Bill Hughes at City on a Hill Political Observer serves up a piece which stirred this bloggers thoughts regarding the Republican Party. We have seen the Establishment versus the grass roots battles in GOP politics come and go since long before the coming of Ronald Reagan. Yet, today it seems to be more pronounced than ever.
Hughes discusses the thoughts of Chuck Heath, brother to 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin about a third party, the American Party. This comes at a time when many grass roots conservatives and Tea Party supporters are trying to decide whether to stay in or leave the Republican Party following the devastating loss to Barack Obama in 2012.
As a lifelong Republican, this conservative has always found it to be the best vehicle by which to form coalitions that are not too extreme and which can provide a powerful infrastructure to candidates who wish to support the betterment of America. As time has gone on, this observation has moved from concern over the extreme to where we are today: concern over moderation for the sake of capitulation.
Let's face it. We got our butts handed to us in the last two elections. Despite all the carping from the party's elite about extremism and their consistent attempts to dress a conservative party in moderate clothing, we lost with their kind of candidate twice to Obama. The Establishment plays it safe when selecting candidates because of their grossly mistaken belief that the party can attract more centrist, non-ideological voters while not turning them off to those who could cast misperceptions about the party's compassion for the poor, women and minorities.
John McCain and Mitt Romney are far from being right wing extremists whether in reality or in perception. When the party elite cringe at the idea of Sarah Palin on the ticket or distance themselves from the words of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, they either unknowingly or unintentionally distance themselves from the core values upon which our country was built.
Most non-junkies of politics believe that the Palins and the Limbaughs of our side are extremists because that's what they're told by the media. They are not, of course, when you actually listen to them instead of judging them based on third hand comments.
In the days following the ratification of the United States Constitution, they would have been seen as patriots and political experts whose opinions and interpretations of the Constitution would be seen as similar to those of the founders. It is progressives who are the true extremists as they deflect by painting our leaders and opinion makers as extremists in order to retain their own power. They project upon us their own inner truths lest they be found out and revealed for what they really are.
A president who circumvents the Constitution regularly by executive fiat and who surrounds himselves with radicals who think the Constitution is an antiquated document that no longer needs to be followed to the letter can win elections today but someone like Sarah Palin can't?
"We are in different times" they say. Or they will sugarcoat it by saying that the Constitution is a living breathing document. The United States has elected the most radical, extremist president in its history (twice no-less) and its propagandists in the media, pop culture and academia have successfully gotten enough of the citizenry to believe what Obama is doing is "normal." The reality is they're so far to the left that it gives the illusion that conservatives are on the extreme side.
The center of the political spectrum could be somewhere between communism and liberalism for them. Therefore, anyone further right of a centrist now falls on the extreme edge. Constitutionalism and all of the political philosophy espoused by our country's founders are seen as being on the edge of that spectrum. Liberty, individualism, entrepreneurship and self reliance are extreme ideas in today's America.
We are the last ones standing against a tide that continues to turn harder and harder against us.
But, there are still enough of us left to fix this if we understand where we're at. We're no longer in the canoe racing them down the river. Our canoe has tipped and we are riding backside down and feet foward through the political rapids. The day that we can sit in a vessel again that has not capsized may be gone unless we understand how to get it back.
The first step is to admit we have a problem. Staying in the Republican Party is going to require that the party leadership recognizes that moderation for PR reasons is a failed model. Most moderates and party elites are where they are today because they rode the winning wave of Ronald Reagan.
Prior to Reagan's election in 1980, the party elite was afraid that we were electing a B actor and a right wing extremist to the presidency at a time when the Soviet Union and America were at hair trigger on the nuclear button. But, by 1988, these same folks were raking in the dough while basking in the light of a party which now had a winning brand.
Fattened by the glory of power and drunk from the Potomoc water, these establishment types took to securing their positions, choosing going along to get along over continuing the fight that Ronald Reagan told us had to be passed on from generation to generation.
Instead of looking ahead and realizing that our future generations would need to be taught our principles, they secured and defended their cushy positions while assuming the people would never be that stupid so as to fall for liberalism without fighting liberalism openly.
How wrong they are. The proof is here. The progressives have achieved both of their objectives. In term one, they transformed America into a European style socialist democracy. Now in term two, they are completing the peaceful transition to a new brand of collectivism. Call it what you will; it's really just communism achieved without physically slaughtering your own people. This time around they slaughtered us financially and politically without firing a Stalin shot.
With their indoctrination of students in the public education system as well as at college and university levels, their messages of "tolerance" of deviancy pushed through music, art and movies, and their successful efforts at mind control by using the mainstream media as its propaganda arm, the progressives have achieved nearly all their goals.
Yet, the Republican Establishment continues to think we can just win this thing at the ballot box or in the halls of Congress while ignoring the culture and the socio-economic factors that have to be in play at the individual, family and community levels.
The Establishment has talked a good game about God, family and country, but they've done nothing to help conservatives and the grass roots nurture and grow those ideals. Everytime you have a Sarah Palin, a Herman Cain or a Mark Levin speak out, the party leadership bails on us. Someone needs to remind these paranoid meglamaniacs who steer the GOP that being afraid of running an "extremist" like Sarah Palin for president is the equivalent of the Democrat Party being afraid to run an extremist like Barack Obama.
They need to learn how the Democrats and the progressives did it. If a football team keeps losing to its rival, it needs to study the films and find out why what their opponents are doing is working and figure out why what they're doing is not. It's not about ideology. Most Americans don't believe in abortion, gay marriage, reckless spending or uninhibited immigration. They just think it's cool to have a hip president who likes the same music and they do.
Many Democrats, particularly African Americans, are church going people. We may need to look more into how they are able to reconcile their personal conservativism with their political liberalism later; but for now it's more important that we and the Republican elite realize that winning elections is not just about what we do the few months before an election. It's about what we do in our industries, in our homes, in our communities and in our culture. Infiltration must come before liberation if we are ever going to get our country back.
What is so bad that could possibly happen by running Sarah Palin? McCain lost. Romney lost. The GOP Establishment was afraid to have Sarah Palin speak at the convention. We still lost anyway. What if she had run for president and lost? Nothing would be different than it is now. But what if she won?
Which brings us to the question of "should I stay or should I go now?" For now, the strategy needs to be a continuous effort to not only take back the culture, but to take back the Republican Party. Yet, we must heed the words of Chuck Heath and others and not be closed minded about the third party option.
There may come a time when the GOP is unwinnable for conservatives. If that time comes, we will all have to stay tight and work hard. We're going to have to stay tight and work hard either way.
And, if Chuck Heath's sister decides one day that the GOP is no longer the way to go and she wants to go third party, I will follow. I'm a free thinker who makes up his own political mind. I know where I stand on the issues. However, Sarah Palin is a true leader. She has more smarts (and more importantly, more common sense) than most of the intellectual elites in both parties despite their efforts to portray her as an idiot.
Whatever direction we need to go in as a movement, I'm there. Sarah Palin need only to say the word.