Libertarians like Sen. Rand Paul are essential to helping revitalize the Republican Party, Jack Hunter, a former aide to Paul and a contributing editor to the conservative news blog rare.us, said Friday on Newsmax TV.
"There's many different things that conservatives can do that they haven't been willing to do and are only now willing to do because you have libertarian Republicans with a little bit different philosophy pushing these things," Hunter told Ben Swann, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show."
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"It's refreshing. It's good for the Republican Party, for the country and for minorities."
In a controversial opinion piece in Time magazine, Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said of the violence that has rocked Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the deadly shooting of a black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer:
"Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them … Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention."
"Big government oppresses a lot of different people in this very diverse country of ours in many different ways. If conservatives are going to do outreach, they're going to have to impress upon them, especially minorities, how big government is harming them, hurting their lives," Hunter said.
"What's happening in Ferguson and how Rand Paul chose to address that is an example of that and restoring ex-felon's voting rights is an example of that."
"Whether Michael Brown was in the right, or whatever we learn about that, that perception that led to those protests … is a legitimate grievance that conservative Republicans have been reluctant to look at."
Lawmakers like Paul, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and others are addressing it, he believes.
"Now that we have them in leadership positions, they are opening conservative eyes," Hunter said.
"The African-American side of these racial conflicts, these things that happen from time to time, is not only worth listening to, which conservatives don't do, but they also have a point."
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