Cut-and-run Republican or just conservative?
By James Atticus Bowden
Rush Limbaugh, my junior by just a few months, but my senior when it comes to the acumen of his political gut being smarter than my well-educated political head, made a parody of cut-and-run Republicans. These are Republicans who won’t vote until the Republican Party does everything they want. It’s funny. But, it’s one of those infrequent occasions where Rush isn’t right. I don’t know of any conservative who will sit at home if a conservative is running as the Republican candidate. Yet, they could care less if ‘moderate’ or liberal Republicans lose their seats.
Where, except for Sen. Rick Santorum in PA, is a conservative in trouble?
Paul Weyrich, a conservative movement leader at Free Congress, wrote about a Ronald Reagan speech “for the lines between social and economic conservatives largely to disappear. Reagan called for the creation of a new, lasting conservative majority. He called for a new Republican Party. He said such a party should be based on "principled conservatism." In 1977!
In 2006 the Republican majority in the House and Senate isn’t principled conservatives. They’re just Republicans. Likewise, George W. Bush isn’t a principled conservative. He’s a well-meaning Republican.
The President has done well with judicial appointments with one very telling stumble and recovery over Harriet Miers. President Bush made the tax cuts to get the economy going. President Bush made the right big decisions about WW IV, including invading Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein, but has been terribly ill-advised by Donald Rumsfeld. It took Bush five years to name Islamists as the enemy in public. His policies may still be shackled captives of his Wilsonian rhetoric about Iraqi ‘democracy’. He signed the ban on Partial Birth Abortions.
Yet, the President has done damage that a thinking conservative like Reagan would never do. Illegal immigration, McCain-Feingold suppression of free speech, budget busting drug benefits, out of control spending, failure to reform Social Security, etc. all are on his two term watch.
The Republican majority that neither stopped Presidential folly nor offered support for Presidential initiatives – like Social Security reform – is worthless - save the judges appointed and the fighting soldiers supported. The moderates and Liberals aren’t worth keeping, just to keep a majority of nothing in power.
This is why conservatives I know don’t care if Republicans lose on November 7th. They care, deeply, if conservative Republicans lose.
Weyrich says cogently “What we need to do now instead of whining about how disappointing these Republican majorities are, and how weak Bush is because he did not veto more measures, we need to get out there are build that ‘New Republican Party’ for which Reagan called. And we should name it just that: The New Republican Party. “
I agree. But, I’d just call us the “conservative Republican Party”. If we are a majority of the Republican Party then we keep our elephant paraphernalia. If we, conservatives, are a minority, then start a new political party. Say good-bye to the Republicans as the Republicans bid farewell to the Whigs. May they share the same fate.
Our conservative ideas triumph as issues nationwide. Stopping illegal immigration now, supporting victory in Iraq (after defining it properly), tax cuts, ending judicial tyranny, reforming Social Security, cutting spending, protecting marriage and life, poll well enough to win across the country. In the dark nether regions where Liberals contend or dominate, it’s better to run a conservative Republican come what may – than to keep a moderate or Liberal.
I know the mocking response to such an attitude. ‘You don’t understand politics.” Or, “you don’t get how to use and keep power.” Actually, my nose is green from grassroots not brown from close contact with lobbyists and the mainstream media. My world of political activism is my city, district and state. And, our problem in God’s Country, aka the Commonwealth of Virginia, is Republicans in our General Assembly raising our taxes and other malevolence.
A party of principles can be out of power for a period of time. The party will retain its energy and build its strength. If the principles are true, then their truth will out in a return to power based on principles. If the party is just the lesser of two evils, but still an evil, then the loss of loyalty from principled persons, called ‘Values Voters’ will be permanent. They will shake the dust from their feet and not look back.
The Values Voters, conservatives, are only a third of the Nation. Just like the Patriots in 1776. Yet, our issues carry the day. We need to build a conservative Republican Party that carries our issues.
Bottom line: If you can find a conservative Republican, then please vote Republican.
James Atticus Bowden has specialized in inter-disciplinary long range 'futures' studies for over a decade. He is employed by a Defense Department contractor. He is a retired United States Army Infantry Officer. He is a 1972 graduate of the United States Military Academy and earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. He holds three elected Republican Party offices in Virginia. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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