Don’t Abandon the GOP, Fix It

By Ronald Glenn
America’s Right

America’s Right has spent a great deal of time recently discussing the state of the Republican Party, most notably in some of Jeff Schreiber’s recent essays concerning the need for the GOP to emphasize its economic philosophy at this time (one that sticks out is Stop the Madness!, from May 8). When looking at how the GOP can come together in time for 2010, two aspects of the issue need discussion, as it doesn’t look as though the battle within the party will end any time soon.

First of all, the Democrat and Republican parties are not “pure” in some elevated, grand philosophical way. Each party is a coalition of interests that have found it agreeable and beneficial to exist under one banner. The Democrat party has more groups in its coalition, the most important of which are labor unions, civil rights advocates, pro-choice advocates, feminists, anti-war activists, ecologists, gay rights activists, and children’s activists. (I am certain there are categories I have missed.)

Within the last few months, it has become apparent the Republican party consists of two major wings: the religious/social wing (Mike Huckabee) and the economic/defense wing (Dick Cheney). These two factions have often tangled to see which would have the upper hand, but the current economic crisis has left their co-existence in doubt. The social conservatives believe they are the most important because religious morality is the basis of a great society. The economic conservatives believe they are the most important because they facilitate prosperity and advance capitalism, historically perhaps the most important gift the West has provided humanity.

Because of the banking crisis and the collapse of the stock market,the social conservatives believe the economic wing has lost its moral imperative. The social conservatives want to establish themselves as the dominant force in the Republican party in the face of the corruption and immorality of the business sector. They are calling this a “return” to conservatism.

The logic behind the economic wing of the Republican party to dominate is based on the premise that the economy is precisely where the Democratic party is the weakest. Spending the nation into hyperinflation and bankruptcy is not going to be a winning tandem of issues, and the failure of the Democrats’ policies will affect every American in ways that social issues such as teen pregnancy simply cannot. Also, fiscal Republicans insist that the social wing of the GOP will not currently draw moderate Democrats to the Republican party. Fiscal conservatism, they say, is the true “return” to conservatism. [I happen to agree. Polls are showing that we don't need to woo the center and center-left. -- Jeff]

However, the Republican coalition could collapse if the social wing of the party is unable to accept a secondary role. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is already strongly suggesting that the coalition will be under severe strain all the way through 2012. Personally, I do not believe social conservative voters will stay away from the polls, but there is a good chance they will be hostile to the economic wing, producing antagonisms within the Republican Party that could be destructive to its chances in the coming elections. Nothing pleases the Democrat Party more than watching conservatives bash each other, especially when the social conservatives go after the economic conservatives with the same zeal as they would a true liberal. For the sake of electoral majority conservatism, this coalition must survive and not divide the party into irreconcilable camps, spending more time fighting each other than their opponents all the way across the aisle.

Second of all, there is a powerful movement afoot that is drawing conservatives away from political party structures. The leading voice of this movement is radio commentator and filmmaker Alex Jones, who persuasively argues that the two-party system is a demonic hoax. Their disagreements are a sideshow, he maintains, because they represent the same international corporate and banking interests, they both passed the Patriot Act, and they are both spending us into oblivion. The only solution, Jones insists, is outside of the usual politics of conservative and liberal.

When I was young, my father told me numerous times that the most powerful corporations in America would donate the same amount of money to both parties in every election. Alex Jones particularly appeals to those who feel that the government does not listen to them and that the government is, in fact, outright hostile to individual liberties. Despite his somewhat outrageous stance on other issues, many conservatives have been listening to his point of view simply because they feel so betrayed by the eight years of former President George W. Bush, who just a few months ago admitted to abandoning his free-market principles at the tail end of his presidency. The problem is that, if too many conservatives adopt the anti-party stance, they will become shrill, angry voices largely unable to influence the majority of Americans for the better.

At this time in our history, conservatives do indeed feel disenfranchised, leading me to the conclusion that whether Alex Jones and folks like him are correct or not in their assessment, the Republicans will lose the most support in the short run if people lose faith in the two-party system. Yes, specialty parties like the Libertarian Party or Constitution Party may seem warm and fuzzy in times of GOP upheaval, but it’s important to remember that, at least for the moment, the Democrat Party faithful are not going anywhere.

