Republican ideology shift positive
This isn’t your father’s Republican Party anymore. America is going through a typical shift: After a party gets trounced in an election cycle, new faces emerge, new messages make their way to the surface, and the old ones get phased out.
Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) 13 -hour filibuster and Senator John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) reaction exemplify this emerging divide perfectly. After Attorney General Eric Holder declared that it would be within presidential rights to call a drone strike upon a U.S. citizen who doesn’t pose an immediate threat, Paul took to the Senate floor to defend our Constitutional rights of due process. McCain later called Paul and his supporters “wacko birds.”
Remembering that, in 2008, McCain was the Republican presidential candidate (the leader of the party), it’s interesting to note that Paul is drawing a lot of new support from Republicans while McCain is slowly becoming obsolete.
Paul is a libertarian conservative and McCain is a neo-conservative. While Paul believes that the government is too big and interferes too much in day-to-day affairs, McCain believes in using big government to achieve conservative ends like national defense.
Additionally, Paul believes in federalism. He advocates for states’ rights in issues such as marijuana legalization and gay marriage. This is the way our country started and the way the Founding Fathers intended it to be.
The shift between big government conservatives to more market-oriented libertarian conservatives is important, not only because it shows that the party is reacting to its message becoming obsolete, but also because it shows that conservative principles in America are evolving.
In the past, conservatism implied a pro-rich, racist, and bigoted attitude. Now, conservatism is beginning to imply a belief in an opportunistic society that’s true to constitutional principles.
This is a message that a lot of people want to hear. As marijuana legalization starts to garner more and more support, the Republican party could make huge strides in gaining support for itself by bringing that stance to Washington. The libertarian arm of the party is already starting to do so, but as more people like Paul emerge, the entire Republican Party may back the issue.
The same holds true for gay marriage, which recently received historically high support (58 percent) in a poll by The Washington Post, and is now supported by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who was a frontrunner for Romney’s vice president pick.
Politically, Republicans lose support by being the less sexy party — one of old, rich, white people. The party could gain lots of support by taking the idea of limited government and running with it.
Libertarianism is now becoming trendy. Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate for president in 2012, was the only presidential candidate who crowd-surfed during his campaign.
Republicans can become the younger party of efficient government, equality of opportunity, and government reform.
The new wing of the Republican Party is starting to take shape and oust the establishments of Republicans who previously dominated the party.
This is a good, natural shift that reflects winning policies. Paul’s filibuster and Portman’s switch to supporting gay marriage are hopefully just the first of many indicators of a broad shift in ideology for the Republican Party.