Democrats Advise Republican Leadership To Lead From Behind
“Conventional wisdom”, generally to be defined as the shared views of the left wing press, Democrats/liberals, and the political elite of both parties, seems to suggest that in order to win elections Republicans need to become more like Democrats. Countless opinions and suggestions have been offered on what the Republican Party must do if it wishes to remain relevant or have any chance of its candidates winning elections in the future. The interesting thing is how many of these suggestions assume that the well-being of the various members of the political class should be their primary focus. This focus on the self-interest of the Republican political class by those who claim expertise exposes the almost unbridgeable chasm dividing the rank and file conservative from those who claim to represent them.
What neither the Republican elite, nor those who would advise them, take into account is that conservatives lead, others follow. This is in stark contrast to the liberal meme that pandering to the voter is essential. The strategy of “leading from behind” can only be employed by those who have no convictions of their own. If the people want it, the official provides it and both are extremely happy, in the short term. What liberals and Democrats cannot understand is that real conservatives see things just a bit differently.
A conservative candidate which panders to those on the left is, by definition, no longer a conservative candidate. The objective of those who support conservative candidates is not simply to find a candidate who can win, but more importantly to find a candidate who can win while articulating and evidencing conservative positions. While the pundits and politicians may worry about the long term viability of the Republican Party, those in the trenches have clearly shown that they have other priorities. Those whose careers and financial well-being depend on the continued existence of the Republican Party may be swayed by a siren song which promises victory at the polls in exchange for their principles, but that victory will come at the cost of alienating those who had previously been their constituents.
In other words, having a Republican candidate elected to office based on a promise to act like a Democrat may be a victory for the Republican Party, along with those who feed at the trough of party politics, but such a victory is of no importance to a conservative and may well be considered a defeat. This is why, as many have suggested before me, that the real problem facing the Republican Party is that those at the highest levels of influence seem unable to decide whether they wish to be quasi-Democrats or whether they are ready to fully embrace the label of being the conservative party.
In my opinion, those who wish to be Democrats should grow some and go be Democrats, leaving the party of Lincoln to those who represent an alternative point of view. Those who would require a conservative candidate to “evolve” in an effort to appeal to a wider constituency show a complete inability to understand the core principles of a conservative. One of the fundamental principles is that one does not sell one’s soul to the devil to purchase an illusory victory. The fly in the ointment is that the Republican political class likes things just the way they are.
Conservatives are correct in claiming that for there to be any progress the political elite of the Republican Party must be sent packing. It is no secret that the present system is user friendly for those in power, but is much less valuable to those who are interested in representing the actual views of the rank and file membership. Although this will be no easy task, I suggest that it is certainly doable and preferable to establishing a new party. Conservatives must field their own candidates against those supported by the establishment, a phenomena that is already in evidence. These candidates must be held to the highest of standards and closely monitored to ensure that they do not fall under the sway of the “moderate” Republicans. Principles must be clearly articulated and defended without apology.
Those in the leadership must be convinced in no uncertain terms that the rank and file who have supported the Republican Party in the past are less interested in the well-being of those whose careers and influence are integrally tied into it’s survival and more interested in finding those individuals, of whatever party, who support and espouse their views.. Expanding the tent by changing the message will not be successful as any gains on the one hand will be offset by losses on the other. At the same time, an effort to reach out to those from other communities who share the same values and objectives should be loudly trumpeted and supported by every member of the party.
A bit longer than I had planned, with lot’s more to come.
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