Many have faulted the two party system for not giving voters more choices in elections. They see our parties as strictly left and right with both pulling toward the center to attract the moderate voter. It's cynical to think that our parties will lie about who they are in order to court votes, but until we stop accepting this false premise, we are doomed to recycle it. Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and the forthcoming 2012 GOP primaries will give us a great opportunity that rarely comes along in American electoral politics.
The Republican Party has always been known as the center-right party. But, many question whether it tries to be too center and not enough right. This writer often talks about the weaknesses of leftism, but ever since Sarah Palin talked about "crony capitalism" in Iowa, it began a discussion about the weaknesses of centrism that is long overdue. If leftism is rhetorically equated with socialism, centrism has to be rhetorically equated with crony capitalism.
Socialism and crony capitalism have failed. Capitalism has succeeded in the past (see Ronald Reagan, the industrial revolution and the colonial days). Only in politics do we fail to recognize what works.
Automobiles are always fitted with four tires. Doors always open after you turn the knob in one direction. Fire and heat cooks food. Capitalism always results in the best distribution of goods and services. But, political thinkers continue to try to tell us that we don't need four tires on our political car, we can turn the knob the other direction to open the door and there is probably an alternative way to cook food. Therefore, they will tell us that capitalism either needs to be destroyed or controlled by the government. Try leaving your parking break on, pull out of your driveway and drive down the street. You'll understand what I'm trying to say here.
We are at a unique moment in our political timeline. In the past, elections have been decided by who could best convince the people that they were most qualified to take care of them. This time around, we don't want people "taking care of us." We have finally discovered what was festering in our system for over a century now. Yeah, we know about the communists in the 1950's. Yeah, we know about the European socialist style progressives of today. But we never stopped to realize that capitalism is not the problem, it's the people who are trying to control capitalism that are the problem.
When neither political party chooses to address this fact, the people become cynical. The people know they are frustrated by a system where merit is replaced with a "it's not what you know, but who you know" or a "you can't beat city hall" attitude. This kills creativity. This kills entrepreneurship. It tells people to ask themselves the wrong question: "why bother."
Governor Palin's crusading speech against crony capitalism in Iowa tells us we can change this. Should she run, she would be uniquely situated to move the Republican Party in a direction that would give voters hope and optimism again. Voters would be able to finally have a choice between voting for a meritocracy or an aristocracy. This is a choice they have never had before in their lifetimes.
There is a key line in the movie Rango. "Control the water and you control everything." Think how the regulatory environment works. Think our oil and gas development industry. Think ANWAR. Think shale. Think off shore drilling here folks.
If you know the movie, the snake is the snake of crony capitalism. The snake controlled the mayor who controlled the town of Dirt.
We need a bold leader right now. We don't need to play it safe. This is our opportunity, as Obama plummets like a stone, to put someone who can be effective in there. It's more than just anybody but Obama.
Rush Limbaugh explains why centrism is not the way to go:
We've already gone the centrist route. The Republican establishment tries that every cycle. They try to give us a Bob Dole, God bless him, I know him, he's a nice guy, but McCain, same thing. Nothing's changed. The Republican establishment, which is now trying to deny that they exist, by the way. There is no Republican establishment. This is a little Inside Baseball. They're trying to co-opt the word conservative. The Republican establishment wants you to think that they are conservatism today, and of course they're not. The reason these people tout Romney and they follow it up, "Yeah, Romney can win." Why? "Well, you know, centrist, he's not extreme and this sort of thing." And I'm telling you, folks, those are the people that have the greatest likelihood of losing.Sarah Palin is the solution to this problem. We are not looking to elect another Republican just so we can get rid of the socialism. We need to elect someone who can renew and restore our country. Going back to the way it was before Obama is like cutting the lawn without putting weed killer down. It may start out looking good again, but the cycle continues. We must end that cycle and put this country back into the hands of the people.
