Skip to comments.It's Time for a Chess Match, Not a Yelling Match (How do conservatives win?)
Posted on 05/01/2012 8:27:38 AM PDT by mongrel
People who are on this forum, for the most part, are here because they believe in JR's guiding principles: God, family, country, life and liberty from a conservative view point.
Right now we're engaging mostly in yelling matches with each other about one thing: voting for Romney. How do we step back and look at the bigger picture and come up with a plan? Perhaps we need to stop arguing about whether or not we rally behind Romney and begin to think long-term.
Without unity, we will repeat the history of two groups. The African-American community is taken for granted within the Democrat party, their vote is assumed, but Democrats are not really there for them. Sure, they got their token win with Obama, but he really isn't one of them. In the end, the Democrat party will continue it's tradition of liberal racism and elitism long after Obama is out of office.
If we keep supporting the GOP-e candidates in the general election, conservatives will also be taken for granted and never taken seriously. We might occasionally get our candidate as president, but in the end it will be about tokenism and keeping conservatives on the plantation.
If we go out on our own with a third party, we'll end up in the same place as the Libertarian Party. We will be pure in our politics, but we will have little effect on the ongoing direction of our country.
The key to making something happen is forming coalitions that make sense. Before I give a specific proposal, I want to make something clear. I don't think we should give up on this election. I think the House and Senate races are vitally important. However, I do think we need to step back and look at the long view of how to cultivate and maintain political power for the conservative cause.
I believe we need to start planning now for the 2016 presidential election. Not because we're giving up on 2012, but because that perspective may help guide us today.
In late 2015, we need to have a caucus, convention, whatever we want to call it, to rally behind one candidate to be the conservative candidate for the presidential nomination. We should prepare for that caucus in the same way we would work at hiring someone in a company. It could even be done online at Freerepublic.com. We need to bring together social conservatives, TEA party, and flexible libertarians to find someone. We need national leaders who are willing to make this happen.
What we need in a conservative candidate for president:
1. Conservative Principles. Clear, consistant core principles that have been lived over a lifetime. The vetting process would mean looking at that record.
2. Integrity. This person should have a personal life that is filled with moral consistency and integrity. This does not preclude those who have had moral failures, but it does insist on a process of restoration where they have taken ownership rather than covered it up. We could do our own sniffing by hiring oppo research teams to find out if there is any dirt out there.
3. Leadership ability. This person should have a track record as a leader in the private sector or in government that shows they know how to properly manage people and complex systems toward the conservative cause. It does no good to have a true believer who doesn't know how make a bureaucracy bend to his wishes. Again, this should be easy to assess by looking at their track records.
4. Communication skills. This person should be able to effectively use the bully pulpit to rally the public behind them. They might anger one sector of the public, but they should be able to keep at least a strong majority with them through their communication skills. Perhaps some of our PR and Marketing people could come up with ways to put candidates through the ropes in showing us what they can do, and to even pull together focus groups to assess their skill level.
If we get enough nationally known conservatives to rally around this, we could then move forward, united around a single candidate.
Why is it important to do this now? Because in all likelihood it will be either Romney or Obama in the White House next year. There is an outside chance of a 3rd party candidate running and winning, but those who prefer this path still need a plan B.
If Romney wins, this caucus would happen anyway. He will know from the beginning he will get a primary fight from the right. That might be enough to even push Romney stay further to the right for his first term. We can replace Romney mid-term, and show the power of the conservative vote even against an incumbent president. That seems to me to be a much more likely possibility than electing a third party candidate this time.
The other possibility is that Obama will win another term. This means that the next Republican primary starts up again with no real front-runner. We need to be ready for that.
The last possibility is that somehow a third party candidate will win as a conservative. If that candidate fulfills the 4 points above, then the caucus would only serve to broaden and solidify support.
We won't have a clear idea about what will happen to Romney, Obama or a third party candidate until we get closer to November. In the meantime, lets begin building for 2016.
The problem with Romney is that he will be Bush III. He will increase government and regulation where he can and do what he can to stand in the way of rolling it back.
OTOH, being as how my guys and gals did not win in the primary there isn't a whole lot of choice so I will vote for Bush III and do it in a heart beat over 0.
As conservatives the most important things that must be done are:
1. Fire Obama even if its just to send a message that overt socialism will not be tolerated.
2. Make sure the conservatives down ticket win which means turnout must be encouraged which means Romney must be supported. We can turn on Romney if we want the day after Election Day but for now he must be supported.
There are those who want to be holy and pure and feel good about themselves and vote for "pure" candidates without comprehending that it's the one willing to work in the mud that's actually going to save babies and this country and everything else you hold dear.
I will join with you in your identification of this problem, and it is a critical one - But I will throw the blame in another direction:
I have always been a rock-ribbed Reaganite, and it is my observation that the Reaganites and civil-libertarians have always been closely joined - For instance, pissants crew of Reaganites were nearly always participant with rabscuttle385's crew and bamahead's crew, and in reasonable agreement generally. Of course these folks are all true-blue to their principles, governed by them... perhaps there is less unity where folks are not one-percenters...
