“Sometimes we all need a stark reminder of where we came from to remember where we should go.”
It is extremely disconcerting to watch as conservatism being redefined by Republican presidential hopefuls who have no real idea what conservatism is. Each candidate has a few values that they consider as conservative enough, but none seem to exemplify a true conservative. Worse yet, each of these political campaigns are arguing amongst each other over definitions of conservatism.
In 2008, the Republican Party presented its constituency with one of the most liberal Republicans in Washington, Senator John McCain, as the nominee for President Of the United States. This fatal error in judgement not only cost Republicans the Presidential election, but it divided the Republican Party itself. The TEA party was “officially” born on April 15, 2009 as hundreds of thousands of conservatives across America began protesting the “tax” and “spend” policies of BOTH National Parties.
While the politicians and the press continue to distort what the TEA party is doing, the people at the grass-roots level have made it clear. In the 2010 mid-term elections, Democrats took a beating and liberal Republican incumbents found themselves ousted in their own primaries. In the short span of one year, the conservatives of the TEA party replaced about 11% of the federally elected positions with conservative Congressional freshmen.
Conservatism Is Being Redefined
Conservatism IS about small government, lower tax rates, personal accountability, fiscal responsibility, securing borders, maintaining culture, and preserving the Constitution as intended. Conservatism is NOT about government creating jobs, more tax venues, new rights or entitlements, illegal immigration, multiculturalism, or legislation that needlessly restricts individual freedom. Much like liberalism, conservatism is a lifestyle. Its based on a set of principles, morals, and ethics that a person lives by to make themselves responsible and accountable for their actions in lieu of giving up precious freedoms. For the past seven years, the Republican leadership has attempted to make the Republican Party more centrist by using a clever little collective bargaining techniques called “bipartisanship“.
The way this works is: Republicans and Democrats get together with two pieces of legislation that are completely unrelated. They bicker over them for a while, adjust them several times (usually adding pork spending), and then pass them both into law as one piece of legislation. Then, both Democrat and Republican, leaders attempt to sell the legislation to their respective constituencies with claims of victory. If their constituencies are not happy, they can excuse themselves by saying, “this is the best we could be because the other Party wanted something worse.” If the constituency is still unhappy, their leaders resort to calling them selfish and unrealistic and in the meantime, legislation becomes a tangled mess for future generations to deal with. While conservatism is being redefined by the Republican Party, the responsibility of maintaining conservative voices within Washington D.C. falls solely upon the grass roots efforts of TEA party to recapture the political party that is, rightfully, theirs in 2012.