The Republican Party has the greatest opportunity in a decade to change national, state and local government for the better this year. However, there are perilous obstacles along the way that could derail the opportunity and become disastrous for both the party and the nation. An objective look at recent history is beneficial to understand the current situation and plot a way forward.
A large influx of social and fiscal conservatives became involved in the political process during the 1980s through organizations such as the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition. The “Rockefeller” style, country club, establishment republicans distrusted these energetic newcomers, but eventually found a way to harness their energy and build a powerful political movement that eventually controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.
Tragically for the nation, the more liberal establishment Republicans maintained control of the party at the national level and ignored the agenda of the grass roots movement that put them in power and governed like big government, big spending globalist Democrats.
Disgusted with both Republicans and Democrats, the social and fiscal conservative voters stayed home in large numbers in 2008, allowing the takeover of the US Government by a coalition of leftists, Marxists, minority groups and union bosses using the methods advocated by Sol Alinski.
Once again there is a large uprising of grass roots individuals who are entering the political process in order to do what they can to preserve the United States Constitution and the constitutional republic. This time it comes in the form of Tea Parties that spontaneously sprang up across the country. These hundreds of thousands of people from every walk of life are not only opposed to the leftists and socialists who have taken over the Democratic Party, they are opposed to Republicans who march to the same “big government progressive” drummer. The common name for these Republicans is RINOs or Republicans in Name Only.
The faction that has taken control of the Democrat Party sees both Republicans and Tea Party people as enemies of their devious plans for domination.
The Republican Party leadership is fearful that the Tea Party folks will form a third party that will serve to weaken and undermine Republican candidates and elect more Obama Democrats. Leaders of the various Tea Party factions are fearful that Republicans will attempt to take over their independent movement and make it a subsidiary of the Republican Party.
The situation is not unlike that taking place in the 1980s. The Tea Party movement consists of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who are very concerned about the direction and future of their country and angry about the direction both political parties have taken. Many are newcomers to politics and don’t have a clear understanding of how the parties are organized and how they function. Some would start a new third party if they perceive Republicans are not following their lead. Some want to take over the Republican Party and purge it of those they perceive as RINOs.
There are those who want to replace all incumbent office holders regardless of party or their degree of conservatism or the degree to which they have served their constituents. The most difficult and controversial issue between the Republican Party and Tea Party activists in general is how to deal with liberal officials elected on the Republican ticket who vote against conservative issues. It is likely that candidates will be recruited to run against office holders considered by Tea Party activists to be RINOs.
Republicans should help educate newcomers as to the voting records of officeholders so we do not replace elected officials with unknown quantities who will be worse.
Both Republicans and Tea Party activists should work together in a respectful manner and avoid being infiltrated and misled by troublemakers, if either is to contribute to better government for the future. The future of our republic and the freedom of our children and grandchildren are too important to risk on ego trips and power struggles. Any strife among conservatives will be exploited by ACORN and others, with the backing of the US treasury.