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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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Very very true. Some of my conservative-Ron-Paul friends refuse to call themselves Republicans (even though Ron Paul is a....REPUBLICAN)

Comment #1 by Jeremy Soninjer on 2012 06 04

As an example of the liberty-leaning Republicans that you're talking about Travis, I think that you really under-state our case. It's not that we don't want to join, it's that in MANY states (if not most), the GOP has been blatantly breaking its' own rules at state conventions. There is ample proof of this, I advise anyone to look at Presidential Advisor Doug Wead's blog to see it. Wead has been an advisor to two Presidents, including special advisor to Bush Sr., and currently serves the Ron Paul campaign


In those reports, we see the real reason liberty-leaning Republicans find it hard to "just join": the GOP has shown over the past three months that it is not interested in allowing us to "join", and will even allow violence against us to stop it.

Comment #2 by Emmanuel Cumplido on 2012 06 05

I agree with much, but even Conserivatives can be moderate,demanding above all that government act accountabily, gradually with a realistic sense of the opportunisitc nature of the human animal to take adavantage whether they be rish or poor, individual or corporate, seeking an entitlement or for the governemnt to transfer private risk to the taxpayers. The Tea Party-Patriot leaining voter is best served by the Republicans and they are also best served by moderate, even progressive Republicans who see the things that are wrong or need improvement and find responsive ways and means that are consisitent with the Consititution, with freedom and liberty and helping every American to have a good shot at the American Dream the American Way. The Republicn party is the Center.It has always been the Centeer and we must contiune to be the center because the American peoeple do not want no government, they wnt good governemnt that fosters commerce the prosperity that helps to preserve and expend true freedom for the individual.

Comment #3 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 05

Sorry for typos on my last ...I dash these comments off in a hurry

Comment #4 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 06

Any alleged "Republican" Party which is even remotely capable of supporting the likes of Willard "Mitt" Romney for President of these United States is a self described "Republican" Party which has long ago actually become a major perpetrator of those problems of excessive, and tyrannical government which our state and nation are facing--not any kind of real solution to anything.

Michael J. Rollins, Chairman

Libertarian Party of Rhode Island

Comment #5 by Mike Rollins on 2012 06 08

Notice how Mike Rollins ENTIRELY ignores Rowley's argument.

"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."

Mike, you seem to be the "emotional" one. You're dedicated to a word and party...the "libertarian party"...You're exercising the precise weak-mindedness that Rowley was trying to point out. The GOP is imperfect. Yes. We get it. Now stop whining, and take it over....as Rowley instructs.

Comment #6 by Jeremy Soninjer on 2012 06 14

LOL! Oh look! Another preachy little party nobody telling the world how much they need the GOP!

Listen, Sport.. Those "Interests" you mentioned them serving? They're the same people in too many cases.

Israel for one. A big one. A big, fat, corrupt one.. Multi-nationals (Like GE, who would just LOVE to make us all carbon slaves on their green plantation.. And of course they're why we're trying so hard to secure Afghanistan for investment. A major driver behind us Foreign & Trade Policy in general.) for another. Can't forget Wall Street, either! They were so important that everybody stopped campaigning to bail them out. No list would be complete without the illegal aliens, of course. Then there's big Ins, Med and Pharma. Ring a bell? Remember that ZeroCare and the mandate began in the Heritage Foundation. Then there's Ag.. Remember what the Republicans did to Creekstone Farms? Hell, they propped up a whole milk cartel for Jim Jeffords!

What a joke..

The simple fact is that the Republican Party is worthless and corrupt. They took the culmination of a half century of political effort and pissed it away on that silly Texas Carpetbagger and his ridiculous snipe hunt in Mesopotamia. They shredded the Constitution, tortured, spied and spent with both hands till they were FIRED in 06 and again in 08.

And now, because THEY need their committee chairmanships back, I'm a traitor to liberty itself if I don't capitulate and vote for them.. LOL!

Whatever! The only reason they take Conservatives for granted to begin with is because of people like you. They ignore us.. Heck, right before your eyes Romney is "etch-a-sketching" his way toward the same "Dream Act" he promised to veto only how many months ago?

Fat Chance, Junior.. No way.

The Republican party has proved time and again that it hates liberty, hates the Constitution.. and now only stands for tax cuts (Which, without requisite reductions in spending, this is just deferring the tax burden.. Handing it off to our kids, and their kids) Pointless wars and Israel. (Those last two are synonymous, btw) a

They have made it plain, repeatedly, that anyone who values freedom or the Constitution isn't welcome in their clubhouse unless it's to vote for more of the same.. then shut up.. and go away..

And I've heard and seen enough to do just that. That worthless party needs Conservatives far worse than Conservatives need them.

After all, can you imagine them trying to run on what they REALLY believe?

Comment #7 by Jay HoffaX on 2012 06 17

It was ordained by the Constitution that we have a Congess and a President. So parties seem to be a vehicle by which we form coalitions before the elections. The issues ate refined thusly too, so, for example some find out that the issues they most care about are less widely important than say jobs, price of money, national debt, price of energy, inflation and major programs. This serves the voters well whilefrustrating activists who expect everyone to be as passionate or angry as they are about their ideological positions. Candidates and office holders are expected to serve the voters, not help maintain the passion or anger of the activists. Activists who understand this will back off and support a con

Comment #8 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 17

..consensus candidate, the winner of the primary(ies) or presidential nominee. To do so is always a sacrifice, but even in a parliamentary system compromise is necessary. You don't get your way unless you win. And if you don't get your way, nobody is inspired by a tantrum.

Comment #9 by Michael Gardiner on 2012 06 17

Some outstanding points here, Travis. The truth is that if we want to promote the message of liberty and bring our country back to the principles of limited government and more freedom for everyone, we need a platform from which to do it. Ron Paul realizes this and many of his supporters do, but there are some who are so mired in old ideological battles that they can't accept the necessity of working with the GOP, finding allies and building a new and better Republican Party.

This is the mission of the Republican Liberty Caucus which brings together libertarian-leaning Republicans and traditionalist small government Republicans on the simple principle that the party needs to be true to its rhetoric and return to the kinds of values on which it was founded - more liberty and less government. This message really appeals to younger Republicans of all sorts because they are tired of the counterproductive social conservatism and big spending which have dominated the party.

The RLC is gaining a lot of ground with our chapter in Rhode Island with great candidates to back like Barry Hinckley. Rhode Island seems like a strange state for this message to catch on so strongly, but your article echoes what we're seeing so clearly that there is obviously something very special happening there.

Dave Nalle
Chairman, Republican Liberty Caucus

Comment #10 by Dave Nalle on 2012 07 14

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