The Doomed Third-Party and the “Scorch and Burn” Conservatives
Those who know me know — I am a Republican. I am a conservative, and I am a Republican. I am a Constitutional conservative, and a Republican. And yes, I believe all of those terms go together.
I do not see any circumstance in which starting a third-party is helpful. In my opinion, you change the party by getting up off your couch and making changes within the party either by volunteering, running for office or pressuring the decision makers from the outside.
However, some conservative activists are thinking about party politics with their emotions rather than with their brains. L. Brent Bozell III said in a recent CNSNews.com story that the Republican Party is no longer the party of limited government, spending and taxes, but rather:
It is now officially exactly right behind the Democrats — on everything. It is time for conservatives to start looking for a new home. There’s precious little left for us here.
This is just flabbergasting Republicans do not want bigger government — we are against ObamaCare, the Obama administration’s regulatory nightmares and other moves by this administration — but we lost the 2012 general election and therefore do not have the ability we would have otherwise possessed to put forth our own agenda. If you look at the state governments where Republicans are in control, they have shrunk government and brought growth with their policy changes. In addition, Republicans have tried to cut spending, repeatedly, and Obama will not budge. Furthermore, Republicans have not increased taxes in nearly 20 years, due in part to Grover Norquist‘s “no tax pledge” and also because of the reelection boondoggle of George H. W. Bush. To say that Republicans are like the Democrats is to say that a giraffe is like a whale because they both happen to be mammals.
Bozell heads the Media Research Center and is chairman of ForAmerica Inc. He has bonified conservative credentials, and a depth of experience in conservative organizations. What he lacks, however, is experience in a political party. Just like so many of the Tea Party folks who got behind good candidates and then did not know how to carry them across the finish line, when you lack political experience it is very difficult for you to critique it or figure out how to run a campaign on the fly.
Why would someone who doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of party politics make a judgement about it?
I am not criticizing Bozell. In fact, I follow his work, and appreciate what he does for the conservative movement through education, research, his writings and his other activities. However, I would never consider him to be an expert on the Republican Party.
There are many good conservatives out there who try to work within the party to elect good candidates, and put pressure on the party when it needs it. Dana Loesch is one example — when the Todd Akin mess hit in Missouri, she didn’t gripe and whine, but instead got in the trenches and fought for what was right for the party and conservatism. She did not cry out for a third-party when the GOP did wrong by Akin and when he did wrong by his supporters. Instead, she continued the fight in a positive way to make an impact. Ultimately, Akin lost, yes, but the party is not in shambles as a result. If we follow Bozell’s advice, we are to throw the Republican Party in to the coffin with the Whigs.
The Republican Party absolutely is not the Democrat Party. People who do not like it should get involved — either within the party’s leadership, or from without as an influence. The Republican Party will be much more easily impacted by your efforts than the country would be if you were leading it, but some conservatives would rather skip over the GOP thinking they can somehow find a way to control the nation and do good there. Yes, when you don’t succeed as a secretary, ask for a promotion to CEO because, certainly, if you cannot handle the lower level it would be only logical for you to take on the larger feat — there, you will be successful (please listen for the dripping sarcasm).
If you cannot change the Republican Party to be the what you want it to be, how are we to believe that you will be able to change the country to be what you want it to be?
So conservatives — stop whining, get off your rear, and get involved. Do not let your job, income level, disability, or other restrictions stop you. Use whatever you do well and have to make a difference within the Republican Party to reshape it in to a more conservative party that will appeal to the masses.
In the meantime, stop the divisiveness and don’t pretend to be “one of us,” scorching and burning the path behind you as you blaze toward your already doomed third-party.
- Conservative activist reportedly threatens to steer donors away from RNC over taxes (foxnews.com)
- Brent Bozell Threatens Republicans Who Vote For Boehner Proposal (buzzfeed.com)
- We Need New Talents and New Political Parties (susanbarsy.com)
- Conservatism In The GOP Is Dead (personalliberty.com)
- “An existential position for the modern Republican party” (bokertov.typepad.com)