A.C. Kleinheider reports that a Ron Paul Republican who got himself elected as vice chairman of the Davidson County GOP in Tennessee decided it would be a good idea to refuse to shake GOP gubernatorial candidate Zach Wamp’s hand. Why? “I am not interested in being friendly towards those who violate the Constitution,” this fellow, one Matt Collins, explained.
Now, it is possible to be counterproductive by being too accommodating of the party establishment — like the Ron Paul delegates at the Republican National Convention who voted for John McCain instead. But this kind of behavior defeats the purpose of getting involved in practical politics altogether. As Kleinheider says:
What exactly is the point of joining “the system” just to go spit in the eye of the establishment the first chance you get? What kind of influence can one hope to have if, at every turn, one is burning bridges. Politics is as much about personal relationships as it is about policy or ideology. It is about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. And most of all, it is about keeping from sight the knife you wish to plunge into a man’s back until you are strong enough to strike the finishing blow.
The Ron Paul movement is certainly not the answer to all that ills the Republican Party, but, at the very least, it is a breath of fresh air. It is a right wing movement that shows youth, vigor and potential for growth. If moderated, if absorbed into the elements of the establishment Right, one could see how it could provide some of the vision and foot soldiering for the GOP’s trip out of the wilderness.
However, if the Ron Paul Republicans, the Tea party protesters and the other “growth sectors” of the Right remain content with “keeping it real” and thumbing their nose at “the man,” they should not complain when their ideas are discarded and dismissed. It is not the Establishment that is keeping the “revolution” from occurring, it is the revolutionaries, through their myopic view of politics, who keep the boot on their own neck.
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