Saturday, February 9, 2013

Never Retreat!

I had an interesting conversation on Facebook earlier this week after posting this graphic.  One of my friends decided to use this as an opportunity to lambaste me for sticking to conservative ideals. To sum up our conversation ... she believed that Republicans lose because they support causes such as life, gun rights, traditional marriage, and securing the borders. I, of course, insisted we must stand for conservative principles, but I never really mentioned the fact that I was not a Republican (but, a conservative). This exchange with my Facebook friend got me to thinking: has the GOP establishment brainwashed the majority of conservatives into believing it is best to stay silent on principles to win elections?  The answer to that question is NO. But, it will take a lot of work to undo the damage that is being done to the psyche of conservatives in this country, because there are a large number in the Republican establishment (aided by the conservative media) that share her views.  We have a lot of work to do.

I am currently reading Erick Erickson's book -  Red State Uprising: How To Take Back America and Erickson does a masterful job of explaining why retreating from conservative ideals not only results in a more progressive and growing government, but it actually diminishes opportunities for success. People are hungry for truth-tellers, for leaders who are passionate, articulate, intelligent, and who offer real and lasting solutions. People are tired of politicians who say anything, do anything just to get elected .. but then fail to deliver on any of their promises. People are tired of politicians who put loyalty to their party ahead of loyalty to this country and the American people. Voters detest candidates who hide their true convictions .. and despise those who pretend to support causes, when their actions are not indicative of that support. 

We need to know what we believe and articulate those beliefs with confidence to those who are searching for answers. Conservatism may not be as popular as it was during the days of Ronald Reagan, but that is only because conservatives have been silent. We need a voice .. we need to step forth with boldness. Retreat is never a path to victory. Don't be duped by those who would crush the conservative movement in this country. Anyone who tells you that you should stay silent on your principles has either been deceived by the cautious and retreating Republican establishment, or they are actually working to wipe out the conservative movement. Neither of these groups are your friends.

One of the best cases of how grassroots conservatism can appeal to the masses was the election of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. He was an unknown when he decided to step into the race to face the powerful Lieutenant Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst. The GOP establishment quickly rushed to embrace the candidacy of Dewhurst and painted Cruz as extreme and unelectable. Remarkably, Cruz went from 2% in the polls to coming in 2nd in the general election and prevented Dewhurst from reaching the 50% of votes needed to avert a run-off.  Cruz went on to win the run-off with Dewhurst by 14% to the astonishment of the GOP party leadership in Austin (and Washington, D.C.). All the conventional wisdom gave Cruz ZERO chance against the powerful (and much better known) Dewhurst, but the truth-telling Cruz was just the right candidate to break through the establishment controlled process (and media) to bring in the votes and grab the power from the establishment.

Now, my Facebook friend pointed out that Texas voters are more conservative than the rest of this country .. and, as such, she felt the Cruz victory was something that could only happen in Texas. I don't agree with that .. and here are just a few more examples to indicate that thinking is wrong.

  • California elected Ronald Reagan as governor. Reagan won the presidency in a landslide. He took both blue and red states. Reagan ran proudly as a conservative. He supported gun rights, life, traditional marriage, and limited government. He never backed down from conservative ideals. Reagan's conservatism was not a detriment to his political viability, it was an asset.
  • Marco Rubio ran as a tea party conservative in Florida against the establishment candidate Charlie Crist. He supported gun rights, life, opposed excessive government regulation and lambasted the bloated and ineffective federal welfare system. He handily beat Crist (who is now a member of the Democratic party). Rubio never backed down from conservative ideals. Rubio's conservatism was not a detriment to his political viability, it was an asset.
  • Deb Fischer ran as a staunch conservative Senate candidate in Nebraska. She supported life, gun rights, opposed EPA regulations and had a tough stance on illegal immigration. The same state that had elected the liberal Ben Nelson awarded Fischer with a victory. Fischer's conservatism was not a detriment to her political viability, it was an asset.
  • Rick Snyder ran as a pro-life and pro-family candidate for governor of Michigan. He had a strong platform that opposed the big labor unions. Running as a conservative in the deep blue state of Michigan seemed like the longest of long-shots, but Snyder won the race. He subsequently signed into law some of the most sweeping union-busting reforms in recent history. Snyder's conservatism was not a detriment to his political viability, it was an asset.

