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.
Excellent post! I think you were able to write down the feelings of a lot of conservative republicans, I know you were able to portray my feelings better than I could ever do in writing.
Nice job, Wisdom.
One of the other things we need to do, (along with listening to Wisdom’s good lessons) is get rid of Open Primaries. In several states, it was the liberal-progs who voted overwhelmingly for McCain, and it was a big reason why we were stuck with him.
Well written Wisdom, well written indeed; but then again, with a name like Wisdom, you better write some good material.
Patvann has a excellent point, we heard the Liberal Marxists encouraging their voters to vote for McCain in the primaries, to insure a Liberal Presidency or a Marxist Victory. It worked!
Great post, full of common sense, we need more people like this involved in the country’s issues. Rgds.
You have just said the same thing most of us Conservatives have felt for years. I am a Conservative first then comes the Republican Party. Lately the Party has been moving away from what my beliefs are. They continue to endorse more and more RINOs while honest Conservatives are push a side.
Very good post! I continue to get solicitations from the Republician Party. I always tell them as long as they continue to endorse RINOs, I will only contribute to individuals who support my values.
It seems that many others are telling them the same thing. The last caller wanted to know why I am not supporting my party. I told him, that the party is not supporting me. Until they do, I will not contribute! Maybe some day, they will get the hint!
Scozzafava’s endorsement today of Democrat Bill Owens is all the proof I needed that she was anything but a Republican. She was nothing more than a leach who had chosen the party that she thought would financially benefit her campaign the most. When those benefits dried up, her true colors shone through.
The rush by Republican Party leaders to shift their support to Hoffman is a hopeful sign that they are paying attention.
It should be a close race between Hoffman and Owens, and hopefully the former will get the nod on Tuesday. If Hoffman wins, the message will be clear. If he loses though, there is a chance that the RINOs will use it as opportunity to attack the legitimacy of the conservative base. If that happens, we will have to buckle down and hold strong, because we will inevitably be weathering a storm. It literally could take years to turn the tide, but to quote that famous community organizer, “Yes we can!” [Don’t hate me for that, I was trying to be funny 🙂 ]
Change it to: “YES WE WILL”
We need to not just stop donating to candidates and parties that support liberals; if we want to make that party the refurbished tool we want to use to get the job done, then we need to do the work to get it refurbished. That means we need to volunteer to be on the committees to get the work done and make the decisions… the outcome would have been different in NY23 if different people would have been in the leadership of those county parties.
Often in county parties it is those who are willing to do the job that are elected to the office; not necessarily those who are most qualified or have the ‘right’ values… so if you want the leadership to change, YOU (meaning the readers of this forum) need to step up and get the education and information you need to be qualified to be the RIGHT person to lead your party organization with conservative values.
This is the kind of thing that should have happened years ago. In the interest of the “Big Tent” the Republican Party backed down on exactly the positions they should have championed. After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to reenter the fray and am putting out feelers as to here I’m going to be most effective. Lord knows, if there ever was a time for conservatives to get off their duffs it is now at the eleventh hour of our republic.
Great, great, great articulation of what is going on within the ‘Big Tent’, Wisdom. It is expanding to include Conservatives! Just in the right place, it should expand and collapse and, yes, get this Country back to our Founding! I agree that it is 11:59. Please, go to the Capital in Washington this Thursday to deliver a message to Congress that they must not vote to socialize the US Health Care System. Short list: Michelle Bachman, Mark Levin. Be there at high noon! They started this, but we, the People, can stop it!
If Owens wins and adds another Dem to the majority, I wonder how that “helps” conservatives as compared to Scoffawhatshername winning would have helped the GOP, the conservative party.
And on the conspiracy front — when Obama nominated McHugh to become the new Sec. of the Army, do you think he knew it would cause the conservative revolt over the open seat, immolation of the upstate NY GOP, and risking turning a reliable but moderate GOP district over to the Dems?
BS-rob, could you possibly be any more dumb? I’m sure the answer is yes.
The second she was picked, the dems had won either way until Hoffman entered the picture. If you weren’t just some hate filled troll you’d know that.
BTW, stop projecting onto us your short comings and hate.
One would hope for dire consequences for the 11 county party chairmen who foisted Scuzzorama on the local party members. That kind of payback could go a long way towards deflecting the urge to pander to the mushy middle.