December 23, 2009
A Republican's Airing of Grievances
In honor of the made-up holiday Festivus today, here is my airing of grievances. As a conservative and reluctant Republican, I find the tea party movement a much-needed pressure valve for the frustrations over our federal government's unconstitutional acts and potential treason. It's empowering to have a voice and a vehicle for action during a time when so many Americans feel helpless and hoodwinked.
Equally frustrating is that the Republican Party doesn't want to show support for a peaceful, massive opposition movement like the tea parties -- especially when it is based on Republican principles. The time is approaching when conservatives will have to rectify the syndrome of "moderate" Republicans; otherwise, our republic will not stand.
The GOP has been noticeably absent from the conservative movement in general. I hear occasional complaints about Obama from Republican congressmen within the political safety of Fox News. These politicians hardly channel the utter frustration of conservatives, and quite frankly, they just come off as irritating. I'd be more inclined to tolerate Republican rhetoric about Obama if Republican criticism weren't confined to mass-mailed surveys with a remittance slip for a "generous donation."
What really grates on comservatives' nerves is that despite the proven leadership of Ronald Reagan, conservatives continue to be treated as the redheaded stepchildren of politics. This alone is proof that today's Republican leaders care nothing for principles and policies that actually work. When push comes to shove, they care only about preserving the party and its power.
Blind ambition isn't the only stumbling block; cowardice plays a huge role in the bad decisions of the Republican Party as well. For years, liberals have taunted Republicans with name-calling and bogus accusations of bigotry. Instead of calling out liberals on their lies, the GOP has bent over backwards to prove they're not bigots and hayseeds. This has served only to tie the entire party into a pretzel of political correctness and fear.
To see the GOP pretzel on full display, let's think back to the '08 elections. So how did the McCain camp and the Republican Party deal with a Marxist coup shrouded in the full body armor of leftist clichés?
- Instead of fighting to win, the McCain camp sat on the sidelines, paralyzed by political correctness.
To pick up the slack, Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" was designed to force Hillary Clinton to dig up and publicize Obama's dirt (since McCain wouldn't do it). The Republicans even swatted away the dangling threads begging to be pulled: Bill Ayers and Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
- At a loss for words and purpose, McCain promoted Obama and framed his whole pitch in identity politics during his NAACP speech. A true conservative's speech about his principles and policies would not need to change with his audience.
- The McCain camp tossed the only true conservative (Sarah Palin) under the bus even before the presidential election was over. This move wasn't surprising when one considers that everything else about the campaign was spineless too.
- The RNC elected its first black chairman just after Obama won the presidency. That's either a huge coincidence, or Republicans felt they could criticize Obama only through their own "token African-American." Joe Trillo, a national committeeman, said this just before Steele won the RNC Chairman election: "It's a diverse party. We're tired of being labeled as white supremacists." Defeatist attitudes like Trillo's just give more fodder to liberal lies about Republicans. It's also a slap in the face to black Republicans who joined the GOP for its principles of merits based on personal achievement, not patronizing affirmative action.
Everything the Republicans have done thus far has been a "me too" response to the Democrats. Notice on the GOP's site the creepy volunteerism and commercialization of the party. It's directed at the youth in the same way employed by the Obama administration.
In addition to copycatting, the site smacks of defensiveness against years of left-wing attacks. It's also patronizing to anyone old enough to buy a beer. There's truth in this old saying: "Show me a young conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains." Republicans should present the economic and philosophical wisdom of conservatism as a rite of passage for those who are no longer impressed with the pop-culture gimmicks of liberals.
We can talk all day about what's wrong with the Republican Party and America in general, but it's no good unless we're willing to do something about it. Conservatives have to change the political system to (once again) reflect values of individualism, small government, and respect for the federal limitations in the Constitution. We have to make the Republican Party stand on its principles again. In short, we're going to have to take the party back.
There are lots of national as well as state and local groups currently working on taking back the Republican Party for conservatism. The plan is called The Precinct Strategy. There is no need for outside help or appeals to politicians, war chests, or political machines; conservatives are successfully doing this on their own.
If we lose the Republican Party to socialism, we've lost our last line of defense. Reagan once said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." And once again, he was right.
Andie Brownlow blogs at AndieBrownlow.com.