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Travis Rowley: Conservatives Who Hate the GOP

Monday, June 04, 2012


“I will march behind whoever our candidate is. Because if we don’t, we lose. There are two paths…One is America. And the other one is [the Occupy Movement]…If you’re not in that bunker because you’re not satisfied with this candidate, more than shame on you. You’re on the other side.” – Andrew Breitbart

Three years past the advent of the Tea Party movement there are still some conservative activists failing to participate in the most potent strategy for reversing government growth and ostracizing the progressive philosophy. Simply, that strategy is the infiltration of the Republican Party by every libertarian and conservative activist.

While many Tea Partiers have naturally drifted into the political party that still possesses a platform of limited government – albeit has greatly failed to live up to it – there still remains a good number of devoted conservatives who can’t get past their disdain for the GOP and its shortcomings.

These people can most often be found on the steps of the State House and on internet blogs, complaining about government growth, the horrors of collectivism, and the erosion of traditional American life. They say all the right things, but ultimately draw a conclusion that is just as dangerously delusional as any of the countless political and economic myths advanced by liberals – that is, that “both major political parties are the same.”

While sympathetic to their frustration, and understanding as to the root of their assertion, theirs is still a dramatically false proclamation – a falsehood that only helps to delay the restoration of the principles they so value.

Republican Successes, Republican Failures

While there are countless reasons for conservatives to be upset with Republicans, the fact of the matter is that a strong Republican Party has the capacity – and tendency – to accomplish much that is desired by the right-wing’s true believers. While deficient in their libertarian purity, Republicans across the country still introduce scores of liberty-based legislation, and stand stubbornly against progressive initiatives.

Just recently the state GOP in Wisconsin struck a major blow to union socialism, and the state GOP in Louisiana “is embarking on the nation's boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.” This is being done despite “fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions.”

Without Republicans in Washington, the Democrats’ tax hikes would most certainly be in effect. Without Republicans in Washington, John Roberts and Samuel Alito would not be sitting on the Supreme Court. And without Republicans in Washington, ObamaCare will likely become a permanent national fixture.

Without a doubt, however, we certainly do run into Republican mayors who strike ill-advised deals with government unions, Republican governors who engage in crony capitalism, Republican presidents who craft government programs and lead the nation into war. And we find Republican presidential candidates who trust the Federal Reserve and support the National Defense Authorization Act.

Fixated, however, on the boring and admitted fact that the Republican Party is imperfect, these conservatives in question never miss an opportunity to pounce on these examples of Republican inconsistency because they help to support their false paradigm – “Both parties are the same.”

Party Infiltration

But even if the unmistakable conclusion is that the GOP has a long, long way to go before it may be considered an instrument of liberty, the answer to every legitimate complaint is always the same: Take the GOP over. Inundate it with more and more conservatives. Stop allowing “moderates” to control the direction of the party. Drown them out.

It is often evident, however, that certain conservatives are much too emotional when it comes to the term “Republican” – so consumed by Republican hypocrisy that they forget that a political party is merely an institution that is traveled by people. And, therefore, the character of the institution is altered by its human capital.

When Ronald Reagan left the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party became less conservative. When Lincoln Chafee exited the Republican Party, the Republican Party became more conservative. And when both men claimed that they didn’t leave their previous parties, but that the parties had left them, the lesson to be learned was this: If conservatives wish to force every shred of liberalism from the Republican Party, their best option is to become active Republicans.

The evolution and takeover of political parties is not theory or speculation. Often referenced is the “Reagan Coalition,” the alliance forged between anti-communists, free market advocates, and social conservatives that began to shape the GOP during the 1980s. In fact, the Reagan Coalition – which included “Reagan Democrats” – was very much a reaction to the Democratic Party having lost its collective mind in the 1970s, when it began to be penetrated by 1960s radicals.

In 2005 Obama’s former Green Jobs Czar (and self-described communist) Van Jones explained his reason for forgoing “the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.” Jones “realized that there are a lot of people who are capitalists…who are really committed to fairly significant change in the economy, and were having bigger impacts than me and a lot of my friends with our protest signs.”

Jones ended up working in the White House simply by joining the Democrats.

The Republican, Tea Party Strategy

Similar to Jones’ political strategy, in 2010 thousands of Tea Party members adopted the title “Republican,” won dozens upon dozens of Congressional seats, and are now considered to be one of the most influential caucuses in Washington, DC.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has warned his Republican counterparts to leave the “Tea Party extremism” behind, saying, “I hope that the Tea Party doesn’t have the influence in this next year that they had in the previous year.”

It’s easy to understand why Harry Reid desires less Tea Party members to be affiliated with the Republican Party. But why would any conservative activist decide to accommodate him? Why would so many hard-line conservatives still refuse to participate in such a proven political strategy, and surrender the influence they could have over the GOP and its local affiliates?

The fact of the matter is that, while there is cause for activism outside the realm of the party system, many of these conservatives are less concerned with achieving political victories than they are with retaining their elite status – that is, their ability to travel the blogosphere and inform everyone of how correct they are, and how correct they’ve always been. The nation may founder under big-government progressivism. But nobody will ever be able to say that it was their fault. They were never a “Republican.”

Not only are these conservatives irrationally obsessed over a mere word, they’re also highly self-absorbed – more concerned with maintaining their political innocence than anything else. Many of them are, in fact, a bunch of narcissistic cowards.

Meanwhile, there is a fight going on for the soul of a nation, and the war is largely being waged through the political parties. When these conservative activists condescendingly taunt Republicans by asking what the difference is between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, this is the appropriate response: The political constituencies that they’re beholden to.

As the 2012 election season approaches, these conservatives need to get over themselves, join the front lines, and actually accomplish something. They need to finally join the base of the Republican Party.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is the chairman of the RI Young Republicans and the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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