Been there. Done that. Not doing it again.
In years past, if there were two candidates on the ballot, most Republicans would select those with the “R” after their names. Today, Conservative patriots focus less on party affiliation and more on candidates’ positions. After all, if the choice is between Republican Liz Cheney and now Independent/former Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who would you vote for?
Whether it’s the Tea Party, We the People, Make America Great Again, or another like-minded patriotic movement, America First Conservatives are disgusted with Republican UniParty congressional leadership. Following the pork-filled omnibus bill’s passage, Dan Bongino summed it up:
That so many Republicans in the Senate and House would support an omnibus bill that does more for Ukraine’s borders than our own southern border explains why the GOP has multiple problems with its base.
America First patriots staunchly believe the Republican leadership does not care about us except when it needs money and essential volunteers during campaigns to do the grunt work. This is why the cycle never ends:
- America First candidate runs in the primary.
- GOP leadership pushes out America First candidate in the primary.
- RINO is the general election candidate.
- GOP says vote for the RINO since the Democrat candidate is worse.
- RINO wins.
- Patriots get angry with RINO’s actions and/or votes.
- Repeat ….
Responding to patriotic Americans who want to know what they can do to keep the country from trending toward Marxism, John Daniel Davidson wrote that’s it’s up to us:
You’re going to have to save the country yourselves. Donald Trump isn’t going to save it. Ron DeSantis isn’t going to save it. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that a GOP majority in Congress is going to save it.
Two recent examples of Conservative patriots focusing on candidates, propositions, and policies rather than party affiliation come from Orange County, California, once the nation’s most conservative county.
Image: Simple ballot (edited) by freepik.
Cypress: In late 2022, a group of concerned citizens formed Keep Cypress United (“KCU”) to maintain their city council's fiscally responsible majority. Because the ballot limited voter’s choices to three candidates, KCU immediately endorsed two fiscally responsible Republicans. For their third endorsement, founding members (all Republicans) interviewed several candidates. They endorsed the Libertarian over the Republican. As founding member Glenn Button explained:
I am one who prioritizes policies over people, such as fiscal restraint and public safety. A candidate who is best able to articulate and strongly defend a favored policy is then to be preferred over a mild candidate of the preferred party.
Self-funded and with only a few weeks to counter immense outside funding and questionable campaign practices benefitting a progressive candidate, KCU had a booth at the city’s October festival, held informal meetings, attended city council meetings, and wrote letters to the editor.
Their efforts helped keep a fiscally responsible Conservative majority on the Cypress City Council.
Conservative Patriots of Orange County: In late 2021, a new non-partisan organization premiered, focusing on “conservative patriots” rather than party affiliation. In one-year, Conservative Patriots of Orange County (CPOC) grew to nearly 300 members. According to CPOC President Deborah Pauly,
About one-third of voters in Orange County have registered as no party preference or independent. Many of these voters have been disenfranchised by or have become disenchanted with the two major parties, including Republicans who can no longer tolerate leadership that is ethically compromised. These citizens are civically minded. CPOC is an outlet for those who prefer open, forthright, and robust discussion on important issues.
With headline speakers, unique events, a focus on activism, and a refusal to kowtow to establishment doctrine, the organization has quickly become a powerhouse in Orange County politics.
Despite those successes, why are so many Republicans still switching to Independent or No Party Preference and/or endorsing non-Republican candidates? Josh Hammer explained it well:
It is one of the most bitter and tragic ironies of our contemporary politics that the leadership of one of America’s two major political parties, the Republican Party, utterly despises that party’s very own voting base.
The base is not going to keep playing these ridiculous UniParty games. And they’re sick of the rigging, as Wayne Allyn Root wrote, commenting on manipulated 2022 elections in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Georgia:
But I have news for the GOP. Your base isn’t that dumb. We all know. We all see what’s happening.
… In the end, we don’t blame communists masquerading as Democrats. We don’t blame rigged and stolen elections. We don’t blame mail-in ballots.
We blame the GOP leadership.
If GOP leadership doesn’t understand this immense frustration shared by millions of patriots, wait until 2024. Party leaders will sleepily expect conservatives to vote for Republican candidates solely because they have an “R” after their name. But when the ballots are counted, at least the legitimate ballots, they might be shocked to learn what voters really thought: Been there. Done that. Not doing it again.
Robin M. Itzler is a regular contributor to American Thinker. She can be reached at PatriotNeighbors@yahoo.com.