Ron Paul Restores Definition of Conservative in Florida Debate

On Monday, four candidates stood before a sedated audience in the Florida GOP Debate, each man competing for the soul of the Republican Party.  With few exceptions, the tactic of most modern GOP nominees has been to move to the left during the general election season to win the support of moderates and independents.   However, the candidate must first secure his own party’s nomination by moving to the right and marketing himself as a “conservative”. 

On the far left of the stage was former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum.  Naturally, Santorum calls himself a true conservative. But is Rick Santorum a conservative?

While serving in the US Senate, Santorum voted in favor of appropriations bills to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on AIDS research in Africa, to provide education to children in third world countries, to finance the government of Sudan, and to increase domestic welfare spending on food stamp programs.  He voted five times to raise the debt ceiling, rather than to fight to balance the federal budget.  He voted to double the size of the Department of Education by strongly supporting No Child Left Behind legislation and, worse, was a vocal proponent of Medicaid Part D – one of the biggest hikes in entitlement spending in US history.   “Conservative” is hardly the word that describes Rick Santorum.

On stage, next to Santorum, stood former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney.  Clearly, Romney is the Republican establishment’s choice for 2012.   Like his RINO predecessors (McCain, Bush, Dole, Bush Sr.), Romney’s struggle has been to convince the party base that, if entrusted with the nomination, he will not spring back to the far left.  So far, it has been no easy task.

John McCain called himself a “maverick” for constantly bucking his own party and siding with the Democrats.  G.W. Bush was so incapable of identifying himself as a traditional conservative that he had to redefine himself as a “compassionate conservative” – which was nothing more than code for “conservative-who-spends-your-money-on-big-government-programs”.  Dole was a lackluster moderate who led one of the most uninspiring campaigns in history.  G.H.W. Bush was the liberal Republican who promised “Read My Lips – No New Taxes!” only to sign new taxes into law shortly after taking office. 

These left-leaning Republicans were anything but traditional conservatives, yet they each won the GOP nomination by convincing the party otherwise. Such is the goal of Mitt Romney.

Romney takes credit for being the architect of the dubious Massachusetts mandated health care system which served as a model for Obamacare.  He was pro-choice, though he claims to now be pro-life.  In fact, one of Romney’s most defining traits has been his frequent flip-flopping on issues.  He changes his position to suit his audience.  When campaigning in front of liberals, he is a liberal.  When campaigning in front of conservatives, he does his best to appear conservative.  With good reason, Romney’s biggest problem in gaining traction is that the Republican base doesn’t trust him.  They fear that Romney will cast off the title of “conservative” the minute he secures the party nomination, following in the footsteps of other faux-conservatives like John McCain.

On stage next to Mitt Romney stood former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.  Like Santorum, Gingrich has a credibility problem for having reaped massive financial rewards after leaving office to work with lobbying groups.  And like Romney, Gingrich has a record of supporting big-government program initiatives like the individual health care mandate.  Newt also has been on the wrong side of issues like global warming, the housing crisis, immigration policy, etc. Gingrich champions himself as an “ideas man” – meaning that he comes up with all kinds of new ways that the government can spend your money for you.  And with his long history of marital infidelity, Gingrich struggles to convince the party that he is truly a social conservative.  Santorum was correct in pointing out during the Florida debate that Gingrich has no more credibility as a “conservative” than does Romney. 

Each of these three candidates have used a preponderance of their time in the last two debates to hammer away at each other’s claim to be the true conservative choice in the 2012 election.  But on Monday night, something strange and wonderful happened.  In a rare exception to the mainstream media’s blackout rule against Ron Paul, the Texas congressman was invited to answer a question about which candidate was truly conservative.  And this is what he said:

“I think the problem is the way we are defining what conservative means. Conservative means we have smaller government and more liberty. And yet, if you ask what have we [the Republican Party] done, I think we’ve lost our way completely.  Our rhetoric is still pretty good, but when we get in charge we expand the government… So if it means limited government, you have to ask the basic question: ‘What should the role of government be?’ “

“The Founders asked that question, had a revolution and wrote a constitution. And they said the role of government ought to be to protect liberty.  It’s not to be a welfare state and it’s not to be the policemen of the world.  How can you be ‘conservative’ and cut food stamps, but you won’t cut spending overseas?  There’s not a nickel or a penny that anybody will cut on the ‘conservative’ side on overseas spending.  We don’t have the money – and they are willing to start world wars.”

“So I say that if you’re conservative you want small government across the board – especially in personal liberty.  What’s wrong with having the government out of our personal lives? We have to decide what ‘conservative’ means, what ‘limited government’ means – and I have a simple suggestion.  We have a pretty good guide.  And if we follow the Constitution, government would be very small and we’d all be devoted conservatives.”

As Dr. Paul lectured the big-government candidates on what a conservative truly is, Santorum, Romney and Gingrich could only stand in silence.  What remains to be seen is whether or not the Republican Party actually still possesses a true conservative base – or if the base has actually shifted far to the left while preferring to wear the conservative label. 

It was the perfect way for Paul to end a long day of fighting against the rapidly expanding encroachments of an out-of-control federal government.  Earlier in the day, Congressman Paul issued a stern rebuke against the TSA for its unlawful detainment of his own son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.  When one looks beyond the flowery rhetoric of the candidates and pays close attention to the consistent actions of each man, one thing becomes clear.

There is only one true conservative fighting for freedom and liberty in this race.  And his name in Ron Paul.   

