I often long for the days that, while in political exile, conservatives would show-up 10,000 strong in cities across the country to stand-up for the Constitution and free enterprise. So overreaching was Obamacare and trillion dollar stimulus packages that Americans across the spectrum, including millions who normally eschew political activism, took to the alleys and airways to have their voices heard. The result, at the time, was a wave election that witnessed the U.S. House of Representatives return to Republican control after four long years of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Tea Party was successful because it was a movement inside a movement, and it moved the Republican Party toward stronger freedom principles. By electing conservatives from Marco Rubio to Ted Cruz and Tim Scott, the Tea Party propelled Republicans to the majority, while putting more principled leaders into office. Since the heyday of the Tea Party, however, we have witnessed the Republican Party moving back toward mushy moderation on Capitol Hill. Lack of action on the part of Party leaders in Congress was the primary catalyst for the election of Donald J. Trump last November. Now, the Republican Party is at all-out war with itself as disillusioned conservative activists are now openly advocating for a third party, which will further divide the Republican base.
Democrats are experiencing internal struggles as well, and the internecine battle for the soul of the Democratic Party may be even more pronounced. Mainline Democrats are vying with socialists for control of the their party, and the results will affect the nation for decades to come. An emerging force within Democratic politics is the Democratic Socialists of America, which is setting itself up to be the “Tea Party” for liberals. The DSA recognizes, however, that their primary objective is to take-over the Democratic Party, not to start a third party all their own. As much as Democratic socialism scares me to death, they have a savvy political strategy that may well work if not countered.
We conservatives must not allow democrats and socialists to align in an unholy alliance that is setting itself up against free-enterprise, limited government, and religious liberty. As Michael Kazin, editor of the Leftist-Socialist magazine Dissent recently wrote, “The only viable electoral strategy is to work with the Democratic Party, there is no viable third party.” Kazin is basically saying that socialists are engineering a plan to take-over the Democrat Party and use it to make socialist ideology mainstream in America for the first time in a century.
I was a believer in conservative Tea Party principles before the Tea Party even existed. We still need a movement within the Republican Party to move us back toward limited government, free enterprise, and constitutional convictions. This movement must work within the GOP, however, or we will run the risk of undermining our own effectiveness. If democrats and socialists unite, while Tea Party conservatives and Republicans part ways, the conservative philosophy that we share will be imperiled. Republican leadership should start embracing the conservative resurgence within its ranks, not alienate a key constituency and ally in the battle against secular-socialism. The very future of the conservative movement and, by extension, American freedom, hangs in the balance.