Are We on the Road to a Third Party?
This morning I was doing a guest spot on of my radio affiliates, when a familiar call came through. This time the call came from Fargo, North Dakota, but it might as well have been from Anywhere, U.S.A., because I’ve gotten this call before. In fact, I get this call/email/Tweet/ frequently.
It goes a little something like this:
“I’m so tired of being betrayed by the Republican Party,” the irate caller said. “When are we conservatives going to form an actual conservative party?”
Leave it to the GOP establishment to take one of the most historic and breathtaking election victories in the grand old party’s history, and in just a few short weeks turn it into a rallying cry for forming a competitor.
Such is the way of things when you are lions led by lambs.
Whether it’s re-electing the exact same feckless congressional leadership that’s almost as unpopular as the current Marxist occupant of the White House, snubbing conservatives on key committee assignments, or their passive-aggressive “opposition” to Obama’s executive amnesty, it sadly seems as if the GOP establishment is already hard at work betraying conservatives for overlooking our misgivings and voting Republican yet again in 2014.
However, nobody who has been paying attention the past couple of decades should be surprised by any of this.
Voting Republican in 2014 wasn’t about advancing a conservative agenda, because the Republicans didn’t offer one. In fact, they didn’t offer any agenda at all. Voting Republican in 2014 was about the country rejecting the rising tide of the Marxist Progressivism Obama represents, which helps set the stage for 2016. For now that the country has said what it doesn’t want, this next election – beginning with the GOP presidential primary – is about where to take the country instead.
However, today’s Republican Party leaders are not equipped to have a visionary debate, because their vision is myopic. They have replaced the old Reagan Coalition of social, fiscal, and national defense conservatives and replaced it with a shaky alliance of conservatives (us) and corporatists (them).
Thus, the only vision today’s Republican Party offer is how to make sure the trains run on time today. Like Scarlet O’Hara, they don’t worry about tomorrow, because to them tomorrow is another day.
They’re out to win elections, while the Left is out to win a generation.
We conservatives recognize this country is in the midst of an existential crisis. That it’s not “the economy stupid” but it’s all about culture, culture, and culture. Politics always flows downstream from culture, and is always a reaction to culture not the transformer of it. Therefore, if you want different politics you have to confront the culture.
But the only confronting these Republican leaders tend to do is sending collection agents to their K-Street Sugar Daddies when the check isn’t in the mail.
That’s why it’s doubtful this shaky alliance of conservatives and corporatists is a long-term relationship. Heck, conservatives and the GOP nowadays are barely friends with benefits. They see us as what the kids today refer to as a “booty call.” Meanwhile, we see them as the guy mamas have always warned their daughters about: “He ain’t gonna buy the cow when he gets the milk for free.”
This center will not hold. No ideologically-driven endeavor can credibly claim the disparate world-views of Ted Cruz and Chris Christie simultaneously.
This is why I believe the next step is the two sides fighting what amounts to a custody battle in the 2016 GOP presidential primary. Conservatives will attempt to rally behind a champion to make one of our own the standard-bearer for the first time since Reagan. If it works, the establishment will have a choice to make. Will they do what they’ve always lectured us we must do, and suck it up and fall in line behind the nominee? Or will they kneecap our champion like they did Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia?
On the other hand, should the establishment prevail, I think the odds of getting conservatives to turn out for another milquetoast corporatist in the 2016 general election are about the same as me making a living modeling Speedos. If we couldn’t get conservatives to turn out en masse for Mitt Romney against a Marxist in 2012, it’s likely conservatives are done once for all doing so for presidential candidates that don’t represent us—regardless of what political party they belong to.
Just ask Presidents Dole and McCain.
At that point the conversation will likely pivot to what is a better investment of this generation of conservatives’ time: continuing to pour new wine into the GOP’s old wineskins, or following in the footsteps of those first Republicans who abandoned the feckless Whig Party and went their own way?
Of course, the future isn’t set in stone and neither of these doomsday scenarios has to happen to the GOP. Neither does this country have to be subjected to Hillary Clinton completing Obama’s Cloward-Piven mission.
All it requires to alter this collision course is to have a Republican Party that fears the judgment of history more than it does contemporary scorn from the liberal media, and opposes its Democrat opponents more than its conservative base.
But make no mistake, nature abhors a vacuum. If these stiff-necked Republicans refuse to offer the country a true opposition party, the free market will eventually provide.
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