As America watches the sad spectacle of the Republican National Convention unfold in Cleveland, there can be no doubt that we are witnessing the demise of the Republican Party as it breaks up in the upper atmosphere of the general election. When we look back at the heady first days of the primary season more than a year ago, it’s jarring to think about the optimism among many conservatives who believed that, after seven years of federal overreach and GOP Establishment’s fumbling response, a “small government” conservative message would resonate with Republican voters.
Now, as we watch in numb horror as what remained of those hopes burn up as they streak toward the earth, we can no longer operate under the illusion that we’re in a society that cares about making sense. The only remaining unanswered question is just how much collateral damage will there be? Will the fallout of this political year splash into the sea, to occasionally wash political infighting onto shore for months to come? Or will the hysterical party hijackers take aim at the beating heart of American conservatism, screaming “Trump is Great! Trump is Great!” all the way to the ground?
Given what I know of human nature and the blind fury of the people that have hijacked the Republican Party, I am absolutely certain they will, after missing their planned midair collision with Hillary Clinton, turn their sights on anyone and everyone that they will undoubtedly blame for the inevitable loss in November. If ideological conservatism is to survive, we must punch out, and we must punch out now.
“There’s smoke, and there’s flames, now, and the frame is crashing
to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity..!”
-Herb Morrison, Reporting on the Hindenburg Disaster-
Donald Trump rode to the front of the pack by appealing the the lowest common denominator among the voters. He didn’t get their by appealing to high ideals or proposing principled policy. Donald got to the top by fanning the flames of the most depraved paranoid delusions of his fringe supporters. He fed them on a diet of mud slinging, wild accusations, and sleazy lies so ridiculous that it’s no shock that they came directly out of grocery store tabloids magazines, culminating with him suggesting on national television that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Given license to abandon ethics and rationality by their cult candidate, his lunatic supporters, already tenuously informed at the best of times, lumped principled conservatives into the same bucket as the Establishment circus that we’ve been fighting for the last thirty years. They blamed ideological conservatives for the candidacies of John McCain and Mitt Romney or their conspicuous failures, as if it’s the fault of ideological conservatives that John McCain or Mitt Romney were bad candidates that failed to resonate with the American public, just like almost every moderate Republican for the last century.
They simply can’t understand that the Republican Party has been an increasingly fractured coalition of various political factions forced together out of necessity to oppose the much older and more entrenched Democratic Party, which, while also fragmented, has a much more marketable political agenda to sell (ie: “Free Stuff For Everybody!“). Since World War II, the GOP has survived each election by finding issues that its disparate internal factions could find some common ground upon and then trying to package that into a coherent political platform for the general elections.
The GOP’s strategy is a 20th Century political formula in a 21st Century world, and the GOP has finally run out of common ground issues that binds the “Rockefeller” wing and “Reagan” wing together. Like a plane without a stabilizer, the party is prone to seesaw violently left and right as the corporatist nationalists continue to wrestle more and more influence over the party from ideological conservatives and libertarians, driving those groups to out of the party since Reagan’s second term.
With each swing of the party, ever more of its ideological “right wing base” have left the party, allowing the rudderless nationalists to seize control. The waffling, flip flopping, “all things to all people” candidate the Republican Party has ended up with perfectly represents the GOP of the post Reagan era. Each time they have faced a difficult political issue, the GOP has backpedaled away, allowing the left to advance their agenda into that political space. Again and again the GOP Establishment has backpedaled until all of the common ground that once kept the GOP together is Democratically dominated.
“Brave Sir Robin ran away, Bravely ran away away
When danger reared its ugly head, He bravely turned his tail and fled
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, And gallantly he chickened out
Bravely taking to his feet, He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin!”
Now that the party’s back is up against the wall of popular dissent, is anyone really certain what the Republican Party really stands for anymore? Not platitudes. Not rhetoric. Real policy. Anyone?
If we believe in the values that Reagan stood for, then we have a duty to protect those values for the generations to come. This is why ideological conservatives must get clear of the only target the howling nationalist maniacs will have after their loss in November. This necessitates forming a new political coalition away from the moneyed Establishment influence peddlers and their enabling barbarians. The only other choices are to remain in the Republican Party to be eviscerated by the fanatical nationalists or be relegated into political obsolescence.
If we stay in the Republican Party, not only do we have to find some way to recapture all of the ground given away wholesale by the Republican Establishment, but we have to do this while dealing with the hysterics of Donald Trump’s idiot brigade undermining us every step of the way. Our cause simply can’t afford that kind of distraction, and inaction is going to be the death of the movement. Take a deep breath, grit your teeth, and punch out.
Be brave. Be free.
Liberty is For The Win!
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