Conservatives, Take Back Your Party!

Until this year, I’ve never registered as anything but Libertarian. This year, for the first time, I decided to register as a Republican. At a time when the Republican Party is experiencing “right flight,” and conservative Republicans are leaving the party in droves to register as Libertarians, Constitutionalists, and Independents, why am I going in the opposite direction? I am still (and will always be) a libertarian, but I foresee an impending disaster resulting from conservatives fleeing the Republican Party.

Throughout our history, the Republican Party has been the bulwark of conservatism in this country. The more conservatives turn away from it, the weaker the party grows. The weaker the Republican Party grows, the longer it will be before we have a true conservative administration in our government. Splintering off into third parties is ultimately harmful because, like it or not, this is a two party system. No candidate from any third party will ever be elected president. (Practically speaking, voting Libertarian is like mailing your ballot to Santa Claus.) Splitting up the conservative vote can only hurt us in the long run. Restoring the Republican Party to its conservative roots is our only hope.

The current Republican leadership seems to believe the country is moving to the left and they’re floundering around pathetically, trying to move the Republican Party left with it. But the current Democratic Congress has the lowest satisfaction rating of any Congress in history — even lower than Bush’s satisfaction rating. The latest Rasmussen survey reports that 62% of voters would prefer fewer government services with lower taxes. 29% would rather have more government services with higher taxes, and 10% are not sure. Apparently, despite the fears of the current Republican leadership, the majority of American voters agree with core conservative principles.

What are these core conservative principles? True conservatives believe in maximizing individual freedom and individual responsibility. We favor small government, with less regulation and lower taxes, because we believe individuals should be free to make their own choices and should take responsibility for the choices they make. We believe the primary legitimate purpose of government is to protect its citizens, both from each other (law enforcement/criminal justice) and from external enemies (the military). We recognize that some taxation is required to support that function. However, we believe the taxes collected should not exceed the amount that’s necessary and sufficient to carry out that role. We don’t believe in taxing the ants to support the grasshoppers.

If we can get strong candidates who represent core conservative principles, I believe we can not only take back the Republican Party, but we can win over the majority of the country who, according to the Rasmussen poll, would also rather have lower taxes and less government. Our country is in a downward spiral because we’ve abandoned these core principles, and most of the Republicans in office today are just as guilty as the Democrats. To return America to the status of the most successful and progressive, — in terms of true progress (i.e., economic and technological progress, rather than socialist double-speak), we need to return to the core principles and values on which our nation was founded. Those are the principles that made this the greatest nation in the world.

First, we need to reunite the Republican Party. We cannot do that by serving up lukewarm oatmeal, in the form of RINO candidates trying desperately to pander to liberals while turning their backs on the conservative base. The Republican Party needs to go back to being the party of conservative principles and ideals, so conservatives can once again feel proud to belong to it. The Republican Party is facing a crisis. Something’s got to change. I believe the time has come for conservatives to take back the Republican Party and restore it to its former glory. By abandoning it, we abandon any hope of conservative government along with it.

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Goldilocks and the Republican Party

The Republican Party is steadily losing its base. Republican leadership is obviously concerned, and is attempting to solve the problem by leaning as far to the left as possible without turning blue. Presumably, this is because they figure, if the voters don’t want Republicans, they must want Democrats. So, if the country is leaning to the left, the party “leaders” figure they’d better lean with it. (How’s that for leadership?) However, I have a different theory. I believe the real reason the Republican Party is losing its base is because it’s lost its direction. It’s no longer the party of conservatives. It’s the party of confusion. The Republican Party is having an identity crisis.

I still support McCain, but I don’t think he’s doing the party any favors by his constant attempts to “reach across the aisle” and pander to the left. Nor is he doing his own campaign any favors. When he tried to become the Republican Al Gore, the liberals to whom he was trying to pander just laughed at him, while many conservatives who were starting to come around to grudgingly support him, stopped, shook their heads, and turned away again in disgust. McCain, like the rest of the Republican Party, cannot seem to keep his core base intact. When you have a solid base, you can afford to reach out and try to bring in those on the fringe of your constituency. But when your base is crumbling underneath you, it does you no good to reach for those who are beyond your reach anyway and firmly entrenched on the other side.

I picture McCain climbing a tree, reaching for an apple on the outermost branch, while the trunk bends and groans and finally splinters beneath the awkward distribution of weight. That’s what’s happening to the entire Republican Party. If it leans any further to the left, it’s going split its core right down the middle. And then what?

