My friend Carl likens the GOP establishment’s strategy to the idiotic way in which the US lost in Vietnam. Too often, the Republican Party creates a safe haven for the left by placing off-limits to attack such programs as education in which they hold complete sway. More than this, the party adopts rules of engagement that hamper the effort, for instance when John McCain refused to use Obama’s middle name, or when Romney used every Alinskyite tactic to secure the nomination, but will not use them in the general election campaign. I’m prepared to take it one step more: When we elect establishment candidates, we provide the left with a safe haven in government, as most of them are permitted to remain in place. Permitting establishment Republicans to call themselves “conservative” without challenge, we encourage the denigration of actual conservatism. Mitt Romney isn’t conservative. He’s a “moderate Republican,” which is to say he is a liberal. If he takes the White House in November, it will remain staffed by people who are statists. There will be no change in philosophy, but merely a slow-down in the rate of its pursuit. We shouldn’t expect to restore our constitutional republic by harboring the enemy.
Mitt Romney says he’s been “severely conservative.” I don’t know how one who knows the first thing about conservatism could begin to make such a claim. If anything, his history as Governor of Massachusetts tells us something quite different. Romney-care is an abomination to any free people, and the mere fact that he helped enact such a program as law puts the lie to his claim of conservative credentials, much less a “severe” one. No, he enacted regulations that pushed the entire farcical global-warmist agenda, and he helped to create and fund programs such as “Welfare Wheels” that are all in keeping with a big-government statist. The most telling part of his claim is the use of the word “severe” as his adjective of choice. It is only the most liberal Republicans who attach the impression of severity to conservatism. For mainstream conservatives, we believe we do not need to say we are “compassionate” because compassion is implicit in our policy ideas. To the degree we are “severe,” it is in the realm of truth-telling and logical analysis. To apply the modifier “severely” to conservative is to admit that he doesn’t know what conservatism is all about. It confesses a philosophical distance from conservatism that cannot be bridged by our desire to win in November.
There are those who would take issue with my description of Republican establishment types as “enemies,” but this is at long last why some might refer to me as a “severe conservative.” I’m not willing to gloss over the reality, either for the sake of an election, or for the sake of some false sense of party unity, much less to condescend to other conservatives who will have known better all along. The simple truth is that establishment Republicans repeatedly damage conservatism in two fundamental ways, and I won’t apologize for pointing them out:
- They actively seek to undermine conservatives, conservative ideas and principles, and frequently side with the radical, statist left.
- They frequently attempt to disguise themselves as conservatives, such that when their own versions of statist programs go awry, the wider universe of conservatism in general takes the blame, despite the fact that conservatism had exactly nothing to do with the failures.
I’m going to prove the first method by the use of a single name: John Roberts. John Roberts undoubtedly sees Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as examples of “severe conservatives.” His own abandonment of constitutional principles and precedents marks him as precisely the sort of enemy we face in the GOP establishment. Following along behind him is a cadre of Republican(but not conservative) excuse-makers who will try to convince you he had ruled correctly, somehow. What John Roberts did by his ruling marks him as an enemy of free men everywhere, and I frankly don’t give a damn what some spouting geyser of human incompetence says to the contrary.
They often disguise themselves as “conservatives,” and you can often see this when they begin to attach all sorts of modifiers to the label “conservatism.” They will tell you they are at least “moderately conservative,” or practitioners of “compassionate conservatism.” What these really mean is: “Weak-kneed, non-conservative conservatism.” In practice, what these translate into are simply more statist programs, regulations, and market-manipulations. What the programs born of these will reveal is a contempt for principled conservatism.
Some will immediately throw in my face that my own favored candidate, whose candidacy didn’t materialize in 2012, likes to talk about “common-sense, constitutional, conservative ideas.” Permit me to explain why I see this as significantly different. When Governor Palin uses that particular phraseology, I believe she is describing the nature of the ideas. I also think she’s describing the nature of conservatism accurately. Conservatism is rooted in a respect for common sense, or if you will, simple logic. Conservatism is rooted in a reverence for the constitution as written by our founders, but not necessarily as reinterpreted by subsequent lawmakers or judges. Based on such evidence as her career in politics makes plain, I don’t believe that Governor Palin is trying to re-define what conservatism is, but instead, simply explaining it those who haven’t understood it, or have been misled about it by some of the alleged practitioners(who weren’t.)
Enemy identification is a difficult task at times, and it’s made all the more difficult by enemies who try to position themselves as allies. The GOP establishment doesn’t love any liberty so well that they’re willing to stand on its behalf if they perceive a popular movement of any dimension against it. The truth may be worse, because just as many of my readers have perceived over time, there are instances in which it has been perfectly clear that establishment Republicans are part of the left. Consider the issue of immigration, or the implementation of new entitlement programs, or their willingness to go along in many cases with further restrictions on firearm ownership. See how they pander to the environmental movement, another front for radical leftists. It is becoming apparent that in all meaningful ways, they are absolutely committed to undermining our republic, just like the leftists. The only significant difference I can see is that most of them will claim a committed faith, whereas the leftists distance themselves from faith in most instances.
There are those for whom such an apparent difference is enough to make a distinction, but as I have observed, I cannot know what a man truly believes simply because he declares it. What I can know is what a politician has done, and what it says about the views held by virtue of their practice. If this is the measure, and I firmly assert that there must be no other, I do not know why I would view the establishment of the Republican Party as anything other than an enemy, every bit as committed and intractable as the rabid left to the dissolution of the American republic as we have known it. In the final analysis, this is why I am walking away briskly from the Republicans. I am still “severely conservative.” I haven’t changed my views, but one: I no longer believe that the GOP can serve as a vehicle for the restoration of the republic. I will no longer be tempted for short-run political advantage to adopt the old notion that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I will simply hereafter acknowledge that I may have more enemies, and that the only real battle between them is akin to the struggle between rival gangs. They might fight with one another, but in practice, they’re all the same, and either will happily pillage, plunder and poach my life when the opportunity arises.
Rather than we conservatives looking for ways to join the Republican Party, I think it’s time for conservatives to move on, and let Republicans try to join with us. I’m not willing to let the latest Republican Trojan horse through the gates of our city, bearing statists. Be not deceived, conservatives.