What Jerry Falwell Can Teach Rand Paul
Written By: Travis Buhler | Posted: Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
Watching Mitt Romney receive an honorary doctorate and give the commencement speech to the graduates of Liberty University (LU) made me recollect the legacy of the most notable leader of the political Christian Right, Jerry Falwell.
Falwell, who founded LU, was one of the founders of the Moral Majority, a political organization which sought to influence the Republican Party in order to reestablish righteous laws and values in our country. This organization is often credited for giving the 1980 presidential election to Ronald Reagan and ever since then, the GOP has been associated as the social conservative party and the party of the Christian Right. It is for this reason that Romney, who says he is a social conservative though he has governed as a moderate on these issues, and is also a Mormon, was invited to address the graduates at LU.
This is the fruit of thirty-two years of trying to influence the Republican Party. The Christian Right has tried to end abortion, defend the family, and end the promotion of wickedness by the Federal government. One could argue that the growing prevalence of immorality was delayed because of Falwell's and others actions, but clearly we are worse off as a country morally than we were in 1980 when the Moral Majority became influential. And the direct descendents of Falwell and most of the leaders of the Christian Right are promoting Romney as the current hope politically for the issues that plague the United States.
Rand Paul's decision to endorse Mitt Romney is strikingly similar to Falwell's endorsement of Reagan and the GOP during the 1980's. Both Paul and Falwell are and were considered leaders of their respective movements, Paul being the highest ranking elected official in what I will call the liberty movement, the movement represented by his father Ron Paul. Rand Paul, like Falwell, has decided that if certain liberty-minded leaders rise in rank inside the Republican Party, they will influence the party, in particular towards promoting the auditing or elimination of the Federal Reserve, a balanced budget, an end to foreign intervention, and an end to corporate and private welfare programs, among other issues.
My fear is that thirty-two years down the road, the Republican Party will be known as the liberty party and that Ron and Rand Paul will be looked at as major influences of a new GOP; all the while none of the things those of the liberty movement wanted will be accomplished. An establishment candidate will be endorsed by the progeny of Rand Paul with the logic that this is the only way to combat the evil big government policies of the Democratic Party's candidate and his ilk. Perhaps the GOP nominee will even give the commencement speech at Ron Paul University.
Now it is a lot harder to reestablish righteousness in a nation than it is to establish liberty. Man is by nature sinful and prefers to have freedom to sin rather than establish moral laws. In this sense, maybe Rand Paul will succeed in his covert operation of infiltration. But more likely, just as the Christian right couldn't take over the GOP; neither will the Ron Paul liberty movement.
From its founding, the Republican Party has been the corporatist party. They only adopt views that will benefit the established corporate influences that are the real power behind the GOP agenda. If the views of the liberty movement are compatible to the corporatist agenda, then Rand Paul has a chance. This question merits another article. My opinion is that they are not compatible; large corporations want citizens to have an element of bondage to and reliance on the Corporatist State.