There are many more conservatives that we could add to this list, but having said that, the number  of other examples is not nearly as large as it could be. If only MORE conservatives would simply stand up for their ideals and not run and hide (as is suggested by the GOP establishment). The GOP establishment has been feeding us the lie that conservatism loses since Reagan. In spite of the numerous victories showing that thinking is wrong, anti-conservative establishment types still have a firm grip on the GOP party apparatus, and, as such, they often discourage conservative candidates from entering races, they discourage candidates from fighting for conservative principles, they dismiss the idea that conservative principles can be (and often are) appealing to the majority of voters, and worst of all, they sometimes actually fight against candidates who have a strong conservative platform. (Karl Rove is doing precisely that, now)

That must change. We can not win if we don't fight.  Our principles are not crazy or extreme, in spite of the 24/7 propaganda war to the contrary. If we don't articulate our message, and if we are not willing to stand up and fight for conservative principles, then we cede government to the progressives. That is not an option. When it comes to the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans, failure is not an option. Stand proud, conservative warriors.


  1. Bravo! Sounds almost like Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty or give me death!" This girl is giving the rallying cry, "Don't give up on America! Fight for the Christian and moral principles that once made her great!" Amen and Amen!!

    Nancy Petrey, Christian and arch conservative

  2. Well said, Sue! Thank you for that. Keep them coming. . . .

  3. I agree with you that we should be authentic to our beliefs, however, I fear the political structure we have is pulling the two parties to extremes. Having a primary election where only conservatives vote is most likely to come up with a conservative's conservative or a liberal's liberal. I think Romney would have had a much better chance of success if he didn't have to first win over the conservatives. The fact that he had to prove that he was conservative enough to be the parties candidate did him a disservice later, and honestly, I think it also forced him to be less authentic to who he actually is. I think he is more naturally a moderate, but being a moderate wouldn't get him as far as he got. So he emphasized his conservative principles, and de-emphasized his more liberal side. If he had been allowed to run against Obama without going through all of that, he could have appealed to many more Americans. Many Americans are moderates, but their voices are quieted when we don't let independents vote in primaries, and more moderate party members are offset by the more extreme. The end result is that it looks like we have two opposing parties doing extreme political battle, when most American's would love to see the two parties work together to get things done.
    Your enthusiasm in your blog is great. Your war cry is inspiring. But you wonder why so many people are silent in the political process. It's not because they don't want to be heard, it is that nobody is listening. Both parties talk about wanting to win over the independents and the moderates, but at the end of the day their actions do not show this. If Romney really wanted to win over the middle, he wouldn't have had Ryan as his co-candidate. He was more concerned about enthusing the conservatives (probably for fund raising reasons) than winning over the moderates. I think that's what cost him the election. (That's not to say Obama did any better on that front, but he was after-all running for his second term, and that gave him an advantage.) Our election system is what silences most Americans, not their desire to be heard.

    1. I could not disagree with you more.

      You believe that the reason Romney lost is because he had the 'baggage' of having to deal with conservative voters. Romney lost because he didn't appeal to conservatives OR moderates. He didn't have a set a principles that he defended .. he didn't have core conservative beliefs. He is precisely the type of candidate who says 'whatever they need to say to get a vote' .. he wasn't running FOR anything, just running to win. He was hand-picked by the establishment.. who do NOT relate to the average voter, who do not have any idea how to win elections (McCain? Dole?) That is a losing formula.

      I did not support Romney.. nor will I ever support any candidate who doesn't care about the things I support .. and who is not going to fight the battle to reign in an out of control government and stick up for my values and beliefs.

      We don't need candidates who stand for nothing.. or pretend to stand for things they don't.

      My post above is the answer to your statement. It is pretty clear you've swallowed the narrative being fed to you by the establishment.

      Conservatism works and conservatism wins. I will continue to fight the battle.