Between now and 2010 the leadership of the Conservative movement is going to have to define what the Conservative movement is all about. This is a very difficult task, one that the GOP could not do for many years leading up to the Gingrich revolution of 1994 and the “Contract With America” that nationalized every local race and the GOP took over both houses of Congress.
I believe that the task ahead is actually going to be much harder because of how poorly the GOP ran the house and the senate. The GOP lost its bearings and didn’t know whether to be Conservative, Moderate, Liberal or all three at the same time. That was a recipe for disaster and the 2006 and 2008 referendums on the GOP’s lack of identity was just about unanimous, and impossible to miss. GET AN IDENTITY and stick with it. That was the message. Look at the Senators from the GOP that were re-elected this time around, how many of them were moderate, and how many were clearly conservative.
Conservatism is not the end all and be all, but it is a point on the compass and one that this country leans towards. Listening to CNN, MSNBC and FOXNEWS tonight, I continued to hear the same statement from all the pundits, “…this country leans right of center…” it does not mean that you have to be a moderate to be elected. Moderate (whether Democrat or Republican) has no point on the compass. Libertarian, has a point on the compass and is clear. Liberal has a point on the compass. Conservative has a point on the compass. Moderate is the middle of the road, call it the pivot point and you cannot steer a clear course if you follow the pivot point.
If 2012 is going to be the year of Sarah Palin, as I posted in an earlier blog, then Palin must help lay out the identity of the party, and she’s closer to the compass heading that needs to be followed, than John McCain was as a moderate. Moderates do not get elected because they don’t energize the imagination and get people to see the direction where we’re going.
Keys to the revival of the Conservative Movement in the GOP:
1) We must release capital from the government by reducing the size of government and make it possible for the free market to use all that capital and grow the economy.
2) We must reduce the tax burden on all taxpayers in this country, from the bottom of the ladder to the top of the ladder so that each has the opportunity to choose what step of the ladder they want to be on, and buy their way up there by the cleverness of their ideas and the sweat of their brow. There are no free rides in life and neither should there be in the United States of America.
3) We must find a way to put together a grass roots movement that will include millions of people focused on accomplishing the top 2 items and to focus on the success of local candidates and State candidates that believe clearly in the top two issues and then we can start working on the National races and at that point. We must focus on Conservative values in fiscal areas of the government.
There are many other areas that would be interesting to work on, like securing our borders and the issue of immigration (needs to be far expanded, an the doors need to be open to legal access of worthy people who want to work and advance the American way of life), Energy policy which by 2010 should be moving nicely in the right direction, or not an if not that’s a great way to help move us later in the right direction.
The GOP has to decide if it is going to be the Conservative party. If it is going to be the Conservative party, then they have to understand that Moderate is a wrong attitude, and it is not required to work with people in the other party, it just takes an open mind, and the ability and courage of your convictions. Negotiating on principled issues does not require you to become a Moderate, just that you and your negotiating partner find a way to come out with a new definition of the debate where a Win – Win solution can be found. It is hard work, but it is done on a daily basis all over the world by good companies, good leaders and good employees.
This can be done, but it must be focused on a very narrow set of goals and bring those to the attention of everyone and spark the imagination as Gingrich did in 1994, as Ronald Reagan did in 1980 and again in 1984. It can be done, if you remain focused like a laser beam.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative.