There is much discussion about the appearance of a rift in the Ron Paul movement in Maine. Given the recent articles, “The Maine Ron Paul Movement’s Uncertain Future” and “Liberty’s Most Controversial Ron Paul Supporter”, it’s clear things aren’t as unified as the outside perceives them to be. The force that swept through the Maine Republican Party over the last year has left the establishment’s head spinning, but now some may be smiling at the appearance of a divide. But it’s time to wipe the smirks off those faces, because there is no major problem. Just a revolution within a revolution.
One controversial topic has become Patrick Eisenhart, a devoted Republican and strong supporter of liberty. He is regularly involved in his local party in attempting to unify an advance the Republicans, while further integrating the cause of liberty. But this year, he encountered what he feels is a threatening force within the liberty movement. The Ron Paul campaign state leadership, which transformed into the Defense of Liberty PAC over the summer, is one he sees many problems with. His blunt and sometimes accusatory way of getting straight to the point rubs some the wrong way, while leading others to look into the discussion deeper. The controversy of Patrick Eisenhart has lead to an internal battle over whether to welcome or banish a man who is voicing his free speech rights. Freedom is what every libertarian loves, right?
Another controversial topic is the Defense of Liberty PAC itself. It is undeniable that the new PAC, led by former Ron Paul campaign regional director and temporary state director Eric Brakey, is having an impact on some key races. Republican incumbents Heather Sirocki and Aaron Libby are both being heavily targeted by the Democratic Party, and both are also DOLPAC endorsed. For all their assistance of the candidates, through litdrops and other campaign efforts, only 15% of all donations go to the candidates. While this could easily be justified as necessary to a PAC attempting to define it’s own operations and structure, it’s a cause for concern for many others. There also appears to be a conflict of interest in the advancement of David Jones for State party chair, as covered in the previous article, “The Underground War For Maine Republican Chair.” There are questions of strategic ignorance, while others raise concern over potential ethics violations involving candidate and PAC coordination. To that point, Jones, who sits on the Board of Advisors, is the father of John Jones, an endorsed candidate. The debate is intense within, regarding the many questions surrounding this new organization.
The simple answer to everything though, is there isn’t so much a feud, as there is a revolution within. Growing pains is the easy answer, but it runs so much deeper than that. There are questions of strategy, conflicts in direction, and now the movement is attempting to find its image beyond Ron Paul. Congressman Paul himself was the vehicle for unity and change. Without his presidential campaigns, all these brilliant minds wouldn’t have come together. Something inspired millions to come together and remain involved.
Here in Maine, we’re seeing the shaping of the future. Ron Paul was the short-term, the launchpad. Everyone has come together over the last year to push for a common goal and although technically failed, there still lives the movement. Now it’s time for the movement to decide where it will go, who will lead it, and how it will achieve its goals in politics and society. The quarrels should not be viewed as division, but rather development. The movement is discovering itself beyond a focused goal of securing the Republican nomination for a candidate. Now it is time to decide what the future holds and the path to take. Many factors remain to be defined. The definition is in progress.
A revolution within the Ron Paul Revolution.