The Republican Party establishment is upset today. It’s all over The Drudge Report and conservative talk radio about how the election of Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Senate primary. Why? O’Donnell was endorsed by the Tea Party, and she roundly trounced her Republican establishment opponent, Rep. Mike Castle.
Now, before digging into this, I should make it clear that I know pretty much nothing about Christine O’Donnell or Mike Castle beyond what I’ve heard & seen in the media over the last couple of days…
But what this essentially boils down to is that change is hard, particularly in the arena of national politics. After moving much too far toward socialism for far too long, many people in America are coming to their senses and seeing that conservatism actually does offer real solutions.
Of course the Republican establishment isn’t going to enjoy seeing their candidate lose a primary – as a political party, they are in the business of winning elections, even their own primaries, and let’s face it: the major parties aren’t used to losing their own primaries. This is a big deal.
But what’s happening in Delaware isn’t a rejection of the Republican party, it’s evidence of a continued reformation among Republicans. These battles aren’t “civil wars” within the party as the media suggests, they are attempts by conservatives to bring the party back to a winning strategy and ideology. For too long, the strategy among Republicans has been to push voters into voting for the best “electable” candidate. The problem with that strategy is that the definition of electability is determined either by party elites who are completely out-of-touch with the real world, or by the media. This strategy is, after all, what got John McCain the Republican nomination in the 2008 election: every time the rank-and-file would start to get behind a candidate, the media would drag them down, because they had their eyes on McCain the entire time…and let’s face it: McCain was one of the worst choices in the field of Republican candidates, and putting John “Maverick” McCain up against a tabula rasa candidate like Obama was the worst thing the GOP could have possibly done, especially in the race to replace George W. Bush. In fact, the only thing that gave McCain a fighting chance in ’08 was Sarah Palin, who brought some conservatism to the ticket.
For too long, the political establishment and the media have been telling conservatives that we shouldn’t vote our ideals. According to them, winning is more important than ideology – this is what led to the Republican “big tent” philosophy. But the political winds have shifted. We’ve seen what big tent strategies get us: spineless RINOS and “compassionate” conservatism which only ends up taking us down the same road as the socialist Democrats, just at a slightly slower pace.
The truth is that Republicans aren’t the only ones facing a potential split and/or transformation. The Democrats have had their own in-fighting of late; the only major difference is that the Progressive sect of the Left has thus far successfully smashed down the “Blue Dog” revolt.
The Republican Party’s attempts to form a big tent party have only ended up marginalizing the GOP, primarily because the media has convinced the party elites that they have to move to the left in order to remain a viable political movement. But conservatives aren’t buying the party line anymore: we can see how today’s Republican Party holds to many of the same ideological roots as the Democrats, and we see no reason to allow this ideological takeover of the GOP to continue.
Playing the “electability” game will only hurt the Republican Party and the nation in the long-run. As much as the Democrats love to whine and cry about the “party of no,” it is extremely important to have an opposition party that actually stands in ideological opposition their political opponents. They way things have been going for the last decade or so, the message of both parties has essentially been “Our big government is better than their big government.” It’s about time that we saw some true small-government conservatives elected under the Republican mantle, and if we keep selling out our values in the name of big tents and the liberal media’s definition of electability, it will never happen.
So to all of those Republican elites bashing Christine O’Donnell over her so-called “electability,” get over it. It’s time to start backing the conservatives, because America has seen where neocons and RINOs will get us, and we have roundly rejected that philosophy. Eventually, the party elites will have to accept conservatives will not be silenced, or they will either be driven out of the GOP, or see their party split, which will make any Republicans unelectable for years to come.