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2008

American Politics

2008 Political Conventions

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Progressive Republicans And Ron Paul, Craig J. Westover Sep 2008

Progressive Republicans And Ron Paul, Craig J. Westover

Craig J Westover

I spent all day and into the evening Tuesday at Ron Paul's Rally for the Republic listening to speakers extolling the virtues of individual freedom and limited government. Wednesday morning I attended the progressive think tank Growth & Justice symposium heralding the contributions to the common good of Minnesota's Progressive Republican Tradition. That's like running out of a sauna and leaping into a lake through a hole in the ice — it can be exhilarating if it doesn't kill you.

At first blush, Ron Paul's libertarian-leaning brand of Republican conservatism seems to have little in common with progressive, left-leaning RINO (Republican in Name Only) Republicanism. Remarkably, however, beyond a shared aversion to what passes for "conservatism" in today's Republican Party, Paul supporters and progressive Republicans share a common objective: expanding prosperity and opportunity to an ever increasing number of Americans. But don't break out in a chorus of “Kumbaya” too fast; that common objective is not nearly enough to overcome the fundamental divide in the way the two camps view the world.