On the eve of the Iowa presidential caucuses tonight and looking toward the general election in November, conservatives should be a happy and a hopeful bunch of voters.
Yet, I sense tiredness.
In reality it is not the Republican Party that is in disarray, that is split, as detractors in the media claim. Only establishment Republicans — otherwise known as old white men, New England liberals and entrenched publications like the National Review, Weekly Standard, Town Hall, ad nauseum — are torn asunder, fearing their loss of power and influence slipping away.
In reality it is the national, mainstream media in disarray, confused about the popularity of Donald Trump and ashamed that they are charged with the task of promoting miserable candidates like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Conservatives have been subjected to incessant pounding from so-called elite, intellectual, inside-the-beltway pundits, like think-tank writers, university professors, ad nauseum. Rarely does a “new” conservative-leaning political opinion writer find space in print publications, online or television.
But, considering the pummeling, I think grassroots conservatives have held up well.
What group of citizens wouldn’t get tired of blowhards like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, ad nauseum, being depicted as conservatives, representatives of the Republican Party?
Who wouldn’t react with frustration when has-beens, and never-weres really, like Bob Dole and John McCain are trotted out to opine on how to win presidential elections?
On top of that, conservatives must watch in agony as people who are supposed to be some of the best and brightest Republican leaders stand on stage casting side-long glances at each other, fearful of antagonizing Massachusetts-type Republicans.
Yet, I think that, at the grassroots level, conservatives are smarter than their purported leaders, and are not as dispirited as some might think.
To paraphrase Donald Trump, there are occurring “HUGE” happenings in the hinterlands, not the least of which is the rise of Trump himself.
Whether he is presidential timber or not, Trump has caused issues to be discussed that heretofore were not.
When such issues are brought into the open, conservatives are winners. Poll after poll, fair ones, have shown that the majority, a “HUGE” majority, of Americans are conservative-minded.
When capable and articulate conservatives run well-funded and well-organized campaigns, they win. And candidates must not be shy in tapping into voter anger. Being upset is usually why voters vote as they do.
I believe I do detect a tiredness and loss of vigor within the so-called “tea party” movement. This waning enthusiasm has caused these conservatives to fail to press those in Congress who were sent there by them, and who are eroding into establishment people.
Thus what may be happening again is what happened in past times when Republicans have made gains or took control of one or both houses of Congress. Congresspersons forgot who sent them to represent them and look instead toward “bipartisanship” — and lose the next election.
Conservatives who elected members of Congress have, for the most part, been leaderless.
But, be happy, conservatives.
Take heart in the mess the Democratic Party is in. Rejoice in the fear seen on the faces of “leaders” of the Republican Party.
Especially take note of the near-panic in the voice of “The Beaver,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He should have been deposed after the 2012 election, if not before, and he knows he may be kicked out after the 2016 election, hopefully not by Democrats, but by Republicans.
Conservatives, weather the storm and be thankful that Trump has raised the bar. Maybe he is the force that will lead the Republican Party, now in “disarray,” to a national convention where it will be renamed, reconfigured and gain new, competent, principled leadership.
Hopefully, that reconstitution will spur Democrats to call a convention and reconstruct itself.
The result would be that some Republicans, especially moderates, could find a comfortable home in the newly named “Liberal” or “Progressive” party; and conservative Democrats could gravitate to the new as-yet-unamed Republican Party.
At last, voters would have a clear choice, which is likely to lead to decades of conservative control of government.
Which is why the last thing Democrats should want is the breakup of the Republican Party.
L. E. Brown, Jr. is an independent writer based in Magnolia, N.C. Contact him at [email protected]
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