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.
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.
I don’t think he will. He knows why he has gotten this far.
In any event, you are trading a known commodity for a “probably.”
When Obama appoints 2 or 4 justices who follow the abortion party line, remember how good you feel about your decision right now.
Well, that’s comforting. /s
Should we infer that Romney’s wonderful socialized healthcare system had any hand in the 9% decline? Because the article implied nothing of the sort; Romneycare wasn’t even mentioned.
I see that MA requires parental consent for minor abortions, as of 2011. Romney was against that; he said a judge’s permission was sufficient.
You keep pounding the drum that Romney was an abortion enabler, when in fact, Romneycare made no difference in women availing themselves of abortions.
In Mass, any government run health care has to cover abortions....that law was passed in 1981. That applies to Medicaid which already covered most low income MA residents.
At least Romney has renounced his pro choice stand.... something Obama will never do.
I’ll go with the chance of preventing more abortions, not the absolute certainty of more abortions under Obama.
You can certainly do as you feel led.
Again, Romney will do the same thing, and has. Romney is very much a known commodity, unless you find it more comfortable at this point in time to pretend.
I’m at peace with my decision, thanks.
You need to take a reality pill. He's already added $5 trillion in debt in just over three years. Your grandchildren will never even pay that back. If you think 8 dollar gasoline, death panels, another $5 trillion, no coal mines, no gas and oil drilling on public lands, no pipeline for Canadian gasoline, paper mache'death traps to drive in, confiscatory taxes on job creators, and more, are good, then stay in your dream land.
Myself, I'm working to keep Obama from another four years above all other priorities.
I think you misunderstand. There are SOME folksunfortunately many Catholic bishops are among themwho are in favor of conservative morals but big government and more welfare. Thats not me, or anyone I know on FR.
Oh, I DO understand, FRiend - Let me begin by letting you know that your thoughts are generally respected by me - I read you often, and find you to be reasonable and eloquent, and outside of our absolute opposition wrt religion, our thinking is like in kind quite often. In addition, I will concede (and celebrate) the fact that the lion's share of Roman Catholics and their Orthodox fellows as found in my travels on the RF, are also like-minded in their rejection of what has come to be called 'social justice' in liberal religions... and I do recognize the difference between that scurrilous form and the proper and needful social justice as truly defined by most of the Church Universal (to include btw, most denominations and rites remaining close to Biblical orthodoxy).
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.
Granted. And by and large, I think most of my civil-libertarian FRiends, being being good-hearted Christian folks in their own right, would agree as well. What they would tend to disagree with is religion exercised as law, especially at the federal level - And in that, they have a valid point to make.
Otherwise, if a sufficient number of people prove unwilling to behave morally or discipline themselves, then you end up with chaos and eventually dictatorshipdiscipline from above. Athens demonstrated that. Thomas Hobbes argued it in Leviathan. And several people pointed out in the nineteenth centurhy that it was basically Americas Christian values that allowed our Republic to be free.
Again, accepted. While libertarianism in it's purest form is probably anarchy, I doubt that many of the civil-libertarians hereon would go that far. There is, in my conversations with them, an overwhelming admission that there must be a moral definition - It is the 'who gets to define moral law' that has them at odds with the general tenor of Christian politics, while not being at odds with the Judeo-Christian Ethic which is our moral core (as a nation).
I don't know if you venture far afield from your northeastern region, but as I hail from the West, that libertarian strain of independence flows strongly in my own veins - Hereabouts we seem to be able to get along just fine with far less law of any kind, compared to east of the Ol' Muddy and north of Dixie. Here, much of the population is far beyond the reach of law in their daily lives, and they seem to be the finest sort of Christians without that moral imperative being imposed. THAT is where my libertarian FRiends will be pointing... The imposed law does nothing - except opening yet another avenue for control... and that my FRiend is how liberty is lost. One unnecessary law at a time.
Im not an Evangelical, but I value the Evangelical vote.
Likewise, the other way around.
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.
What you say is exactly true - and both of those particular things have a remedy in the minds of all but the most virulently independent of libertarians.
