All the polls predict substantial gains for the Republican Party in this fall’s midterm elections. Some pundits are even claiming that the GOP will capture one or both houses of Congress. Many conservatives are licking their chops at the prospect, believing that whether the GOP takes control or only comes close, it will spell the end of any chance for Obama to further his radical remake of America according to his statist/Keynesian/multicultural vision.
Perhaps such thinking is correct. But only in the short term. Exactly as the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994, exactly as the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and certainly as the election of either Bush did not herald a halt to the ongoing progressive capture of the American polity and culture, the coming Republican tsunami (no matter how strong) will prove just as ephemeral in its effect. Unless other fundamental changes accompany the anticipated Republican sweep in two months, the leftist onslaught that has buried America in: gargantuan government, collectivist programs, Keynesian economics, multicultural drivel, anti-religious morals, and a welfare state mentality; that onslaught will continue. In particular, the fickle electorate will tire of the new Republican majority as quickly as it soured on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime, and the country will resume its oscillation between hard left Democratic governance (à la Obama, Carter and Johnson) and faux conservative Republican leadership (such as Bushes, Nixon and Ford).
For that not to occur, the right in America must achieve two monumental transformations that would be mirror images of the stupendous changes engineered by the left over the last century.
- True conservatives must take complete control of the Republican Party, exactly as hard core liberals have commandeered the Democratic Party.
- Conservatives must recapture the country’s culture, which is now almost completely characterized by the preferences of leftists, progressives and multiculturalists. This means in particular, wresting control of the media, educational establishment, legal profession, academia, major foundations, librarian societies and government bureaucracies from the clutches of the liberals who dominate these venues and through them establish the cultural norms of the nation.
I have argued elsewhere (see e.g., http://new.ronlipsman.com/2009/05/17/what-culture-is-it-that-the-politics-have-caught-up-with/ and the references therein) that the liberal seizure of the culture represents the successful implementation of a slowly-evolving, but highly effective strategy conceived by progressives in the early twentieth century. Moreover, I have claimed that the politics followed the culture – exactly as those early progressives predicted it would. Specifically, for the left, #1 was a consequence of #2, not independent of it. The liberals only came to dominate the polity after their capture of the culture rendered it virtually inevitable. Well, why does the same reasoning not apply to conservatives? That is, how can the right hope to address the first transformation before it has made substantial progress on the second? The answer lies in a point that I made previously in this journal (perhaps too obliquely, but see http://new.ronlipsman.com/2010/08/26/defeating-obama-and-the-progressives-is-there-cause-for-optimismthe-election-of-barack-obama-and-a-hard-left-congress-has-not-been-a-boon-to-the-cause-of-individual-liberty-in-the-united-states-ob/). Namely, despite the idiotic votes for progressives, the mind-numbing stupidity of entrusting the Oval Office to an anti-American radical, the acquiescence in the demonization of businessmen and entrepreneurs – especially in contrast to the supposedly benign nature of government, the slavish attention paid to the filthy pop culture propagated by the media; despite all that, at heart, we are still a center-right country. Most of the American people believe in individual liberty, free markets, American exceptionalism and traditional culture. Therefore, whereas it took the liberals a century to weave their magic, hypnotize the populace and establish their radical agenda as “mainstream,” it should take conservatives no more than a generation to undo the treachery and restore the country. It requires only the will and an aggressive pursuit of the two transformations. The process will be accelerated by the fact that conservatives can address both transformations simultaneously – because of the inherent nature of the American people – unlike the liberals who had to approach them sequentially.
I have described elsewhere what I believe conservatives must do to recapture the culture. (See e.g., http://new.ronlipsman.com/2009/09/04/is-the-united-states-of-america-doomed/ or http://new.ronlipsman.com/2009/04/10/different-visions/.) My main goal here is to address the first transformation – what conservatives must do to convert the GOP into a party that stands for truly conservative philosophy, principles and policies, not the muddled, country-club, faux conservative, liberal-lite, RINO mess that it is and, with the brief exception of the Reagan era, has been for almost 80 years.
In fact the process has already begun courtesy of the Tea Party movement. It is not hard to understand why that movement has erupted now. The Obama-Pelosi-Reid gang’s aggressive pursuit of the most radical left agenda the country has seen since Johnson (or perhaps since Roosevelt, or even Wilson) has awakened a sleeping giant. The center-right American population has suffered through nearly a century of brainwashing at the hands of the liberal elite who control almost all opinion forming organs of American society. As a consequence, despite the people’s basically conservative convictions, their confidence in their underlying philosophy has been eroded; their natural instincts have been trashed and too often deemed illegitimate; and they have been taught to distrust their traditionalist intuition. Center-right Americans have been cowed into doubting the value of the political and cultural system that their forebears treasured and they have been tricked into paying feasance to a radically alien system imported from Europe.
But the O-Team pushed the pedal too hard and now many see clearly the abominable destination that the progressives have in store for us. The people can also see clearly that those who should have been protecting us from the progressive onslaught have too often “gone along to get along.” The people fear and dislike the O-Team, but they have nothing but contempt for the faux conservatives who control the Republican Party. So they have come together in Tea Party events to share their rage and plot strategy for undoing the harm that the progressives and their unwitting RINO accomplices have done to the country. All over the nation, Republican primary voters have tossed RINOs in the garbage and replaced them with Tea Partiers. This is the first and most important step in the assault that true conservatives must mount on the Republican Party. Here are some others:
- (Repeating the first step.) Purge RINOs wherever possible. I believe that Buckley’s strategy of choosing a “more electable” pseudo-conservative candidate over a less electable true conservative has backfired. It enables too many RINOs. It’s time to jettison that policy.
- Replace Michael Steele by a real conservative at the helm of the RNC and toss all the other faux conservatives who run that vital, but compromised organization.
- Cease the practice of “open” primaries, which give diabolical Democrats the opportunity to ‘crossover’ and help nominate RINOs for important positions – like the Presidency.
- Seek alliances with true conservatives in business, religious organizations, civic associations, foundations and all the other important components of civil society to help formulate conservative answers to critical questions – political and otherwise – that bedevil the public.
- Compose documents that articulate clearly creative, conservative positions that the Republican Party will adopt to address America’s pressing problems. Representative Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America is an excellent example. Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America was another. A second such contract – issued before the coming election if possible – would be very helpful.
- Institute policies and establish structures to ensure that money, which flows into Republican coffers, is controlled by conservatives, goes to assist conservative causes and candidates, and bypasses the RINOs.
Thus far the Tea Party people have been working primarily on the first step. Hopefully, the forthcoming election will ratify the value of their efforts and thus reinforced, we can get to work on the other steps. If this first step is legitimized in the coming election, it will signal an accomplishment that eluded both Reagan and Gingrich. If RINOs can be rendered an endangered species, we will be well on the way with the first transformation, even before anyone has begun seriously plotting strategy for the second.