I normally enjoy listening to the Michael Medved radio show. A couple of months ago, he was arguing with a conservative caller. The caller was tired of the Republicans “compromising” and “reaching across the aisle”, rather than standing up for the basic principles of this country. The caller suggested (rightly in my opinion) that it’s time to get the RINO bums out of the party.
Medved was incredulous; “How do you grow the party by making it smaller?” He was absolutely convinced that getting rid of the left-wing Republicans was a sure path to defeat.
Hence the problem.
Hence the defeat in the last election.
I say you can in fact grow the party by making it smaller. If the Republican leadership would grow a pair, define what it means to be a Republican (and what it doesn’t mean) millions of Americans would have a real alternative to the Democrats. We’d finally have a reason to vote.
I say you could get rid of nearly every Republican in Congress tomorrow, thereby “making the party smaller” by a couple hundred, and in so doing grow the party by millions of new, enthusiastic voters if there were some real Americans to take their place in the Republican Party.
Two landslides, Mr. Medved. It can’t be repeated enough. Reagan won two landslides. Two landslides, and the people (Reagan Democrats included) were chanting, “Four more years!” He didn’t do it by showing how Leftist he could be. He did it by simply explaining the American principles and by sticking to them. He didn’t do it by appeasing the media pundits. He did it by laughing at them, and correcting them. He did it by taking a stand on real principles as a leader. He wasn’t born into it– he learned his way into it. There is a lot of learning to do today.
I have not heard one Republican talk like Reagan (for more than a sentence or two) since Reagan. I’m not talking about Reagan’s style– it was his understanding and love of this country’s founding principles. Apparently some people want us to think it was his slick style. I never though he was that slick. I just think he was one of very few people who understood, and that it was his understanding of the basic principles that gave him the ability to articulate them. That cannot be faked. We’ll know. Republicans try to fake it all the time. Look at Schwarzenegger talk out of both sides of his mouth- and he doesn’t even know he’s doing it. It’s just a shtick for him. Fake. This fakery has come to define the Republican Party. The Democrats at least are consistent in their adherence to socialist theories and their willingness to fight to get them implemented. Republicans have no such consistency.
I submit that the American voters are starving for someone, even just one man or one woman, who can demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles and a willingness to fight for them.
Fighting for this country’s principles means defeating the Left (leftist Democrats and leftist Republicans) not “reaching out” to them. Let them reach out to us. Let the lefties prove their willingness to cut programs, to reduce others, to meaningfully cut taxes and lift restrictions on industry and trade. Let that be the new measure of “bipartisanship”, of “compromise”, of “pragmatism” and all that rot. Let the Democrats run a conservative candidate as “the one who can win” because he/she “reaches across the aisle”.
Until I see this new Republican leader, I’m not donating and I am not voting Republican. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me thrice. At some point back there I got bored. We tried that with the two Bushes, and they, predictably, tried to outdo FDR on socialist spending. We tried it on Dole and we tried it again with McLame. Time and again we’ve been told that the “perfect candidate just isn’t here” with us, and that we should bite the bullet and vote for this or that confused, deer-in-the-headlights, apologetic, stumbling, fumbling, frightened, self-contradictory mush-mouth– the one who proclaims the virtues of a free market in the first half of a sentence, and declares a new entitlement program in the second half of the same sentence. That sort of garbage is giving conservatism a very, very bad name. If that’s the best we have to offer, we’ve already lost. I’m done with these RINOs.
They’ve made the party smaller (by my one vote at least). They can continue doing what they’re doing (trying to co-opt Democrat, i.e. socialist, policies) or they can get rid of the poison-pills, the dead-weight RINOs, and adopt the warrior spirit, once and for all declare war on socialism, laugh at the journalists (Reagan was quite good at that) uphold the virtues of capitalism (and mean it for once) and grow the party by millions.
And I can hear it all right now; “Lyle, don’t you understand how much we have to lose? Don’t you understand what you’re saying? We can’t just hand it all over to the Democrats!”
We’re ceding ground to the Left no matter who’s in office. Lately it’s been a choice between more socialism, faster, and more socialism, slower. It’s a choice between two arsonists– one who will burn down your house a little at a time, and another who will burn it all down at once. Do I really care? Maybe in the latter scenario I’ll be quicker to call the fire department. Frog-in-the-pot theory says faster is better, given those two choices alone.
We may continue blaming the third party voters, keep voting for those “lesser of two evil” Republicans, never again hold the Republicans accountable for their astonishingly lame actions, and things will never change– we’ll get more of the sad sack of crap we’ve been getting. Or we can demand some real principles and some real fight from the Republican leadership. Those are our two choices.
Update Jan 08/09; Regarding comments, I find this article quite relevant to the issue.