I'm telling you, this country does not want from the Republican Party a centrist or a moderate or anybody that is looked upon favorably by that group of people. This is a time and a place that calls for unabashed, unapologetic conservatism. And if such a candidate wins the nomination, this candidate could win the general election in a landslide. The Tea Party is portrayed by both the Republican and Democrat establishments in Washington as kind of fringe right wing. If you wanted to say that there is a centrist position in American politics today, and by that I mean a majority position, the Tea Party is it. Tea Party conservatism is the majority position in America in terms of reflecting not only the way people live their lives, but the way they think.
It's hard for people to believe this if their primary exposure to media is with the three networks, either news or their primetime entertainment offerings. The pop culture and the news culture is dominated by liberals and it makes it look like that's what the whole country is, but it isn't. And we talk about this a lot. It's an effort to stay confident, even in circumstances like this. But if there was ever a time to be confident, this is it. The challenge remains, though, nevertheless, nothing in the Republican Party is different today than it was in '76 or 1980. A conservative nominee is considered a threat to the Republican establishment, must be done away with.
I saw, what was it, the days run together, might have been Friday, the day that I was out.
Ken Langone, one of the cofounders of Home Depot with Arthur Blank, who is the owner of the Atlanta Falcons. Ken Langone is lining up donors to do everything he can to influence Chris Christie to get in the race. Now, Langone is a great guy, you'd like him, he's a take no prisoners Republican. But he's not a conservative Republican, although he probably thinks he is. I ran into him when I was not endorsing anybody back in '08, I ran into him at a golf club clubhouse. And he came up, "Look, you are gonna get on the McCain bandwagon, I mean we're gonna need you. You are gonna be there, aren't you?" I said, "I don't know, certainly not in the primaries."
I remember I had gone out to Palm Springs and I was asked to address a group out there. One of McCain's chief money guys was in the audience, and I launched. I said this is not how we're gonna beat Barack Obama, trying to make excuses for ourselves and go moderate, go centrist, go tippy toe, like we have something to excuse ourselves for or to apologize for. The Tea Party now represents the majority of thought. But it's like every other similar circumstance in the Republican Party. Reagan, just for the simplicity here of explanation, Reagan was the equivalent of the Tea Party in '76 and '80. And the Republican establishment was as lined up against him then as they are against the Tea Party today.
The Republican establishment, which they hate being called that, by the way. I'm since learning this. They hate being called the Republican establishment. That's why they're trying to co-opt the term conservative. But regardless, there is an effort underway here to get Christie in this. I don't know where his thinking is, I don't know if he's changed his mind from what he's said all along, that he's not ready, he doesn't think he's quite qualified yet and all that. He might be looking at the Perry situation. Perry got in late compared to others, and he might be saying, "Yeah, it's getting a little late. Maybe I'll wait." I think there are other reasons if Christie doesn't get in, there are other reasons why he won't. But even within the establishment side the fact that there is now an effort being made to get Christie in this means there's some nervousness about Romney in terms of his being able to win. And it's I think justifiable.
We've done the centrist route. We've gone the moderate way. We've gone with the guy who could cross the aisle and work with the other side. It is never gonna win, particularly now. Boldness, fearlessness, while at the same time being filled with optimism and good cheer, that's what's called for right now.
More Americans... See, the one thing the Republican establishment does not get, and I don't even think they think it: I don't think they think the country's threatened. They don't think they look at it nearly the way you and I do in terms of the future for your children or grandchildren. The fact is you know, for example, that your grandchildren's lifetime income has been spent -- not just what they would be taxed. Your grandchildren's lifetime income has been spent the last two and a half years with the debt that this country is in; and you know that it's going to get almost insurmountably worse if Obamacare is fully implemented.
The Republican establishment is not of that mind. It's, "Meh, government's always there, it's always going to be big, and we want our turn to run it. We're not interested in making it smaller. We'll talk about it getting smaller on the margins but we're not really interested in making it smaller. We're interested in running it. We're interested in having control of it, power over it, being in charge of it. We want to be the ones that can buy votes! We want to be the ones that can buy elections," and they trade off with the Democrats -- and that's every four years, sometimes every eight years -- whereas we are not interested in the seesaw of politics.