In conclusion, conservatives must not despair. They must keep in mind that all coalitions have conflicting interests. The Democrat Party claims to support labor unions while advocating immigration policies that support non-union labor. The Republican Party sells itself as the Patriot Party, while permitting corporations to move the economy overseas. The point has to be emphasized that the Republican Party does not have to be abandoned. It needs to be fixed.

This can be done by emphasizing the interrelationship between morality and capitalism, emphasizing the common good and emphasizing what needs to be done to remain free. Keeping the Ron Paul movement in the Republican ranks, for example, will help tremendously. Religion will always have a great role to play in a great society — Wall Street needs prayer, too. But without a political party to give common voice and common direction to the future, conservatives may not only lose an election, they may lose their country.

—————
Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    "dont abandon the Republican Party. Fix it."

    OH YES!!!!

    this has been my true feeling ever since some have been bashing the party and abaonding it or makint excuses for it. SPECIFICALLY, when Colin Powell came out in support of obama, Powell's words cut thru me like a knife. I thought if this man is the person whom we thought him to be why cant he make a simple observation that instead of going over to someone else's party he should have done everything in his power to help revive his own party.

    SARAH PALIN! A great example that there are still true and honest people in the party… Lets put integrity back into government by electing people like that and leaving anyone who doesnt measure up behind– they will soon come to see that the fair and right way is the best way.

    Liberalism is taking this country to its knees. Conservative, Republicans are simply a party with a backbone of doing what is morally right. Nothing could be wrong with a stance like that.

  2. Gail B says:

    Wonderful writeup!

    Jeff has hammered into our heads (I'm more hard-headed than others–remember, I was a Democrat for 50 years) that we need to stick together with fundamentals and fight the current "regime" (my word) issue by issue.

    Sure, everybody was ripped by Bush's spending at the last, but it wasn't the end of the world as we know it; and it wasn't something that we couldn't overcome.

    Think about it–if we can overcome this economical "crisis" (loosely used) with the gaping hole in our hull brought on by the 2009 "stimulus," surely we can let bygones be bygones and put someone at the Resolute Desk with some common sense, integrity, and expertise–qualities sorely lacking with what's sitting there now!

    We need to get off our pity-pots and sail this ship together. Otherwise, we have lost our black box beyond recovery.

    Banding together is our GPS.

  3. Anonymous says:

    where is law dawg when you need him/her

    http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08-9797.htm

  4. Anonymous says:

    If Republicans manage to win but do so with a "Colon Powell" candidate, then tell me what is the difference policy-wise? That there is an R rather than a D beside the name? Oh yea, and I'll fall in love with statism if it is a Republican taking us there. NOT!

    Ultimately unless the hearts of men are changed, there will be no lasting change. The best we will see are only blips of hope here and there (like Reagan). It is the natural course for depraved men not governed by Christ.

    I will accept the consequences of voting my conscience because my God does not need a political victory to affect change. He needs my obedience and trust in Him first and foremost.

  5. elspeth says:

    Last night, it occurred to me that usually after an election, one of the top priorities of the new administration is to unify the country. And, I was thinking that if that had been a priority this year, we wouldn't have all this name calling and finger pointing. It's also likely more people would be behind the new administration's policies.

    But then I realized that to unify the country, it would defeat the purpose of this administration's agenda. The bigger the division of our country, the quicker it will be destroyed.

  6. Rix says:

    Bipartisan system is definitely evil but it is the lesser one. I lived in Israel for over a decade that spanned at least four elections and saw small, mini and micro fly-by-night parties dominate the national agenda – and boy, I tell you, is was not a pretty sight. I also lived in the Soviet Union under a single party, and as you may have guessed it was even less exciting.

