Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Victory for Rand Paul and the Tea Party

The power of the Tea Party Movement manifested itself mightily in yesterday's GOP primary in Kentucky. In what seemed an impossibility just a few short months ago, Rand Paul--a Bowling Green doctor and Tea Party favorite--defeated the establishment-backed Trey Grayson with a margin slightly higher than 2:1.

Lacking the powerful donors and the backing of the establishment machine, Paul's support came primarily from Tea Party patriots, conservative/libertarian groups, and other grassroots activists across the Bluegrass State. Defying the likes of Mitch McConnell and a whole host of neoconservatives, Rand Paul's primary victory proved that the grassroots can still provide electoral victory, and it will be that same grassroots support that will provide general election victory for Paul and other liberty lovers come November.

Looking to the results in Kentucky, we can draw a few conclusions.

1. The establishment should not overlook the possible success of  those they currently do not see as threats. Those minor threats could morph into major contenders who boast major victories.

2. These positive results can and should be replicated in races across the nations. If it can happen for Paul in Kentucky, it can happen for other candidates around the country. (I believe it will happen for Ron Ramsey in Tennessee, personally.)

3. The Tea Party can and will make a difference at the end of the day. The media and others can mock all they want, but they cannot argue with these (and similar) results.

Despite these truths the Tea Party movement should remain vigilant and guard against co-optation. If they are not careful to maintain philosophical consistency and purity, they may be the establishment who is punished years from now.

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