DALLAS-FORT WORTH, June 8, 2012 — Today is a day to praise Ron Paul and Rand Paul.
Yes, I said it. Yes, this Neocon still disagrees with Ron Paul on foreign policy. Yes, there is enough animosity between many Paul supporters and me to start a small undeclared war.
Yet the biggest question mark about Dr. Paul and his son was whether they would fall into line when push came to shove.
They did. Without sacrificing their principles.
At the Texas GOP Convention, Ron Paul addressed the issue that frustrates many people (including me) who like and respect him personally: the vocal, unbending supporters who were/are unwilling to accept any outcome other than Dr. Paul in the White House.
Diligence and support are good, however, too many of them are militant and abusive toward anyone disagreeing with them. My criticism of Dr. Paul is that he never reined those vocal supporters in. Until now.
On the first day of the largest state convention in calendar year 2012, he told his supporters that upon arriving in Tampa for the Republican National Convention, they were to "be respectful."
This is a big deal. Maybe they will listen. Dr. Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, also offered a major olive branch later in the evening by officially endorsing Governor Romney and pledging to actively campaign for him.
This is another big deal.
The Paul campaign ran the risk of seeming spiteful. This was the same charge leveled at Mike Huckabee in 2008, when he and his supporters stayed in the race a bit too long.
Some critics of Dr. Paul will say that he took far too long to do the right thing, but this is an unfair criticism. When you invest emotionally in a cause you deeply believe in, letting go is hard.
It is like telling an athlete to retire when the mind still wants to do things the body can no longer do. People want to "go out" on their own terms.
The bottom line is that Dr. Paul and his son do not appear to be trying to blow up the Republican Party. They seem to realize that they have a better chance of advancing their goals in the long run by working within the system. For all the talk about being revolutionaries, Dr. Paul wants to see his movement become mainstream.
This has always been where Dr. Paul diverges from his most hard-core supporters. They often want an all-or-nothing approach, leaving them marginalized. Dr. Paul is willing to take what he can get now and come back for the rest later. This is not "selling out." This is "pragmatism," which does not have to be a dirty word.
While many of his supporters cross the line, Dr. Paul himself is a polite individual. I have met him several times. He is a gentleman, and a rather funny and likable one at that.
He ran an impressive race. Yet in the end, Mitt Romney won. This should not be a source of shame for Dr. Paul, since none of the other candidates toppled Romney either.
Many Paul supporters have said that they will only vote for Ron Paul. Now that even Rand Paul has publicly supported Romney, Paul supporters should do the same.
There will be times when Paul supporters will be frustrated with Romney, this is going to be true of any President. The same can be said about Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum supporters.
But not everyone is going to agree all the time. If everyone agreed 100 percent of the time there would be no need for elections.
If President Obama gets reelected, the Paul supporters get absolutely nothing, even though some of them see zero difference between Obama and Romney. This is plain wrong. Ron Paul understands this, and so does his son.
Paul's supporters should heed him, be respectful, and advance their beliefs while supporting Romney.
Yet if Paul supporters need to do some outreach, so do critics. This includes me.
I have often distinguished Paul supporters from the more vocally challenging "Paulbots."
If those individuals, mostly young college students, continue to demand a Paul presidency, then they will have learned nothing about outreach and defied the guy they claim to deeply believe in.
If they decide to be mature in their approach, then they deserve the benefit of the doubt. After all, we all need to learn how to forgive and move on. They will all be referred to as "Paul supporters." As of this moment, the slate is clean.
So on this day, even Neocons should understand how difficult it was for Ron and Rand Paul to line up behind Mitt Romney. They did the right thing, and deserve the credit that comes along with making that tough, but right, choice.
The Paul supporters will not get everything they want from a foreign policy standpoint at this time. There is not a consensus. Yet on economics and domestic policy, Dr. Paul has plenty of good ideas to offer.
His comment attacking New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for trying to regulate soda was cheered by non-interventionist Paleocons and Neocons alike.
By Paul supporters stepping up to the plate with Romney, we all have a better chance of benefitting from those good ideas that Dr. Paul has.
My attitude toward the Paul movement was that if they chose to bolt and go third party, then they could get lost. Well Dr. Paul decided to be part of the Republican team. For that reason, an outstretched hand is the appropriate reaction.
So let's give Ron and Rand Paul credit.
Now let's all work together to fire Barack Obama and elect Mitt Romney President of the United States. It will be easier with all of you.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy "Ideological Bigotry, "Ideological Violence," and "Ideological Idiocy." Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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