A Line in the Sand for Republicans
Eight years ago, it was the Republicans who were the war hawks, big government, tax break party. It was in fact President George W Bush who signed into law the original PATRIOT Act, which allows for the NSA surveillance business records, phone lines, and watch of “lone wolfs” who may be associated with acts of terrorism. President Obama renewed the PATRIOT Act in 2011, and this week, it will be voted on for another renewal.
At this point, there is an apparent split within the Republican Party. In 2001, 98 senators voted for this Act. In the wake of September 11th, there was unanimous support for all preventative measures to decrease the risk of terrorism. Now, a leader of the Libertarian faction and other leaders of the Tea Party faction, are going against other Republican war hawks in opposition to government infringement of personal freedoms and privacy. The leader of this movement is Senator Rand Paul, son of Congressman Ron Paul, who are changing the narrative of the Republican Party as a whole.
If you recall, it was in fact Ron Paul and other politicians who formed the Libertarian and Tea Party movement, who were Republican and split from the GOP against President George W Bush and his policies. They wanted less government involvement, the decrease of federal power, and less foreign interference. It was not against Democrats, but against the Republicans. This is an important difference, as it was almost an internal revolution that led to the different factions now within their very own party. Key leaders such as Senator Rand Paul and Senator Ted Cruz staunchly call themselves Republicans, but are a new face that represent what they believe to be core values that George W Bush and his administration strayed away from. This movement against the NSA was catalyzed by Edward Snowden, a whistleblower who gave information about the NSA spying on Americans to journalists, and was immediately forced to flee from America, and called by many a traitor. The difference in the American mood, however, was that many thought him to be a hero, and instead, started to question this agency.
For this reason, this PATRIOT Act and Senator Rand Pual’s huge movement to get Americans aware and calling their representatives to vote against its renewal is a huge step in a different form of the Republican Party. Even Governor O’Malley, who recently announced he is running for the Democrat nomination for the 2016 presidential election, is supporting the PATRIOT Act.
It is a line in the sand for Republicans, for half of the party is switching to a different side. One that is against big government, big corporations, big hand outs, and big taxes. They are gaining a momentum, and getting a lot of attention and supporters for going against the political system. There is a reason there are so many candidates for the 2016 election. The Republican Party is going through an identity crisis, and the election will very much show the new type of party it will become.