Yesterday the Republican Party elected Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee at their national convention happening this week in Tampa, Florida to face Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson and expected Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama in the November 6, 2012 general election. Voting delegates at the convention voted for Romney by a landslide and Ron Paul received a significant number of votes and to a much lesser extent, other Republicans who had dropped or suspended their campaigns.
Before yesterday’s nomination process began, Republican Party chairman, Reince Priebus was calling Mitt Romney the nominee facing Barack Obama ignoring the fact he had not yet been elected to be the Republican Party’s nominee. Other Republican Party officials did the same before a vote had been cast. Rather than be impartial, as most feel they should be, these Republican Party officials clearly had, and publicly voiced, bias against other nominees in favor of Mitt Romney.
Ron Paul delegates were the most vocal on the convention floor during the nomination process even shouting “Ron Paul” over other Republicans shouting “USA.” Eventually Ron Paul supporters walked off the convention floor in protest. By all measures the Republican Party completely disrespected Ron Paul and his supporters.
Ron Paul and his supporters have been a thorn in the side of the Republican Party since before Paul ran for president in 2008 and as Paul’s support around the country grew over the last four years to millions of Americans, the thorn was festering within the GOP. The GOP has been at the brunt of many Ron Paul verbal confrontations as Paul exposes the many instances elected Republicans vote against the Republican Party platform and tagline of smaller government. Paul will be highly critical of Congressional members within his own Republican Party when they vote for bigger government and a more intrusive government which has become the Republican norm.
The number of Paul supporters has grown dramatically over the last four years and although there are no official numbers, it is safe to say there are at least four million within the Republican Party and at least another two million outside the party. Even though it would mean a significant hit to their membership and voter roll numbers, the Republican Party leadership would be glad to rid themselves of them so they do not have to be constantly reminded to vote for a smaller, less intrusive government.
So where will the Ron Paul supporters go? Some will stay within the Republican Party to try and change it from within, however we have seen this method have very limited success over the last 10 years. The tide for bigger government Republicans is so strong, Paul supporters are hard pressed to go against it. Another option is to just give up and become inactive politically which many would view as a tragedy. When you speak with some supporters after yesterday’s defeat, they seem a bit in shock.
There is some hope and a home most Ron Paul supporters will find. That is within the Libertarian Party and their presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Out of the three candidates who have a viable chance to win the general election, Johnson is closest to Ron Paul’s ideals. Though Johnson is not a carbon copy of Ron Paul, he is the best in the three way race for the White House. Currently Johnson could use their help in getting in the Presidential Debates this season as he needs a quick boost in poll numbers to qualify. He is polling between 5-9% nationally and needs a minimum of 15% in certain polls to be included in the debates.
One thing is for sure; the day after the nominating votes were tallied, Ron Paul supporters are angry at the unfair process which guided a secure victory for Mitt Romney to the exclusion of everyone else. Time will tell if they are angry enough to change their party registration to the Libertarian Party. A Facebook page was set up for just this purpose and many Ron Paul supporters have already signed up to exit the Republican Party and vote for a third party candidate for President of the United States.