But my observation is that Reagan Conservatism STARTS with a civil libertarian core - It is, of course, a variant or 'next gen' of Goldwater libertarianism, and therefore a close cousin... and adds in social conservatism as an equal measure. A proper Conservative conscience should be composed of these two things, civil-libertarianism and social conservatism, in friendly disagreement - Neither can wholly get it's way, but both can be satisfied.
Reagan Conservatism has ALWAYS been the only place where there is agreement between all conservative factions to INCLUDE libertarians. To remind everyone, the quintessential guiding principle in Reaganism is the thought that each of the various factions has certain immovable principles that they hold dear, and each faction will naturally vote for those principles by default - But it does not injure those principles to vote for someone who ALSO HOLDS the principles of the other factions as equally valid - Hence nobody drives the bus, but everybody drives the bus.
To the degree that you, Cicero, believe that the libertarians are being recalcitrant should be a warning light to you that you have drifted beyond Reagan and into NeoConservatism. That the libertarians are raising a hue and cry is primary evidence that their principles are being trod upon. The point of compromise is not for the libertarians to sacrifice principle to you, but for you to find a way to change your outlook to satisfy them, without injuring your own principles.
The libertarians have been treated like a red-headed stepchild through BOTH of the Bush presidencies (GHWB and GWB). The will not be throw under the bus anymore, nor should they be - Their seat at the table must be guaranteed.
And the reality is that current front lines in the social conservative world are libertarian issues.
Rolling back Obamacare which forces everyone to pay for abortion is the front line. Both social conservatives and libertarians agree that it must be rolled back. But we can’t join together to find a way forward. I am surprised by then number of people who popped in on this thread to get their cheap shot “my way or the highway”. It’s a stupid way to think and it’s shortsighted and will win nothing.
I think you misunderstand. There are SOME folks—unfortunately many Catholic bishops are among them—who are in favor of conservative morals but big government and more welfare. That’s not me, or anyone I know on FR.
As I said, big government usually means not only more spending and taxing, but also more corruption. And as numerous historians and philosophers have shown, if you want real freedom, then you need citizens willing to discipline themselves. Which, in turn, means that religion needs to play a role.
Otherwise, if a sufficient number of people prove unwilling to behave morally or discipline themselves, then you end up with chaos and eventually dictatorship—discipline from above. Athens demonstrated that. Thomas Hobbes argued it in Leviathan. And several people pointed out in the nineteenth centurhy that it was basically America’s Christian values that allowed our Republic to be free.
I’m not an Evangelical, but I value the Evangelical vote. If you get a libertarian conservative unwilling to support basic moral values (mainly by NOT imposing government sanctions such as abortion on demand and gay marriage, both of which were imposed by big government liberals such as Obama and Romney), then millions of Evangelicals will stay home, and you will lose, as we lost in 2006 after Bush disappointed those who had turned out for him in 2004.
That’s how the DNC won the culture wars.
We need to stop our , all or nothing ,criteria.
I definitely think that Romney in a first term will have to be more responsive to voters than Obama would in a second term.
Giving Obama a second term is an action that I am not willing to take under any circumstance.
Reg Right, now, eh. item four: attainment of world supremacy within the next five years. Eh, Francis, you’ve been doing some work on this.
Francis Yeah, thank you, Reg. Well, quite frankly, siblings, I think five years is optimistic, unless we can smash the Roman empire within the next twelve months.
Reg Twelve months?
Francis Yeah. Twelve months. And let’s face it... as empires go, this is the big one, so we’ve got to get up of our arses, and stop just talking about it.
PFJ Hear Hear!!!
Loretta I agree. It’s action that counts, not words, and we need action now.
PFJ Hear Hear!!!
Reg You’re right. We could sit around here all day talking, passing resolution, making clever speaches, it’s not going to shift one Roman soldier.
Francis So let’s just stop gabbing on about it, it’s completely pointless, and it’s getting us nowhere.
Loretta I agree. This is a complete waste of time.
Yes and no - from the Social conservative side, the most important thing that is being eroded is LIFE. My libertarian FRiends hold that Life should be a matter for the states, but that is directly stepping upon the deeply held Conviction among those of the Christian Right that Life is Constitutionally protected... A libertarian candidate fielded with the standard libertarian view on Life will *not* attract the Christian Right. Similar problems exist wrt sanctity of marriage.
Concession on these minor (from a libertarian view) points upholds the Christian principles that are dear to their hearts without serious damage to a libertarian's principles.
Equally, It would be proper (and dire) for Christians to admit that the war on drugs has largely been responsible for the federal government's overreach in authority, and to realize that they have a large responsibility for it - It would be most necessary to reign all that in, and get the authority and law back into the hands of the states, rather than further feeding of the federal behemoth. In every case, the libertarians I have spoken with have ceded the point that the states DO have the authority to regulate drugs, and have even begrudgingly admitted that some sort of federal intervention can be foreseen as necessary (interstate, US borders). But the solution is *not* the federal 'war on drugs'.
