Even a cursory glance at history proves there are many things over which the Republican Party can be proud. The party’s past is marked by men like Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater, all of whom gloried in this great nation and believed her strength rested in the very freedoms for which our Founding Fathers risked their lives: freedoms the people can’t enjoy when the public sector grows faster than the private one.
Therefore, while the Left spent the 20th Century taking over the Democrat Party, and then using the Democrat Party to take over our lives, Coolidge and Reagan both lived out the political philosophy that Goldwater so clearly espoused when he said: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Sadly, however, the Republican Party has also given us much for which we should be ashamed. In other words, all the good done by Coolidge, Reagan, and Goldwater is sometimes overshadowed by the weakness and moderation of men like former Senators Bob Dole and Trent Lott, and current Sen. John McCain.
It’s still difficult to accept the fact that the same party that enjoyed Reagan from 1981 to 1989 could turn around and nominate a moderate like Dole in 1996. Then, failing to learn lessons from Dole’s defeat to Clinton, repeated history and nominated McCain for President in 2008.
The reason this is difficult to accept is because these are examples of how the Republican Establishment has been allowed to run roughshod over individual Republican voters. In other words, in 1996 and 2008 they took our votes for granted by giving us the candidate of their choosing: trusting all along that we would vote for a Dole or a McCain over a Clinton or an Obama simply as a matter of principle.
No wonder men like Karl Rove, who I’m told used to sit in the Bush White House and laugh at how easy it was to lead evangelical voters around by the nose, are now all shook up over the fact that the voters have turned the tables on the establishment.
That’s right. Whether every single person who will vote Republican in November can enunciate it or not, there is a grassroots uprising overtaking the Republican Party that has a message for would-be candidates of the Dole and McCain stripe: “Don’t Tread on Me.” And this is a message that applies to Rove and every other haughty Republican theotrician as well.
This also applies to senators like John Cornyn, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee and who came out like a crybaby after Rep. Michael Castle lost to Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and said he was going to withhold funding for O’Donnell’s general election campaign. (He changed his mind after a gazillion Freepers and Tea Partiers lit up his D.C. office switchboard like the Fourth of July.)
The lesson is simple: “We the people” are taking the country back, and we are doing it by capturing the party and cleansing the Republican apparatus of the mindset that supported Castle over O’Donnell to begin with.
Once this is done, the party can then lead the nation back to its glory days. Back to days where reckless Republican spending and the Democrat’s ongoing threat of higher taxes are demolished by Coolidge’s belief that “Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.”
Let the naysayers naysay, our goal remains unchanged: First we retake the Republican Party, then we glory in the nation Reagan loved.