(Las Vegas, Nevada) – The 2012 Conservative Leadership Conference announced today that Texas Congressman Ron Paul has been selected as this year’s recipient of the event’s “Barry Goldwater Award,” named after the late “Conscience of a Conservative” United States senator fromArizona who was the GOP’s presidential nominee in 1964.
“While Sen. Goldwater ‘lost’ in 1964,” said Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach and co-host of the annual event, “his candidacy launched the modern-day conservative movement which eventually helped elect Ronald Reagan president and returned Republicans to majority status in Congress after 40 years wandering in the political wilderness.”
Although, barring a miracle, this year’s GOP presidential nominee is not going to be Dr. Paul, his candidacy has nevertheless similarly inspired a new grassroots “liberty” movement which has the same long-term potential to remake the Republican Party over the coming decades that Goldwater’s did in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
As Brian Doherty, Reason magazine’s senior editor, wrote this week, Ron Paul “is leaving in his wake a set of institutions, and a set of hundreds of thousands of energized intelligent youngsters who are unquestionably going to shape American politics moving down the line.”
“His fans understand that Ron Paul is not just out to win an election,” Doherty continued. “Even if the [party bosses] shut the door in his face at the Republican convention as they did in 2008…the ideas he injected into the party are not going away anytime soon.”
Sen. Goldwater was also widely considered the most consistent, principled and dependable constitutional vote in Congress during his career, often serving as a “political weather vane” for other Members who were unsure of their positions on some very important and controversial issues.
“Ron Paul has served a similar role in Congress over his many years in the House of Representatives,” Muth added, noting that Dr. Paul is retiring this year. “As such, there can be no doubt that there is no more appropriate and deserving recipient of this year’s Goldwater Award than Congressman Ron Paul, and we are extremely pleased to honor him at this year’s Conservative Leadership Conference.”