Romney-Ryan need to embrace Liberty Movement and cutting defense spending

Did you watch the Republican National Convention? Neither did anybody else — it had the second lowest Republican convention television ratings in history.

Oddly, the convention has yet to give the Romney-Ryan campaign much of a bump in the polls — at least a few poll percentage points can usually be scrounged from the national convention hype. This failure at the polls is indicative of one thing to me: Romney must utilize the support and ideas of the Liberty Movement or he will lose this election.

Paul Ryan came out swinging in his speech at the convention, hammering the Obama administration on the five trillion dollars of new debt that has been acquired during his first term.

“We need to stop spending money we don’t have,” Paul Ryan proclaimed to an enthusiastic crowd.

While Paul Ryan is touted as the face of an administration that will tackle our deficit problem, however, he is also a Republican that voted for many of the measures that ballooned our deficit, even giving an impassioned speech during the financial crisis urging his fellow representatives in Congress to vote for the TARP relief.

Coming in front of Congress to vehemently promote giving billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to corporations doesn’t sound like much of a budget slashing politician to me.

His position as the deficit cutter is perfect for his appointment as presumptive vice president — seeing as how the vice president has very little power and the Romney administration will likely do little to restrain the deficit.

Paul Ryan is supposed to be a big deficit cutter, but the plan Paul Ryan proposed refuses to cut so much as a penny from defense, of which I’m sure that there is plenty of room for cuts, seeing as the U.S. spends more on defense than just about the rest of the world combined.

Our whole debate on spending in consideration to the defense budget is wildly skewed. Even the sequestration budget bill would keep military spending at 2006 levels when you adjust for inflation — which in terms of GDP matches the rate of spending we had at the height of World War II. Even if we cut our military budget in half, we’d still be the greatest military power on the world by far.

The list of GOP speakers at the convention was indicative of the future of the Republican party. With speakers to placate the religious right (Rick Santorum), the Tea Party (Marco Rubio, Chris Christie), and even women voters (Ann Romney, Condoleeza Rice).

The Ron Paul/Liberty campaign was the only potential section of the GOP that received little attention at the Convention, save for featuring Rand Paul, who had been met with some animosity by the Liberty Campaign for his official endorsement of Mitt Romney.

Rand Paul used his time in the spotlight to differentiate himself from much of the discourse usually heard on the stage of a Republican National Convention. “Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well spent,” Sen. Rand Paul said while addressing the floor on day three of the event. Advice that Paul Ryan should definitely take note of.

It is ideas like these and paying special importance to civil liberties is what would sway the Liberty Campaign to the ranks of the Romney camp, but as of yet Romney has failed to win them over.

In an interview with the New York Times, Ron Paul claimed that organizers of the convention told him he could deliver a speech on two conditions. First Romney’s campaign would get to look over and approve the speech before it was given, and second, Paul would have to publicly endorse Mitt Romney.

Ron Paul refused on all accounts and reiterated his opposition to Governor Romney’s philosophy and positions. His followers, also unready to drop their convictions and follow Romney, have indicated their enthusiasm and support will go to Gov. Gary Johnson instead.

To win this election, Romney has to try to capture some of the grassroots momentum of Liberty Campaign and embrace some of their positions — such as the obvious need to reduce defense spending to decrease the deficit. Without these changes, Romney will never win.

Editorial Editor Kevin Jensen is a senior English major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to kjensen@collegian.com.