GOP’s Backwards, Anti-LGBT Platform

lgbt

This past month the Republican party held its national convention. While the purpose of the convention is to unite the party it seems as if it has left the party divided more so than it ever has been. The main purpose of the gathering is to nominate a presidential candidate, however several other articles of business are hashed out by the party throughout the week. Perhaps the most important of which is the ratification of the national party platform.

This year the party platform covered many of the usual issues pushed by the Republican Party: “fair and simple” taxation, protectionist trade policy, second amendment preservation, etc. However it also covered some new things; some good and some bad. One of the refreshing things to be found in the Republican party platform was the section on requiring transparency with regards to the operations of the Federal Reserve. In fact if you only read this section it would almost seem as if the party has taken the hint from Ron Paul Republicans. However alas, the party that claims to be for individual liberty and small government also decided to include in its platform some of the most anti-LGBT language.: [Read more…]

Biting the Hand that Leads You

Rand Paul Ted Cruz

It’s been a rough last few years for the Grand Old Party. From utter vilification during the Bush years to two consecutive presidential election defeats, the Republican Party could use a little pick-me-up.

That’s why it seems so baffling that the two most prominent and accomplished rising stars of the GOP, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, have been getting so much hate from their own party.

This dynamic senatorial duo has been doing most of the heavy lifting for their party as of late. Sen. Cruz has really had his chance to shine staring down the Obama Administration on gun control. Now he’s at it again, throwing down the gauntlet to Vice President Joe Biden, challenging him to an hour-long debate on gun control. His fearless efforts have even earned him the praise of his enemies.

Sen. Paul, meanwhile, has served splendidly as the face of the resistance to the current Administration. Whether providing the only solid rebuttal to the State of the Union address, grilling then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Benghazi debacle and suggesting she be removed from her position, or bringing the whole country to a standstill in a valiant filibuster against drone assassinations of American citizens without due process, Rand Paul has solidified his position as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. He may very well be the foremost GOP contender for a 2016 run for President.

Unfortunately, it seems like there’s no rest for these two weary leaders. Not even from their own party. Cruz has earned ire from fellow Republicans who wish out loud that he would just shut up and stop doing what he does best, never mind that the prevalence of the silent strategy is the reason such bold stands are needed in the first place. Even Paul, the GOP’s unequivocal workhorse, has faced ambushes from his own supposed comrades for standing up for the very principles the whole party is theoretically behind.

The Republican Party purports to stand for limited Constitutional government, personal responsibility, liberty, and a strong family. When said party bites the very hands that lead them into battle for those exact principles, something is clearly wrong. The GOP no longer represents the will of its patriotic American supporters, and is no longer deserving of their support.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Follow the Youth

YAL youth

Political movements come. Political movements go. Which ones will last? Which ones will fail? How do we identify the principles that will shape our future?

The answer: follow the youth.

Now that might lead us to believe that Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign was the real deal, the game-changer for the future of the American political landscape. Not so fast. A massive PR con job that lasts one election cycle isn’t quite the same as an organic, lasting, growing youth movement. Young people might be impressionable, but they’re quick to learn. A younger, multi-ethnic frontman with a minimal political record can only hide the same tired old policies for so long. Soon enough, the youth will abandon a false prophet of hope and change and get behind someone who is truly on their side. Someone who sincerely fights for their future.

And that’s exactly what happened. Take another, opposite, unlikely youth leader: Ron Paul.

The political career or Dr. Ron Paul can easily be viewed as a failure. During his generation-long service in Congress, only one out of the 620 pieces of legislation he sponsored ever became law, hardly an encouraging sign of success. Paul ran three times for President of the United States, and all three times fell far short of victory. Earlier this year he retired from Congress, quietly slipping out of the public sphere.

But Dr. Paul didn’t fall short where it really mattered: inspiring future generations with hope. The firey youth-based movement he rallied refused to die long after his political campaigns came to an end. Organizations like the Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty continue to carry out the work of his movement. And they’re not going anywhere. They’re only getting stronger.

While time will be the ultimate judge as to the lasting impact of Ron Paul’s youth movement, the signs are already there. I witnessed one of these signs firsthand this past weekend at a Young Americans for Liberty conference in Fullerton, California. Dr. Paul addressed a room full of youth activists via Skype, some of whom had driven all day to be able to attend. An old man in his office bent over a computer received a standing ovation from a packed auditorium thousands of miles away, full of young people of every ethnicity, gender and background, most of whom were younger than his own grandchildren. This happened in California, a state known for adopting policies opposite of what Paul spent his life advocating. Proof be damned, this one powerful piece of evidence spoke with the force of a thousand statistics. Make no mistake: Ron Paul has won the youth of America.

The youth are the future. Those who control the youth, therefore, control the future. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that. And, judging from the lasting impact of the movement Dr. Ron Paul inspired, the future has been won for liberty.

Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Liberty Rising: Republican Anarchists?

smash the state

Anarchists taking over the Republican Party? Has Hell frozen over, Satan himself forced to purchase a humiliating Snuggie to keep warm in his infernal office? This surely can’t be true… or can it?

Better put on your mittens, ye infernal travelers. A recent Huffington Post discussion on the future of the Republican party featured five youthful representatives of the Grand Old Party. Two of the five, a whopping 40%, were self-proclaimed anarchists. Ignoring for a second the oxymoronic nature of anarchists running for government office, this development is still significant.

