I am dispensing with the chore of attaching images to posts in this category. It takes too much precious time, and effort, better spent on other things. More than a few of my readers noted on Friday night in response to my To Hell With the Republicans… posting that we have no leader. It is true that there is no formal leader if we are to do this. At the moment, there is no Lincoln, and no General Patton, and those who might be haven’t stepped up as yet. Let me take a moment to offer another notion, since it seems that all too often, we seem to wait on some savior to rescue us. Why can’t you be that savior? Why can’t you be the next Lincoln, or Patton, or whatever figure you might prefer? It’s easy to lay about and pretend that we must continue to lose for lack of a leader to show us the way, but even were we to find one, that leader was not born knowing the ins and outs of the task at hand. Chances are, they learned through trial by fire, and since it’s our damned country anyway, and nobody else has nearly as much as we who know fully the value of the liberties we have enjoyed, I think it’s time to stop waiting for a leader and simply be one. Besides, it’s a good deal easier to attract an experienced leader to your cause if you’ve already assembled an army.
One of the things I learned during my Army career that had separated us from our Soviet adversaries had been the fact that if a battalion commander of the Red Army went down on the battlefield, his unit would be fairly ineffective, since without that leader in place, there was nobody who could step up into his place and do the job of commanding an effective unit. In stark contrast, in the American tradition, every man knew the basics of the jobs two steps above him and had already done the jobs below him, so that when the time came, the American unit could continue to fight even if it lost half its chain of command. This was because in our services, we expected every member of every unit to know at least the rudiments of leading, and I don’t think this situation is any different. The top of the Republican heap has gone AWOL, but rather than wait around lolly-gagging in the hope they will return to their senses, it’s time we get off our duffs and lead this ourselves.
I have received suggestions that what would be easiest is to simply conduct a coup against the Republican party, take over its rotting machinery, and build a new party within the husk of the old, breaking out and discarding the useless shell when we are strong enough. One of the problems is that this often leads to a co-opting of the new, as some of the old will try to cannibalize the fresh blood, or contaminate them with the same old diseases. I think the average conservative to whom I speak is so thoroughly sick of the GOP in its present form that co-opting them will not be so easy a task. Like any organization, we must start with a goal, and it can be ambitious, or it can be tepid; it can be vague or it can be specific. In any case, it will be up to you to decide what those goals must be, and what the overall mission of your organization is to be.
If you decide that the best approach is indeed to simply take over the Republican Party in place, I would suggest you find a way to differentiate yourselves from the old guard. “Conservative” has been claimed by other parties, and let’s face it, despite the factually good record of conduct among Tea Partiers, the media has succeeded in destroying their good name in many quarters, but I had thought something like “Restoration Republicans” might do. In that vein, we might also call it the “Re-Po Party,” since it would be our intention to re-possess the party from the establishment that now denies its own existence, but exercises a stranglehold over its machinery. On that note, we might choose to call it the “Re-Establishment Party,” since we have a constitution our forebears once ordained and established, but must now be re-established as the supreme law of our land. As a bonus, since there is an establishment, there would also be now a re-establishment wing of the Republican Party. I know some of you will think that last is to play with fire, but if we’re going to be burned anyway, we might just as well make the most of it.
The other approach is to start from scratch, or to join an existing albeit obscure party and make something of it. One of the most devilish obstacles laid before any party that is neither Democrat nor Republican is the matter of ballot access. Depending upon your state or locale, it may be exceedingly difficult to get a candidate onto the ballot for a given office. One of the things that helps keep the Dems and Repubs going is that they have party recognition on their side. Many voters will not have heard of the “Constitution Party,” as poster Ken suggests, or the “American Restoration Party,” one I’ve run across, and the reason is quite simple: The two major parties basically control the vast bulk of media and media resources, even on the Internet. The news covers Democrats and Republicans, but seldom any of the other parties. This makes breaking-in that way difficult, not impossible, but very difficult, and the big two know it, and like it that way.
One reader posted a link on my Facebook profile to an older article by Erick Erickson at Redstate, who suggested simply conducting a coup within the Republican Party, and he offered a number of reasons it would be a good deal easier than most people might believe, and at least a few of the comments offered experiences in agreement. Still, I believe whatever course we will take, we must embark, and we must do so immediately. What shall be our first destination? I am investigating several things, but I am certain my readers have many ideas, as reflected in the responses to the previous posting.
One thing about which I am reasonably certain is that we do not have much time remaining in which to save the republic. It’s tempting to look at all that has happened and pretend that it will continue to go on as it has gone on for the indefinite future, but I think we’re all mature enough, experienced enough, and otherwise armed with sufficient understanding of our situation to realize that the system is on the cusp of catastrophic breakdown in some form. With the obscenely absurd spectacle of serious people suggesting the minting of trillion-dollar platinum coins, you have to know that it’s a good deal more dire than is being reported. Time may be as short as that, never mind the gun-grabbing plans and all the other dastardly legislative proposals now in play. When a country runs its course, and you see the airing of the most preposterous ideas to cure monetary matters, you know the “powers-that-be” don’t know how to fix it, and you know also that they’re not willing to do what it will take.
Let us begin with the premise that we haven’t the time to build a party from scratch in quite the way we might have done it a generation or more ago. That leaves the notion of a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, from the ground floor, starting in a sweep of the local party offices. We will need to begin there, and for that task, we will need lots of people, from all over the nation, pulling in the same general direction. We will also need a few people who have some experience at doing this, and recent Tea Party experiences will likely offer plentiful, salient wisdom as to the pitfalls and the methods that work. As our faithful poster “The Unit” has mentioned, people who helped to form Ross Perot’s “Reform Party” came to discover that not all would-be leaders turn out to be what they had promised. Let us be wary of any who too easily wish to lead. We don’t have the time to waste, and we don’t want this to die by sabotage or incompetence. We have enough daunting challenges ahead of us without unnecessarily imposing new ones.
I believe our single-minded goal must be to restore constitutional government, in all the meanings explicit and implicit in that charge. Our constitution worked until the politicians began to work around its restrictions and tempt us into turning a blind eye to it, as they bought votes with our treasure. Now, there’s not enough treasure to be looted in order to satisfy all the promises, and the politicians are pointing fingers. The problem is that we should have kept these people on a much shorter leash all these years, but how many times have we ourselves bent to the expedient measures of the moment? If we are to take over the Republican Party, let us start now, this day, this week, and in this moment. We must keep the pressure on Washington DC Republicans, but we must turn our immediate focus to the state and local levels in order to have any impact. I believe it can be turned around with your efforts, and the efforts of your friends and neighbors. Let us resolve that this will be the year that we will begin the task with redoubled efforts to wrest this government from the demagogues and incompetents. Let it begin today.
Who’s with me?