Posted by Wisdom on 1 November, 2009 at 9:13 am. 14 comments already!


A mentor once told me, speaking of the Republican Party, “This isn’t a religion for me. I’m a Republican because it’s the party that I believe is best suited to promote my values and my vision. If it stops being that party, I’ll find another one.” The abandonment of Dede Scozzafava by the conservative voters in her district is that threat put into action. If the Republican Party has moved so far away from its conservative base that it has turned to promoting liberals like Scozzafava over real conservatives, simply because they think they have a better chance of winning an election, then it is time for a change.


One of the fundamental issues that I have with today’s Republican Party is that we allow ourselves to be defined by liberals and the liberal press rather than defining ourselves. As a former county party chairman, I had to live with county and state by-laws that forbade party officials from endorsing candidates in the primaries. It never happened in my county, but the fact that I might have one day been forced to officially support a liberal candidate always festered in the back of my mind.

The problem is that the National Republican Party, together with state and local parties, spend more time, money and effort trying to include everyone in the “big tent” than they do standing by the core conservative values that should be guiding them. I can understand how easy it is to fall into the trap of believing the goal is to elect people with R’s at the end of their names. Obviously, without enough R’s the party loses majority control of government, but this ignores the reality that control by Republicans isn’t the real goal. The real goal is holding our nation true to the conservative principles by which it was created.

Talk Radio personality Andrew Wilkow likes to say, “Individual Patriot first. Conservative second. Republican third.” What he means is that it is our first duty to be individuals who support our country, that we can do that best by living and promoting our conservative principles, and that the Republican Party is the currently the best tool that we have to do it with. If the Republican Party ceases to be the best tool for that job, then we are left with a couple choices. We can throw out the tool and get a new one, or we can refurbish our current tool and make it work how it’s supposed to.

Throwing out the tool would mean abandoning the Republican Party altogether and forming or joining a third party. This is a difficult course to follow, but it isn’t unheard of. There have been several ruling political parties throughout our history including Democrat-Republicans (one party, not the same as todays), Federalists, Whigs, Democrats, Republicans and dozens of smaller parties that exist in smaller numbers around the nation. It might be rare in our national history for a new party to come out of obscurity and take power at the federal level, and it is a difficult proposition, but it’s not impossible.

Refurbishing the current tool is the more likely scenario and would mean bringing the Republican Party back into line with its historical conservative principles. In order to forward those principles, we need to elect conservative Republicans. Not liberal Republicans. Not moderate Republicans. Conservative Republicans. Conservatives must retake control of the Party at all levels — from local precincts, to the statewide parties, to the National Republican Party. To succeed, we will have to make a stand against mediocrity, and so called moderates, and refuse to vote for or fund candidates that don’t truly represent us, regardless of whether or not they registered as Republicans. The first battle we face is to get conservative candidates nominated in the primaries, and only then can we carry those candidates through to victory in the general elections. We have to make our voices be heard loud and clear, and not allow the biased liberal press agencies decide which candidates are going to win our support.

I think that conservatives will benefit most by using third parties to force change in the Republican Party. By selectively abandoning the Republican Party, conservatives can bring about enough pressure on party leaders to force them to rethink which candidates they will endorse and support in the future. By supporting independent and third party candidates that more accurately represent our conservative values and principles, as the people of New York’s 23rd Congressional district have done, we can send the GOP a message about what kind of candidates we will accept. Give us a real conservative candidate to support, and we will. Send us a wishy-washy liberal like Dede Scozzafava? We’re gone. If we do it consistently, each and every time, the Republican Party will figure out that they should only send us candidates that share our values. Anything else will be a waste of our time, their money, and an erosion of their power base.

By regaining control of our party, and only supporting candidates that we want to support, we can define the Republican Party ourselves instead of letting the liberals and the liberal press define it for us. If the Republican Party continues to allow the likes of Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to carry our endorsement, then there is no reason for us to continue to be Republicans. We can throw our support behind a third party like New York’s State Conservative Party, or start a new one. If the Republican Party can retool, however, and show us that they can send us honest-to-goodness, conservative candidates, then we can continue to be part of the Grand Old Party. If we lose a few races in order to cement that position, then so be it. I would rather have a Democrat in office that we can challenge straight up in the next election than a sponge like Arlen Specter who sucks the party coffers dry, while voting with the Democrats anyway, and keeping the party from endorsing a real conservative candidate.

Conservatives are going to regain control of this country’s future and hold our country true to its conservative roots, regardless of the tools we use. The Republican Party just needs to decide whether it’s going to be the best tool for that job, or just a tool.

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