    There is a sharp distinction between the two major parties. Democrats' loyalty to their cause is guaranteed by the fact that most groups it consists of have narrow sectoral interest, whereas Republicans strive to become "the party of everyone" and, consequently, becomes the party of none. I don't feel it represents me and would consider voting for it only as a lesser-evil alternative to liberals. Heck, I want some representation so much that if someone organizes a White Christian Party tomorrow, I swear I'll join it – even though I'm neither white nor Christian.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the Republican party got behind the Fair Tax proposal and adopted it as their main theme there would be an upheaval of unheard heights. This would be the most helpful thing they could do, but they, like the Democrats, don't want to loose the power they have acquired.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What we're facing is the virtually seamless linkage of a vast array of power structures (the UAW, the SEIU, the teachers union, Acorn, Americorp, LaRaza, etc, etc) with the Obama administrtion welding the links together with socio/economic policies that strengthen each link at the expense of free-market capitalism and conservative/Constitutional values.

    Elections in the future will be more like we are witnessing in Iran than anything that we have seen in this country in the past. Normal political strategy based on issues and party affiliation just won't cut it. As in Iran, nothing will change until millions of fed-up citizens take to the streets, and I don't see that happening any time soon.

    We got here by thinking that winning was more important than values, so we let the secular progressives (statists, socialists, whatever) sucker us into becoming more and more like them so that we would become more "competitive". Hence the "big tent" mentality. We forgot that political success DOES NOT represent the pinacle of power in this universe; that position belongs to God and Him alone and the forces that are hard at work in an effort to destroy America won't be defeated by political strategies. Nor will the Obama administration because the demographics will prevail. We gave our children over to a perverse educational/entertainment system that would shame our forefathers, we opened our borders to millions of "undocumented workers", we created a welfare state that allows million more to live without working, and now we live with the results.

    So, as for me, I will continue to insist that the candidate that receives my vote share my Judeo/Christian and Constitutional values (actually, they are inseparable), regardless of what party label that person wears, and in utter distain for the chances that candidate has of "winning".

    In fact, after a generations-long family loyalty to the Republican Party, I think that it is time for folks like myself to cut that party loose so that they can pursue success without the baggage of the moral values that I am committed to. One vote more-or-less won't make that much difference anyway.

    Old Bob

  9. MR GOODWRENCH says:

    Too broke to fix, total it. Read Glenn's book, I feel it is time to start over.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Old Bob,
    We are kindred spirits and your responses always brighten my day. I'm with you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous at 4:40 PM, thanks.

    From "Shadowlands": "We read to know that we're not alone". In our case, it's the "comments" that we read to know that we're not alone. Hopefully, there are more than two of us, but if not, it's still O.K.

    Old Bob

  12. Still a Patriot says:

    Old Bob -
    There are many more than two, myself included. With the current state of affairs in this country, I don't know how people get out of bed in the morning who have no faith. (Except, of course,those who worship at the feet of the false messiah.)
    Thanks for your honest & heartfelt comments.

    Susan

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, SUSAN. Now I know that there are at least three of us.

    My comments may be "honest and heartfelt", but I sure do get embarassed by the typos and misspelled words. I've become too dependent on Spell Check and it 's difficult to spot the typos for some reason. Old age, I guess, but thanks for overlooking all of that.

    Old Bob

  14. zhaba1 says:

    One of the posters said it right — unless we the people change, nothing will ever change. Our Congress did not come from Mars — we have become a nation that deserves what we have. The question is can we still wake up… I came to the US from Russia many years ago, and the majority of Russians deserved every bit of what they had (and still have). I hope there is still a (albeit silent) majority of Americans who want to live under a capitalism.

    The Democratic and Republican parties simply reflect the sad state of the peoples' minds.

  15. Gail B says:

    If the Socialist Democrats would not fly under the Democratic Party, and if the Democratic Party could have been a lot more open and answered a lot of questions in the beginning, there would not be the mess in DC that there is today.

    I contacted them numerous times with questions. Never did I hear from them except for the times they wanted my $upport. I finally sent them an email and said I wanted a live person to respond, not a form letter.

    A live person did send me an email. I asked the questions; he never answered.

    Up until then, I had voted Democrat all my voting life. Never again, not after they put an Islamic Muslim in office, knew he was not a natural-born citizen, and — oh, I am so fed up with all this Obama/Soetoro/regime crap!

    The Democratic Party aided and abetted this usurper.

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