite being a Republican, Ron Paul has never been entirely embraced by today's Republican Party. Paul's views of limited government -- along with being anti-war, has never sat well within the crust of the Republican Party. Paul's views and policies are considered more Libertarian, which has made him an outsider in mainstream politics.
Congressman Ron Paul.
Already being an non-establishment candidate, the chances of Ron Paul winning the Republican nomination were already slim to none. However, despite receiving limited media coverage during the Republican Primary battle, Paul did surprisingly well with the limited resources he had. With his strong and loyal supporters, he managed to win several states during the primary season -- and even picked up more delegates than most pundits and analyst expected him to. Between the states Paul won -- along with the delegates he gained, he done well enough traditionally to at least earn a speaking role at the Republican National Convention that took place in late August. However, the Republican establishment had different plans, and changed their party rules -- which left Ron Paul out of the convention, and alienated many of his supporters. This resulted in protests from Paul delegates on the convention floor in regards to delegates being disqualified from counting.
Senator Rand Paul.
Regardless as to how you view this debacle with Ron Paul and the Republican establishment, it's obvious that Paul's Libertarian views are not entirely welcomed by the majority of Republicans. Paul, who is 77 years old announced in 2011 that he wouldn't seek another term in Congress in order to focus on his presidential bid. It appeared to many that Paul's son, Rand Paul, would be the one to continue his father's message once he retired. Rand Paul was elected to the senate in 2010 to represent the state of Kentucky. Since joining the senate, Rand Paul has often had conflicts with both Democrats and Republcians because of his Independent views; similar to those of his father. This is why Rand Paul's endorsement of Mitt Romney came as a surprise to many of the Ron Paul supporters.
Up to this point, the elder Paul has yet to endorse Mitt Romney. Judging from what he has said in various interviews, it doesn't appear likely that he will take the step of endorsing Romney. On the other hand, Sen. Rand Paul has been on the campaign trail campaigning for Romney. With so many Ron Paul supporters hoping that his son would pick up his father's mantle, the question as to whether or not Ron Paul's movement will continue remains in doubt. Rand Paul is his own individual, so people can't expect him to share all of his fathers views. Above that, Paul has only been in the Senate for a short time -- which means that he is probably thinking about his political future. Creating and having a good standing within the Republican establishment, would be more helpful to Rand Paul and his future political aspirations. However, it hurts his credibility among his fathers supporters. Maybe Rand Paul thinks the trade off is worth it.
No one can predict for sure what will happen to Ron Paul's movement as his time in Congress is drawing to a close. I'm a firm believer that a true movement goes beyond just one person. However, Paul's movement is still a movement that isn't embraced by the majority of mainstream America. Hopefully for Paul and his supporters, his movement will continue to go on. There may just have to be someone besides his son to pick up and carry the torch.