Take the Fight to the Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is in thrall to totalitarian forces which seek the end of liberty and the purging of Judeo-Christian exceptionalism from public consciousness. One of the most troubling trends over the last fifty years has been the expulsion of American values from one of the two major political parties. Far too many Democrats for comfort would prefer to have America like Sweden. Lost also has been much of what -- for want of a better term -- could be called decency. What is the first, and really only, line of attack for the Democratic Party in political races? Attack and destroy the Republican, the conservative, or even the "deviationist" Democrat. 

Christine O'Donnell is a nut. Sarah Palin is a hypocrite. Sharron Angle is a dope. George W. Bush is to blame for everything Obama does. Rush Limbaugh, rather than the Republican Party, is the enemy to Democrats -- even though Rush is not a politician and has often crossed swords with official Republican policy. The level of pure venom spewed by Democrats and their disciples is simply dumbfounding. All who do not genuflect to every deity in the false pantheon of leftism must be purged. Joe Lieberman, whose liberalism was demonstrably sincere on nearly every issue, was expelled from his party because of his support of the war on terrorism. Zell Miller, a principal leader of Southern, moderately liberal politicians who helped elect Bill Clinton and worked hard to elect Al Gore, left in disgust the party he had always supported.

This election cycle, Democrats who listened to the sirens of leftism in the salons of Washington are going home to find a very different world. Like the conscripts of any totalitarian army, these Democrats are also discovering just how expendable they are to the leftist overlords of the Democratic Party. Even innocuous politicians like Governor Manchin of West Virginia are finding out that simply being a Democrat, when once in West Virginia that meant automatic election, now may mean a popular governor loses his Senate race. In the aftermath of a probable Republican landslide, the Tea Party should give serious attention to reclaiming the hostage soul of the Democratic Party.

America needs a Democratic Party with Americans like Zell Miller, David Boren, and yes, Joe Lieberman (an honest and honorable liberal). The Tea Party, properly and notably, rejects the establishment of both the big political parties. There is no reason why it cannot storm and occupy positions in the Democratic Party. There are many reasons why it should. When politicians seek votes and when most voters are conservative, then both parties can be pushed to compete for conservative votes, and if the context is played wisely, then conservative principles can prevail. 

I know how odd this sounds. Who was the last Democrat president worth supporting? (Grover Cleveland, an honorable and principled supporter of our Constitution.) Who was the last Democrat presidential nominee worth supporting? (Al Smith, who became one of the fiercest critics of FDR's New Deal.) But where are the most dangerous battles being fought right now in American politics? The Orwellian forces of total statism have been methodically and ruthlessly sniping off any Democrat who dares commit a single thoughtcrime. 

During the 2008 primary season, Rush called for "Operation Chaos," meaning that Republicans should enter the Democrat primary and keep Hillary alive. William F. Buckley, in the 1970s, proposed "Operation Trojan Horse," which would involve large numbers of conservatives voting in the Democrat primaries for House seats, thus recapturing in the House of Representatives a working conservative majority (and overcoming the hopeless stigma of the Republican Party at that time). Two of the most influential and thoughtful conservatives of our age have seriously proposed that conservatives should exert their strength in the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party.

What would happen if conservatives targeted several dozen relatively weak leftist Democrats in states or districts conductive to the conservative message, and then sought to elect a genuinely conservative Democrat (recruited, of course, within the ranks of the conservative movement)? What would happen if conservatives decided in 2012 to unify behind an articulate conservative to run in the Democrat primaries and caucuses against Obama? Let the small leftist minority in America worry about not just losing a general election, but a primary: what would that do to the appeal of leftism in our political system? It would raise the profound issues we face about partisanship into the realm of fundamental political philosophy. Forcing both political parties, internally, to confront conservative candidates and voters would sap the left and strengthen the right.

The left tried to gain points of power (and to a disturbing extent, succeeded) in the Republican establishment. But we are larger, we are more grassroots and less dependent upon the dull mind-control of the leftist informational establishment, we are often like guerrillas in a war against an imperialist force -- so why can't we contest for the Democratic Party just like the left has marginalized conservatism in the Republican Party? Would it work? Maybe so. Maybe not. All we know for sure is this: if we win that battle -- the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party -- then we will have won the war. 

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book: Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.