Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The time has come to rebuild or abandon the Republican Party

In case you haven't heard, the "maverick" lost his run for the presidency.  John McCain was the latest Republican to take the unconditional support of conservatives within his party for granted - because we had no one else to turn to - and stake his claim as a "moderate."  He tried to win this election by being liberal-light, or just plain liberal on some issues . . . global warming, cap in trade, the bank bailout, immigration, campaign finance "reform," and Joe Lieberman, to cite just a few examples.  And McCain's strategy came fairly close to working but this election was never really in doubt.

Conservatives did not abandon John McCain.  And we didn't abandon George Bush (W. or H.W.).  And we didn't abandon Bob Dole.  We didn't abandon and haven't abandoned the party of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.  The stakes have simply been too high.  The stakes included war and peace, taxes and the economy, and control of the courts.  Conservatives have been seemingly close to gaining control of the U.S. Supreme Court and potentially reaching the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade for decades.  But the times, they will be changing . . . expect that during Barack Obama's presidency, he will have the opportunity to appoint at least three liberals to the high court.  I no longer believe it possible to see that horrendous ruling reversed during my lifetime - and I'm not that old.

So, if we can't attack abortion through presidential appointments to the Supreme Court, that issue no longer keeps conservatives tied to the GOP.  And, over the course of their time in power, Republicans have increased the size of government and government spending more than FDR could have imagined.  Taxes have been cut, but Republicans didn't have will or guts or power to make them permanent.  And on national security and foreign policy, while Republicans are usually more right than Democrats, there isn't enough difference to keep conservatives unconditionally in the fold.

So it is time for members of the Republican Party to make a decision.  Do Republicans want their party to be a principled, conservative party or a "big tent" political organization that simply wants to dole out something to everybody and try to out-Democrat the Democrats?

If the GOP wants to survive and be relevant again, it must stand for something.  It must stand for the things that it stood for when Ronald Reagan was winning elections in landslides.  It must stand for conservative principles.  It must stand for lower taxes and smaller government.  It must stand for peace through strength.  It must stand for the individual over the collective, freedom, opportunity, and getting government out of the way of the American people.  It must stand for the Second Amendment and capitalism.  It must stand for law and order, legal immigration, and sending aliens who are here illegally home.  It must stand for judicial restraint, states' rights, and the rights of the unborn.

Republicans must stand for these things in the face of the storm coming from Democrats, who now control both the Executive and Legislative branches of our government, and coming from Big Media.  The GOP does have one tool left in its once mighty arsenal, enough senators to mount a filibuster.  But that tool must be used sparingly.  The party should instead, most of the time, make its case, attempt to persuade, and let the chips and votes fall where they may.  But the filibuster must be used appropriately on "big ticket" items that have to be stopped.  The "Freedom of Choice Act" comes to mind.

If the Republican Party is willing and able to rebuild itself in this way, then it is destined to rise again.  Socialism doesn't work.  It won't work in America and when it fails this time, Obama and the Democrats will have no one to blame.  The Republicans won't be responsible for liberal failures and won't be complicit in it either.  In 2010 and 2012, a conservative Republican Party could rise to power once again.

But if the GOP is not willing to be principled and conservative now, true conservatives must see the light of day . . . the party will have abandoned us.  And the time will have come for us to abandon the party.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty much spot on. It might be too late to win people over, but if we're going to lose we should lose on our principles rather than theirs.