It goes without saying that this has been a contentious primary season, with vitriol and mud-slinging to spare. Despite the best intentions to stay diplomatic, the Republican Primary Race has become a lunch hour student center gang fight, exposing long suffered fault lines in the Republican Party between conservatives and moderates.
In 2008, after the economic collapse that the main stream media dubbed “The Great Recession“, the GOP establishment, with the support of the moderate base, foisted an aging career Senator from Arizona as our candidate, claiming he was “electable” to Democrats and Republicans. Unfortunately, Senator John McCain wasn’t “electable” to conservative or libertarian Republicans, so many of them sat at home on election night.
After arguably the most ineffective four years of any American president in history, Barack Obama appeared to be headed to the one-term dustbin. Not to be outdone for political ineptitude, the 2012 GOP establishment again went to their slow pitch bullpen and put a northeastern Republican moderate on the mound across from Obama. Again, Mitt Romney was supposed to be “electable” to Democrats and Republicans. Once again, conservatives, libertarians, and even evangelical voters disagreed and sat at home in record numbers, giving Obama an undeserved second term.
After this demoralizing loss, Republican voters were forced to watch impotently as the Obama Administration continued a historic level of incompetence, leading to the first serious terrorist attacks on US soil since September 11th, 2001. Obama’s ship of fools have lost every political and economic gain of the preceding decade, even surrendering the hard fought military gains in the Middle East paid for in blood under president Bush.
In the present election cycle, Republican voters have finally risen up against the establishment political class, denying the slow pitch candidates backed by GOP insiders, leaving political outsiders as the leading candidates. The Republican electorate is finally waking up to its own power, but, with this awakening, comes a time to make a choice that will shape the Republican Party for decades to come or shatter the party into two irreconcilable political factions.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring-
We have traveled far together, freeing the slaves, saving the union, fighting for civil rights, pushing for political equality, and standing against the specter of communism, but along the way, somewhere and sometime, we have forgotten who we are. The word “conservative” seemed a handy label for a time, but it’s become so diluted that Republicans can’t even agree on what it means anymore. It is this crisis of identity and meaning that festers at the heart of the political schism that threatens our political party.
On one side of the schism are those trying to conserve the classically liberal principles of Jefferson, Locke, Madison, Smith, Voltaire, Buckley and Rousseau. On the other side of the schism are Republicans who recognize at most a couple of those names and haven’t read more than a few sentences of the Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution. One group understands why the Founders went to war over a 1¢ tax on tea. The other supports the government forcing widows to sell their homes against their will so a crony corporatist can build a parking lot or a golf course.
Having little understanding of the liberal principles the Founding Fathers believed in, these moderate crony corporatists, democratic socialists, and their establishment enablers believe the proper role of government is to ensure the status quo of corporate influence peddling, economic protectionism, and political interventionism, rather than to defend the fundamental Natural Rights that the Founding Fathers fought two wars against the English Crown to establish and then to defend. George Washington didn’t cross the Potomac River for corporate subsidies or universal health care entitlements. If moderates don’t abandon these Democratic Party platform ideas, the Republican Party is going to go the way of the Whig Party before it.
Enough is Enough
In this bitter primary season, the constant refrain from the moderates is “No matter what, we can’t let the Democrats win, so we have to elect a Republican that can beat them!” Even given the lawlessness and corruption of politics in Washington, D.C., this obviously fallacious argument demonstrates just how irrationally emotional the presidential contest and how unhinged from any ideology the Republican Party has become.
Consider this admittedly flippant comparison for a moment and apply this same pathetic argument to American football teams: “We can’t let the AFC (or NFC) team win, so we have to ignore years of tradition and devotion and get behind ONE team because they have the best chance of winning, even if we don’t like them!” How ridiculous is it to even think of trying to convince a fan to change a life long team allegiance with this child’s argument. Seriously pushing this argument in a sports bar would be an easy way to earn a punch to the mouth.
The game we are playing is not Republicans versus Democrats. While names like Pelosi and Reid are synonymous with leftism’s attacks on our Natural Rights, names like Boehner and McConnell bear no less guilt. We have more than enough Republican Congressmen and Senators who have enabled the expansion of federal government power and debt at our expense. We are playing the same blood sport that has been raging for centuries: the PEOPLE versus the STATE.
As Americans, we must choose either to stand with the People, insisting that all citizens are equals, entitled to the same inalienable rights endowed by our Creator, and that the government’s authority extends only so far as necessary to preserve these inalienable rights and no further. Or we stand with the State, expanding its authority to infringe ever more upon the lives, liberties, and livelihoods of the People to perpetuate its power and the wealth of corporatists who buy influence with career politicians in backroom deals.
It’s time, America. Pick a side.
Liberty is For The Win!