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.