Wake up Republicans! Nobody wants a watered down Democrat. The Democrats want a full strength Democrat, and the Republicans want a real (and by that, I mean conservative) Republican. What do the independents want? Well, if there were a real Republican party, maybe there wouldn’t be so many independents, because a lot of those independents used to be Republicans. And, if there were a real Republican Party, maybe the Libertarians and Constitutionalists would even get behind it.

Why is the Republican Party losing its base? Because the old die-hard conservatives are getting disgusted and wandering away, and the new crop of young conservatives are looking for something to believe in, to get excited about, to make them feel a surge of pride in their country and their leadership. The Republican Party today isn’t offering that. They’re offering lukewarm oatmeal instead. So the idealists are turning to the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party, or registering independent, or coming up with new parties, splintering into sects and diluting the conservative vote. All because the Republican Party has put them on hold while it desperately tries to reach out to voters who don’t even share its core values.

The Republican Party used to be the party of ideals, the party of principles; now it’s the party of compromise. — Not thoughtful compromise, reached through strategic negotiation, but seemingly random compromise with people who aren’t even paying attention. What has happened to the Republican Party? How did it come to this pass? And is it too late to take it back?

Lukewarm oatmeal doesn’t inspire people. It may appeal to Goldilocks, but Goldilocks doesn’t vote.

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Obama’s Unsavory Endorsements

Last month, Ahmed Yousef, a top Hamas adviser, said “we like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the election.” When Senator McCain was asked what he thought about the endorsement, he said “I think it is very clear who Hamas wants to be the next President of the United States. I think that the people should understand that I will be Hamas’ worst nightmare. If Senator Obama is favored by Hamas, I think people can make judgments accordingly.”

Senator Obama’s campaign immediately rebuked Senator McCain for his remarks, saying “This type of politics of division and distraction, not only lead to a campaign not worthy of the American people, but also has failed to help our families for too long.” Excuse me? This seems to be a stock answer used by the Obama campaign whenever somebody points out something Senator Obama would prefer to ignore. What do our families have to do with Hamas endorsing Senator Obama? Or with Senator McCain acknowledging that fact? Senator McCain didn’t make it up. He didn’t take it out of context. He didn’t even bring up the issue. He was asked a question, and he answered it candidly. Is that out of bounds?

Obama supporters have pointed out that Obama didn’t solicit the endorsement and, just because Hamas endorses Obama doesn’t mean Obama endorses Hamas. In fact, Senator Obama was just as quick to disassociate himself from the Hamas endorsement as he was earlier to disassociate himself from the Farrakhan endorsement. But the nagging question remains, why do such people and organizations endorse him?

I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the man Obama claimed as his spiritual mentor for 20+ years published articles on the Pastor’s Page of his church’s newsletter by a Hamas leader (who had an indictment against him for coordinating and financing terrorist activities while living in Chicago in the 1980s). Of course, that Hamas connection is to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, rather than directly to Obama. And Obama finally did repudiate the Rev. Jeremiah Wright when he went so public with his views that Obama could no longer pretend ignorance of them with any credibility.

And Obama did reject Farrakhan’s endorsement. In fact, Farrakhan’s endorsement came as a public embarrassment at a time when Senator Obama was trying to convince American Jews that the anti-Semitism expressed by his mentor didn’t reflect his own views, and that he does believe Israel has a right to exist, even after having publicly expressed sympathy with the Palestinian cause in the past.

The fact that Hamas endorses Senator Obama may be totally beyond his control, and even embarrassing to him, but the question it raises is why does Hamas endorse him? The obvious answer is because they have reason to believe that they, and their agenda, would fare better with his administration in power than with either a McCain or a Clinton administration. Whether he agrees with their “cause” or not, I think it’s as clear to Hamas as it is to me that McCain is going to be a lot tougher on terrorists than Obama would be. Obama thinks you can negotiate with them, and has stated his intention to do so. Negotiating with terrorists is like negotiating with extortionists. It’s common knowledge that it doesn’t work. But Senator Obama thinks he can pull it off.

I’m not suggesting that I believe Senator Obama actually sympathizes with terrorists. But I do believe that he has neither the experience nor the disposition to effectively fight and defeat them. And, through no intentional fault of his own, it appears our enemies would be very happy to see him elected. Is it a good thing that terrorists would feel better/safer with Obama as our Commander in Chief?

The question is not whether he reciprocally endorses them. The question is, intentions aside, is what’s best for Hamas what’s best for America? Personally, I don’t think so.

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