Elections are taking place in a few days and they are poised to become referendums on Obama and his agenda. The summer saw Tea Parties, which continue, and a great awakening of the American people, many of whom have never been politically involved, taking a stand as the silent majority is no longer silent and the 2009 elections look to be a precursor to 2010 and a slap to Obama.
Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for Virginia Governor looks unbeatable against a once popular Democrat state Senator Creigh Deeds in a state that went for Obama in the 2008. In New Jersey incumbent Governor Jon Corzine is in a dead heat race against Republican challenger Chris Christie with a more conservative and former Republican Independent Chris Daggett holding at about 12%.
The most telling race of all of the key 2009 races is the New York 23rd Congressional seat which had three candidates running for an open seat without a primary before the general election. The Republican Dierdre Scozzafava who received the party endorsement and has been showing a dismal third announced on Saturday that she was dropping out of the race. Her liberal stance on many issues prompted another former Republican Doug Hoffman to run as the Conservative party candidate and received several powerful endorsements like Sarah Palin and Fred Thompson which filled his war chest and helped bleed dry Scozzafava. Prior to her withdrawal Scozzafava was running a distant third in polling with Hoffman showing a slight lead over Democrat Bill Owens. Hoffman should easily take this seat now.
So with the Democrats crashing and the 2009 election a referendum on Obama with Democrats falling to defeat in key races, does this mean a resurging Republican party as we approach 2010 ? Polling shows NO ! In fact while the GOP has gained a slight advantage over Democrats in Congressional polling the majority of the American people still do not trust the party. Which does not bode well for 2010, at least at this point in time.
Democrats are crashing and Republicans are meandering so what choice do we conservatives have ? A recent poll has shown that conservatives are the largest ideological group in the Nation with 40% of Americans considering themselves conservative. While conservatives have traditionally voted GOP most, including myself believe that the party has abandoned us and moved to the left of our beliefs and values. The recent support of the GOP for the liberal Republican candidate in the NY 23rd and a disappointing endorsement by conservative Newt Gingrich only enforces that feeling of conservative abandonment by the GOP.
The move by the party to encompass everyone and the belief that if they follow a conservative platform it will exclude moderates and Independents has allowed the GOP to drift aimlessly without real direction nor a strong issue based platform. Which also has equated to a nest full of what are referred to as RINO Republicans in elected office who have certain conservative ideas but regularly expose their true liberal beliefs by their vote on legislation and their willingness to spend money and grow government.
So as a result their is strong support for a third party conservative alternative and the NY 23rd Congressional race is fueling this as the Conservative party candidate will likely take the formerly Republican seat. Most do not understand that if a primary had taken place in this district as is the usual practice before a general election, conservative Doug Hoffman WOULD have been the GOP candidate. So the election is serving both as primary and general election which has brought about the end of Scozzafava’s campaign and a likely victory for Hoffman.
Yet the abandonment of conservatism as a whole still exists and conservatives are looking for an answer. Many believe by her recent moves and her endorsement of Hoffman in New York, that Sarah Palin is leading up to a Conservative party run for the Presidency in 2012. A move that she has not mentioned but that many are almost hoping for.
Historically a third party run on a national stage like a Presidential election has only split one party allowing the other to win the election. It happened to Republican William Taft in the 1912 election as Teddy Roosevelt started the Bull Moose party out of anger against Taft which propelled Democrat Woodrow Wilson to the White House.
In 1992 Ross Perot won 18% of the vote as the Reform party candidate which allowed a victory for Democrat Bill Clinton as 80% of Perot’s total came from Republicans who chose not to vote for George H. W. Bush allowing Clinton to take the White House with only 43% of the vote. With historical precedence going against a third party run as a possibility for the future with conservatives who have been abandoned by the GOP, what choice do we have ?
Do what Ronald Reagan did. When Reagan first came to prominence on the national stage after winning the Governorship in California, the Republican party consisted of Country Club Republicans who had a moderate middle of the road platform which left many socials issues dear to conservatives out in the cold and believed in spending and expanding government, much like the GOP of today.
Reagan nearly defeated incumbent Gerald Ford at the 1976 Republican convention but the Country Club leaders of the GOP were still the driving force in the party and through back room deals managed to defeat Reagan on the last vote giving the nomination to Ford and the Presidency to Carter.
In the next four years Reagan took his conservative platform to the people. He fought the idea of big government and increased taxes at every opportunity. He campaigned against the socialist type programs being legislated by Jimmy Carter and the Democrat Congress. At every turn Reagan condemned the appeasing Carter’s foreign policy against the Soviet Union and touted a strong military and a hard line stance against Communism and the Soviets.
In the short time between 1976 and 1980 Reagan transformed the GOP from the Country Club to the everyday conservative American and as a result forced the Republican party into becoming the conservative party because if they had not, Reagan’s message would have caused a massive out cry from grassroots conservative Republicans much like that which is taking place now.
Reagan’s philosophy was not to allow the GOP to abandon conservatism but by the force of our message cause the GOP to embrace it and embrace it they did. The GOP and conservatism became synonymous with one another. That is until the last several years as the Country Club has moved back in but this time the association of Reagan conservatism to the GOP has caused the press to claim that Republicanism and Conservatism are one in the same. They are not and we conservatives know it.
So how do we force the GOP to embrace conservatism as the path to victory ? Do as Reagan did. Support conservative candidates with our time, our voice and our money. When Reagan was asked about whether the conservative platform was leaving out liberal Republicans his response was, “we don’t need them!” At every opportunity we need to let Michael Steele and the RNC know that if they want to win in 2010 and beyond then a strong and true conservative platform is the ONLY way that 40% of America will support the party.
You may ask, how can 40% win. Well Reagan showed the way there also. As he campaigned on his conservative message Independents and more conservative Democrats embraced the message and the movement because they did not like the direction that Jimmy Carter and Democrats were taking this country. Again much like today as Democrats and especially Independents are becoming more and more troubled with Obama, Reid and Pelosi and are searching for an answer to their disillusionment.
Reagan presented strong and true conservatism as the answer against Carter and we can do the same today against Obama. Just like Reagan we can take the GOP and lead to a conservative victory with a strong conservative platform and candidates who stand by and will vote for conservative ideas which are the true Constitutional principles that have sustained this nation since it birth. We cannot split the vote like 1912 and 1992 or we will be faced with another four years of Obama and the complete and total destruction of what will be left of our proud Republic. We can and we must, for the sake of the Nation take back the GOP and return the sanity of true and strong conservative leadership.
Ken Taylor The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth