Saturday, November 8, 2008

Open Letter To Dr. Ron Paul

Later this month, the Republican Party in Congress will be meeting to elect new leadership in the House. Any leadership challenge for the party is an opportunity to define a new direction, as I'm sure you understand from your run for the Presidency. Much noise is being made that the most recent election is the end of conservatism, or that the Republican Party has nothing left to offer the American People except the same rejected platform that President Bush offered America for the last eight years.

I'm writing to urge you: please challenge Rep. Boehner for House Minority Leadership.

When you first appeared to me on the national stage, challenging the more likely Republican presidential nominees in the beginning of the primaries, I was instantly struck by what you stood for. Every step of the way, you fought for a return to conservative principles, calling for the Republican Party to openly repudiate President Bush, to return to its small-government principles. This is the message that the Republican Party should have communicated in 2008. Perhaps it would have won on this message, or at least come closer to winning. But in choosing John McCain, it chose to continue standing by the Neoconservative movement.

You saw John McCain try to pretend to be you. He tried to pretend to oppose his party, when nobody has made such a clean break with President Bush while still remaining a true conservative as you. You saw John McCain pretend to be against redistribution of wealth, even though he never truly opposed it in a flat-tax scheme such as the one you have proposed. As a result, it never really rang true in the electorate.

You were one of the few people who was questioning Alan Greenspan's policies back when he was still at the Fed. Many else were buying into the Cult of Greenspan, assuming that his knowledge of the situation far dwarfed their own, and allowing him to do his work. You also voiced your opposition to the Iraq War, which most Americans now agree with. If the Republican Party is going to move forward, they're going to need to prove that they have more than ideology: that they have foresight, the ability to see problems as they approach, not just react to them once they're here.

People are also discussing how the Republican Party has lost the young, the educated. How Barack Obama captured an excitement around his ticket that the Republican Party could never capture. But you, in your primary run, proved to be exciting and inspiring to a large block of conservative independents who could not continue to support Bush, but didn't want to turn to a liberal agenda. When John McCain became the candidate, most of those who supported you wound up supporting Barack Obama.

Your fundraising and organizational skills proved to be incredible. You set a record for a single day of fundraising; you outshone all of your opponents in fundraising during the primaries; while John McCain was going bankrupt, you were showing the same internet savvy that Barack Obama was using to his own great success.

In short, if the Republicans in the House choose to reelect John Boehner, then the conservative movement will be out of touch with the people. They will still be trying to appeal to the voters as if it were still 2002. They need a new direction, and they need to be in touch with reality. They need someone who is willing to say, "This is where we went wrong," because until the Republican Party can do that it can never truly win the trust of the American people again.

It will be an uphill battle for you. Even if you don't win the Minority Leadership, however, it will benefit the House Republicans to have an open debate about their future. The idea that they may simply retain Boehner without even wondering if there is an alternative is possibly the worst outcome at all,

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