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Author Topic: Blue Republican Launches State and City Chapters Nationwide  (Read 891 times)

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"These days, Rand Paul can often be heard saying that the Republican party needs to become competitive in "the West and New England," and that the more libertarian brand of Republican politics that he represents will help make that possible.

In 2008, Democrats and Independents voted for Obama, believing that, in voting against Bush's Republicans, they were voting against crony corporatism (remember Halliburton, corporate bailouts?), wars of choice (Iraq) and the take down of our civil rights (Patriot Act). Two years ago, a huge number of them realized that not only did their vote fail to stop any of these, but Obama was a kind of Bush-plus, extending and even deepening illiberal policy in all of these areas. As recent revelations about America's massive surveillance state have revealed, they were right.

Many of these disillusioned Obama voters came to understand that the real problem was bigger than one party or the other, one president or another, but that, "the presuppositions of the system," as Noam Chomsky call them, ensure that the state, under control of either party, consistently and increasingly acts at the expense of our basic individual liberties, Bill of Rights be damned. Thousands of these voters chose to stay true to their liberal principles by becoming (often for the first time in their lives) signed-up Republicans to support Ron Paul in his run for the presidency. In an article that I wrote at the time, I called them "Blue Republicans." The article went viral and the term caught on, leading to the setting up of a Facebook group, the design and distribution of Blue Republican marketing materials aimed at liberals, and even all kinds of guerrilla marketing, such as the surreptitious hanging of banners over Californian freeways, and so on.

People flew to the USA from all around the world to hand out Blue Republican fliers in liberal parts of the country. Blue Republican became the largest coalition in support of Ron Paul's campaign and I found myself giving in excess of 60 media interviews to explain the phenomenon that I had both named and promoted.

All that happened when "Blue Republican" was nothing more than a label, identified only with a core set of principles and a respectful, welcoming approach to spreading liberty. That the liberty movement had so comprehensively failed to have spoken to the liberty-curious on the soft Left was remarkable. That a single article, providing a political identity outside the Left-Right paradigm, could reach them was wonderful and extremely exciting.

Since the birth of Blue Republican, I have had the privilege of presenting on, and advocating for, individual liberty to myriad audiences. Many of them include educated, well-meaning people who are "Liberal-by-default," which is a label that would have fitted me nicely for most of my life.

The "Blue Republican" group is set apart from other liberty-oriented groups by being less interested in winning philosophical purity contests than with winning supporters for Liberty, on the understanding that the most valuable principles are those that make a practical difference. My archive of writing seeks to find common ground with people who don't yet identify with the liberty movement, to develop a civil discourse that helps them see how some of the ideas, policies and politicians that they typically support frustrate their liberal principles, when those principles are properly and consistently understood. Blue Republican is not so much concerned with pushing a libertarian orthodoxy (which is bound to fail and always has), but with helping all people, and especially those who regard themselves as broadly Liberal, see how so many of our prevailing political assumptions are wrong.

The Blue Republican seal says "Principle Before Party." There's a big market for that sentiment nowadays. Millions of Americans are already primed to reject the idea that the Left or the Right is the problem and that the Right or the Left is the solution -- but many of them haven't been exposed to an alternative account of our politics that promotes liberty without pushing an entire worldview that represents a paradigm shift too large for them to accept. Blue Republican fills that niche.

The rise of Blue Republican has been concurrent with the recent remaking of the GOP from the inside by extremely enthusiastic liberty activists. This process is well underway and arguably the most exciting thing in American politics today. These (mostly young) activists are pro-peace, anti-corporatism, and pro-love, and they don't get their ideas only from the media and professors who can't help but teach what they were taught in the big-state progressive era of the '60s and '70s. These new Republicans are, in other words, driven by many of the things that many Democrats believe have been far too absent from the Republican party for far too long, and are more absent from the Democratic party than they have been for a long time."

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