If you liked this article, give it a “thumbs up” and share it using the Facebook link below!

Jake Morphonios has worked as a political consultant and campaign strategist for over two decades and is the author of “Organizing a Grassroots Political Machine”, used in the Steve Forbes 2000 Presidential campaign.

Other Articles by Jake Morphonios:

Rand Paul’s ‘Police State’ Showdown Reveals Secret Alarm Practices

SC Debate Audience Protests CNN Effort to Censor Ron Paul

The Serial Adultery of Newt Gingrich

The Nuclear Option: False Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody Disputes

The Real Dirt on Slick Rick Santorum

Jake Morphonios
Jake Morphonios

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author/contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Nolan Chart or its ownership


  1. Brokenit says

    Wondering if Google was also part of the mainstream media, as he seldom lists unless ones keywords specifically include Ron Paul, for the search engine to look specifically for him.

    Used to love the Google but now it seems to have devolved into the mainstream.

    • skullsO_Ostars says

      No I dont think so Google is of the companies that donated to Ron Paul. Its just the way the system works and is based off of hits by how many people are searching. The problem is most people are looking up the mainstream media site which dont like Ron Paul. So therefore when you search lets say Florida Debates the MSM site will come up first. And also if you have money you can pay companies like google for the number one search spot. Edit: I take it back I lied and was spreading rumors google is for Obama well the website also said “The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.” …yuck

    • says

      The Google search algorithm uses the local machines’ user-profile’s history to see what kind of news items or search results the user has been interested in. You can test this yourself. Go to a new machine – which has never been used. Connect to google, search & select a few links that are anti-Ron Paul. Now, go to another machine from a different IP address, sub-net – and repeat the same search but select links that are pro-Ron Paul. When you go back to the first machine & search for some particular incident you’ll see that the anti-Paul links appear more than the pro-Paul links. When you repeat this search on the second machine, the pro-Paul messages appear more than the anti..
      You can search youtube for a video by TED forums – where an individual would’ve given a speech for 10 minutes on how these search algorithms are trying to feed the people what they want – rather than a neutral perspective of things.
      I’ve had first-hand experience – for a few days, I kept searching for Ron Paul & selected anti-Paul links; soon, I was able to find that my search results were filled with anti-Paul links. Then, I changed course to select Pro-Paul links – and in a few days, my search results were all pro-Paul.
      Google does this across the board – not just to Dr Paul related searches. Anything – from news, to youtube to what-ever – a similar algorithm is used. It tries to feed people what the *want*. From a research perspective – anyone that’s looking for information would like to view the pro- aspects of it – so for a layman user that’s on Google to find some information, Google always returns a positive perspective.
      Whether this is good – nope, I don’t think so. Do people like it – obviously so.

      • TnMuse says

        This is where the search engines don’t “get it”.  I clear my cookies regularly because I want to receive the same information as the general population, otherwise how can I know if I am receiving information that tells the whole story?  If I have to specifically search for “Ron Paul” as opposed to just “GOP debates”, that shows me that he is being ignored by the search engines.  It also tells me why people are so brainwashed.

        • says

          These are just pieces of code, logic – that’s been put into the engines. The concept of a search engine is to make sure it gets the kind of results that will *please* the user/s that utilize it. If it kept providing neutral or unbiased results, *the creators of the engine assumed* that users will be annoyed & turn away.They just assumed that users will like it if they get the kind of results they want to get – rather than the truth..
          It’s a form of crony capitalism – if you think about it. Giving people what they *want* rather than what they *need* – I’d say, give people the *TRUTH*. Because, the TRUTH will set them free.

  2. says

    I agree. I think its time that Americans redefine what true conservatism means. The word is bandied about so much these days that it has lost its definition. One good example: You are either pro-life or pro-war. You cannot be both. 

  3. mahmou says

    The sad truth is among a large portion of our population, conservative has come to mean war hawk, tough talking, gay bashing, democratic party demonizing (while favoring most of the same policies), anti abortion, christian, pro corporate, and lately adulterous male. 
    How many among us have set these silly notions aside and really listened to Dr. Paul and understood his great message?
    I am not optimistic after SC.

  4. Daren Ferreira says

    Just so we’re clear. Google didn’t donate to any single person’s campaign.  Google’s employees and their families donated and listed their employer as google, or they did it through google.. 

  5. says

    I would like to point out that newt and santorum aren’t on a few key ballots (over 500 delegates)and Paul’s campaign has a dam good strategy and is in it for the long haul.  Florida will be tough, but in Nevada, Maine, and Minnesota(coming up soon) Ron Paul will likely finish in 1st or 2nd.  Gingrich and Santorum don’t have a ground game anywhere.  The media is never going to give a man with such simple and concise solutions to our country’s self-inflicted wounds a fair shake, so stop letting it bother you.  Expect it.  The military-media-complex likes their wars based on lies.  Ron is establishment kryptonite, so the attacks/slandering/lying/ignoring will only likely worsen as he continues to have success and shape the debate despite the b.s.  The goal is to make the late primary states, like California with its 172 delegates count.  He can win if we get behind him!  that is the big lie.  Become the media!  Promote liberty! Turn your car into a Ron Paul billboard.  Join his campaign.  Blow up your facebook page, etc., but whatever you do don’t give up.  RP got 3.5% of the vote in SC in 2008, so 13% is a dam big jump in a state dependent on the military spending. 

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