But what does it mean? Two big things:

One: At the present time, the Republican Party is shaping up to be much more receptive to change than the Democrats. That is most likely a natural result of a survival mechanism, something that the Dems don’t have to worry about having to resort to at this particular moment. Still, change is the future, and he who embraces change embraces the future.

Two: Liberty is rising. It doesn’t take more than a cursory overview of recent events to see that something big is bubbling under the surface. The Republican Party is an institution that has long stood in opposition of street activists, rioters, hippies, social malcontents and various other ne’er-do-wells. When the young face of said party is 40% anarchist, that can only be a powerful sign that their status quo-hating ilk are truly on the rise.

Keep your eyes open for other signs of liberty’s arrival. It’s coming, and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

Photo credit: Russell Shaw Higgs

Rand’s Declaration of War

rand paul

Was Rand Paul’s epic filibuster last week a new shot of life to the Republican party? Was it a critical blow to the Obama Administration’s credibility? Was it an undeniable signal of the growing rift between the libertarian-leaning Tea Party wing of the GOP and the establishment old guard? Was it a political stunt that, in and of itself, accomplished little to nothing?

It was all of the above. But it was also something much, much more significant. It was a spark that will ignite the fuse of resistance.

Let’s be clear about one thing: Rand Paul’s filibuster concretely accomplished just about nothing. It delayed the nomination of John Brennan to the position of CIA Director by a day, and forced the Obama Administration to go from “Why would we drone bomb innocent Americans?” to “We’re not going to drone bomb innocent Americans.” Hardly a solid, dependable promise, especially from an administration that frequently disregards the Constitution.

But this successful stand, no matter how insignificant, represents a crucial turning point. For years now, the average American’s freedom and prospects for a bright future have been on a one-way road into the abyss. The decline was set into motion by a Republican administration with a complicit Republican Congress, fought tooth and nail by Congressional Democrats until the bitter end of George W. Bush’s second term.

What happened when Barack Obama, Captain HopeAndChange himself, continued the same old reckless Bush policies of big bailouts, big spending, and big wars? The parties switched roles. The Republicans became weak critics of the same policies they endorsed before, and the Democrats resorted to defending everything they once stood against. And the American people were treated to more of the same old nonsense while their hopes and dreams were being slowly smothered under the crushing weight of the leviathan state, their elected representatives ignoring all cries for an end to the madness.

Then Rand took a stand against drone strikes. This super-secret program has already terminated hundreds of innocent civilians, many of them children, without even officially existing. Obama Administration officials refused to acknowledge the program, even when asked directly, even with openly available knowledge of its existence. After Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, both U.S. citizens, were terminated by a drone strike without due process, Rand Paul demanded answers. The response being unsatisfactory, Rand brought the Senate, and Obama’s CIA Director nomination, to a screeching halt… to thunderous applause from all across the political spectrum.

And it truly was across the whole spectrum. From fellow Senator and hardcore Tea Partier Ted Cruz to progressives like Van Jones and John Cusack, the broad political variety of support for Rand Paul served to drive home the universality of the point. And what was that point? That Americans are tired of being used by the political ruling class. They are finally getting to the point where “enough is enough.” Rand simply fired the first shot, but the rest will soon follow.

Liberty is rising. Parallel to an increasingly titanic, overreaching, and tyrannical government, a mass movement of people yearning to be free is gathering. There is a conflict looming between the two, but neither side has openly declared hostility against the other. Until now. Rand Paul, by stopping the Senate and capturing the attention of the whole country, made a stand against tyranny that cannot be ignored. He issued liberty’s declaration of war. What will come next is a struggle that will forever reshape humanity’s destiny. The future will be brighter than any of us can imagine.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Conservatism’s End

zombie reagan

It’s over. It may take a while for the body to stop twitching, but make no mistake: American conservatism is dead.

This conclusion hit me like a bad metaphor when I read an article by illustrious, legendary, and liberty-loving journalist extraordinaire Joseph Farah regarding the banning of gay conservatives from the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. Titling his piece “S.E. Cupp’s no conservative,” Farah criticizes a half-dozen or so conservatives over their support for gay marriage.

Farah means well. But he inadvertently exhibits the very flaw that is sinking conservatism: confusing traditional values with morality legislation.

This unholy marriage of church and state is itself more antithetical to conservative values than the kind of marriage it seeks to prevent. Conservatism is the combination of liberty, personal responsibility, and family values. Unfortunately, legislating said family values undermines liberty, the very idea upon which this great nation was founded. Even worse, American society is slowly but surely growing more accepting of alternative lifestyles, and less tolerant of traditional values. The growing hostility towards family values isn’t because the youth of today are inherently morally depraved. They’re just tired of having these values forced upon them by a cruel and overreaching government.

Unfortunately, the conservative leadership just doesn’t get it. Instead of spreading liberty on the political front and promoting conservative values on the personal front, they have made the critical mistake of promoting the values on the political front at the expense of liberty. This is evidenced by the rise to prominence of such theocratic dictator wannabees as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, who merely pay lip service to the concept of liberty, while supporting government intrusion in every realm. If there exists a more devastating one-two knockout punch to conservatism’s chance of surviving into the next generation, I have yet to see it.

Liberty is rising. Its brave stand is the only thing that will come between encroaching socialism and a bright American future. Conservatives would do well to rediscover liberty as their raison d’être, and take the fight for family values out of the realm of government and back where it belongs: in the hearts and minds of the people. Otherwise, conservatism has earned itself a one-way ticket to the yawning grave of history.

Photo credit: Pak Gwei