Well, it’s about time someone said what everyone else is thinking.
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is mulling an independent run. So be it — that’s his prerogative. Republican state senators such as Hanger and Watkins are discussing gasoline taxes. Consultants are talking about throwing social conservatives over the rails (again). Establishment Republicans and the consultants who stand to make thousands of dollars in primaries wail about
the money they’re losing how conventions keep people out.
…and they have the temerity to tell conservatives what defines inclusion.
Interestingly enough, when it’s the establishment hack that wins the nomination, conservatives and liberty-minded constitutionalists are told to suck it up. “Who else are you going to vote for?” is the common sneer as conservatives have to swallow the likes of Bob Dole ’96, John McCain ’08, and now Mitt Romney ’12.
Each time they fail, conservatives are blamed.
Nevermind that these candidates never ran on conservative principles to begin with. Their message? We can do big government — cheaper!
I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about teepees or three-legged stools or four-legged tables. Conservatives have grown lazy, pure and simple. Rather than working hard doing the field work conservatives were once famous for, politics via drone seems to be the order of the day. Consultants behind desks drop media and slicks, volunteers do phone calls rather than door knocking, pastors go unapproached, Hispanics and blacks are simply conceded, and conservative vision and principles — derided during the primaries, given lip service during the general elections — are rarely tried and found wanting, but rather been found difficult to find true champions… and left untried.
So rather than learn the lessons of 2012, we instead allow the same vices to eat ourselves internally: ego, pride, vanity, the conceit that we can hold the reins of power to the Leviathan and hope it eats us last.
This is no way to run a ship.
Now it’s the establishment GOP’s turn to throw the temper tantrum. Bolling finds a convention difficult, so we start talking about 3rd party runs and independent candidacies. Rather than debate the merits of Cuccinelli’s brand of conservatism, we are content to throw rocks — the easy way out.
So much for the intellectual movement that conservatives once believed ourselves to be, eh?
Let me be abundantly clear: should Bolling and a handful of establishment types bolt from the GOP, good riddance.
Please. If those are the depths of your convictions? Go away.
We don’t need you now, and we won’t need you later.
Perhaps once conservatives are allowed to present a clear alternative to the status quo, maybe then we will see the restoration most of us thought we were fighting for.
Perhaps once the moderates link arms with the centrists in the Democratic Party, they can be the authentic party of socialism-lite.
Perhaps once the progressives are free of their centrist anchors, they will show their true colors… and we can finally have an honest policy discussion in Virginia — and perhaps the nation.
…but the curtains come down. Today.
The establishment needs to quit asking whether or not they should jettison some portion of the conservative movement. In case they hadn’t noticed, we’ve already packed our bags. The question they get to ask is what reasons do conservatives have to come back into the fold?
So long as conservatism is treated as a useful minority rather than a political philosophy that conquered the Soviet Union, created the boom of the late 20th century, brought America the civil rights era, and created the economic boomlet that expanded both freedom and the middle class to their highest possible point… the establishment types are going to constantly be caught in the trap of choosing to run big government on the cheap.
We can’t afford that sort of narrow vision anymore. In a world of tight budgets and unfunded entitlements, it’s either our liberties — economic, civil, and political — or the establishment class.
If folks intend to bring this to a point now… then the choice is very easy.
Alternatively, if those who are throwing the punches and kicks decide to come back down to earth and realize that the Republican Party and the conservative movement are one and the same, and if they are willing to accept that we can only restore our national greatness through an expansion of free markets, free minds, and a free society — maybe there’s hope yet.
One can always hope, right?
…but if the answer from the establishment is “our way or the highway?” If it’s declarations of war from the likes of Karl Rove to run primary challengers against every conservative? Then the Republican Party is better off without you.
Paraphrasing a wise man, if moderates and establishment Republicans truly want higher taxes, abortion on demand, fail to defend family, and remain soft on the 2nd Amendment — there’s a party out there that represents their views. That candidate was a brilliant defender of conservative virtues. I miss that sort of leadership.
UPDATE: …and before we go on about a “big tent” line of attack, let’s hear about a definition of inclusion that doesn’t seem to have much room for social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, Tea Party conservatives, constitutionalists, pro-lifers, marriage, 2nd Amendment supporters…
…you get the drill. That big tent only works when one side in particular is the ringmaster.