It isn't generally the case that libertarians want to do drugs, but rather that the laws against drugs are dire impositions against liberty. That is a very important distinction to make, because libertarians thinking that way are TOTALLY valid in their position.
YES, Obamacare is the 'front lines' in the big picture, as is the ousting of Obama himself. But in order to obtain the votes to win, we need a candidate (a field of candidates down-ballot as well) that holds positions that the big 'c' Conservatives (all factions) can support. This is CRITICAL, and starts with a platform and planks that preserve the critical principles, the FIRST THINGS which are immovable, for all conservative factions. Nobody should have to take a back seat. NOBODY should be in the back of the bus, or under it! That is what Neoconservatism has wrought! Conservatives of ANY stripe should not need to sacrifice the principles that form their way of life, because they WON'T - and then the votes won't be there... Without all of Conservatism, we most certainly fail - Either an outright loss, or yet another Pyrrhic victory which does more harm than good. We need to get back to Reagan.
You would think that any of our conservative candidates would have been able to easily defeat Romney the liberal, but reality is that they all failed miserably.
We on the right are going to need to create stronger, strategically wiser and better capable salesmen and women of our ideas, but we are currently out of time in that regard for this cycle.
I will not stand by and allow this red communist to be re-elected.
Labeling people “RINO establishment” doesn’t serve any purpose, either. Conservatives CAN’T win by themselves. We need every vote and anyone pretending they are the only true conservative is delusional. The Left unites all their disparate groups to defeat us and we spend all our time arguing among ourselves about who’s more pure.
It looks like we have the following Freepers in looking at the way forward. All have conservative ideals, just differ on how we’ll get there.
1. Everything’s going to hell in America no matter what we do. We might as well opt out of the system and be prepared when things blow up.
My response: Even if that’s true, why root against those who hold your ideals and are trying to make a difference, whether 3rd party or GOP? Are you really saying it’s better if the whole explodes sooner? If so, stay on the prepper threads and help us know how to survive if and when it happens. In the meantime, quit trying to discourage everyone who is working for positive change.
2. GOP is too far gone with its nomination of Romney, might as well vote third party and see what we can do. Romney and Obama are the same.
My response: Fine, I’ll join you in working hard to develop a viable third party. But if we’ve not made enough progress by November, I’ll probably pull the lever for Romney. And, yes, it’s because I think a viable conservative movement can gain power and I think he will do less damage until we get there. Why don’t we work together at creating that movement and we’ll see what happens by November?
3. We must support Romney or we will have the evil Obama for another four years. Anybody who thinks otherwise is voting for Obama.
My response: November is a long way off. There is no reason to draw a line in the sand already. Things can change quickly in politics, we’re not done with the primary season, and we haven’t had the convention yet. A viable third party fight is possible, and it will force Romney to move either to the right or the left as a candidate. If he moves left, the third party wins. If he moves right, it will be more difficult for him to move to the left after the election. Obama is self-destructing and it really could be a race between Romney and third party.
You always know you’ve made the right choice when you feel yourself becoming centered and calm, and see your opponents getting angry and desperate in response.
This has been true since the beginning of time.
As far as those who you say are ready to fight a war, it’s easy to sit behind a screen and talk about it. Me? I’m ready if it comes down to it, but I’m not promoting it. I think there is still a chance things can be reformed before it gets to that point. I cnnot however fathom the mentality of just letting Obama win, which is exactly what voting 3rd party or staying home will do. It all could be just big talk though, and that is what I hope it rally is as far as posters here.
Speaking for myself, I'm far from holy and pure. (Aren't we all?) I struggle every day to do what's right. But I've prayed about this, and I firmly believe it will be spitting in God's eye if I personally choose an an abortion-enabling, homosexual-loving liberal to lead this nation. I can't do it---I won't do it. That would be going against everything God stands for. But isn't it interesting that, lately, this view garners derision and insults like "You're so pure, so righteous, so holier than thou", etc. All very leftwing in tone, really.
I don't want a pure candidate. I just want a non-liberal without blood on his hands.
And what becomes of God’s Eye when your actions lead to Obama’s re-election? That’s the Obama who couldn’t even vote for a law prescribing medical care be given to abortion victims who were accidentally born?
And women in Massachusetts are walking into clinics today, plopping down two twenties and a ten, and getting their cheap abortions, courtesy of Mitt Romney. Dead is dead.
I’m trusting God to see this country through, and He always takes care of His own. Pulling the lever for Romney is an active mark of approval for an abortion-enabler.
“Dead is dead” will be the effect of your vote. We know what Obama will do with Supreme Court picks.
We have a chance with Romney.
The number of abortions have fallen in Mass since Romneycare passed.
So has the number of abortion providers.
(From 45 to 41.)
Yes, he’ll probably do pretty much the same as Romney did in Massachusetts when it came time to appoint judges.
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