Life can be defended as Constitutionally protected - Even in Roe v Wade and it's following precedents, the main argument was not Life itself, but when life itself occurs... If a baby in the womb can legally be shown to have life, the entire reason for making it a states' issue crumbles to nothing. Life IS constitutional because removing it is sanctioning death - And abortion falls outside of the only two means of sanctioning death that are open to ANY level of our government - Those being 'due process' (crime), and 'Just Cause' (war). Ergo, preservation of Life is among the unalienable rights our entire government is formed to protect. Nothing could possibly be more federally protected than those rights which it cannot grant, and is duty bound to uphold. To adhere to 'states rights' in this issue would open the door to any other sort of death (think disabled, elderly) the state might think is to their advantage to employ. And don't think for a minute that that ain't coming soon - You can bet on it.
Gay Marriage is an exception to the generic federalist position, simply because states must honor the contracts of other states respectively - It is the reciprocity clause that is at stake here, lest every contract has to be drawn state-by-state... Even so, long term relational contracts cannot be used to import objectionable morals into a state that opposes them - So there IS an actual dilemma becoming evident. And that dilemma demands a reasonable solution.
Most libertarians will recognize that dilemma if one does not emphasize the moral absolutes that Christians are fond of, but rather the impediment which is already occurring in reciprocity between states, and the very predictable damages that will inevitably fall upon state sovereignty. The dilemma is there - How then, do we fix it? That solution must be acceptable to both.
These two approaches have been met favorably by the libertarians I have talked to, if not accepted fully. It is *NOT* moral turpitude that drives them, but rather the far-looking understanding of what will be done eventually with those imposed laws.
It is the structure and balance of law that they are most attuned to - it is their dogma to put it in religious tones. Civil-libertarians are good and moral people who are merely chaffing at the imposition, because time has shown us that those things which are imposed by government are always misused to further power and agenda. And we have good reason to listen to them, if history is to be our guide.
Your analysis of possibilities seems reasonable.
My plan is to bolt the GOP, to actually turn against the GOP, the very day Obama is hopefuly defeated. I am not happy with our potential nominee, but I am disgusted with our president, and I am not going to lose sight of whom the actual enemy is at this time.
We lost this round, and I do not intend to compound this loss by losing the war.
I certainly agree with most of that.
It’s a common saying among the modernist crowd that “you can’t legislate morality.”
That really depends what you mean by those terms.
Most countries have laws against stealing and murder, for instance. Or bearing false witness in court. That only makes sense.
You can’t force people to be good. But you can make reasonable laws to restrain them from commiting crimes. It depends where you draw the line.
I have had some good friends over the course of my life who are gay or lesbian. I’m not going to tell them that I approve of that choice, but I’m not going to criticize it, either. It’s their business. The law used to be that gay acts in public are wrong, but what you do in private is your own business.
The problem isn’t gay people but gay activists, who want to impose their views on others, and make it criminal to disagree with them. Marriage has always been an agreement between a man and a woman, with the blessing of the church and the state.
Actually, the government is MORE involved in morality than it was before. It says that if a schoolboy says anything about his Christian beliefs in school, he will be kicked out, especially if he suggests that gay activities are wrong. Yet Obama’s Safe Schools Czar, Kevin Jennings is still in office, even though he has approved of homosexual activities in the bathroom among six year olds.
Rick Santorum was frequently criticized for “imposing morality” on people. Yet all he said is that we should return to Christian values—which is a choice, not a government mandate. He would try to set an example, not legislate or impose mandates by judicial fiat. But that got him in trouble here with a lot of people who believed the liberal charge that he wanted to mandate morality.
Did you get the answers you were seeking?
For the most part. I was asking mostly because FR had become so fractured, and was fixated on something that really is only about one battle in a longer war. I didn’t know if FR would hang together through it, or if we could step back and see the bigger picture. Perhaps now that reality is starting to set in, we can move again to the bigger picture.
In a political movement the most useless exercise is to sit and blame everyone else for what happened. You only gain power for a movement by assessing your own mistakes and making sure you don’t repeat them in the future. We’ve had to many years of “going along to get along”, or “take my toys and go home.” We need each other’s voices so we don’t fall in either ditch and keep moving along with a realistic yet purposeful plan.
I don’t think we are where we are because the GOPe, the mainstream media or the Dems screwed us. They did what we should expect them to do. And we did (and are doing) exactly what they expected us to do. The fights we’re having on FR right now are every Obama supporters wet dream. The conservative movement showed its continuing weakness in it’s inability to form coalitions. So we respond to that by sticking our heads in the sand on principle or by acquiescing? Either extreme will keep conservatism on the sidelines. It’s time we grow up and get out the playground taunts and actually do something constructive for the movement.
Give me an example of a fracture.
I realize we aren't supposed to call names on this thread, but to call Romney the face of the GOP is aiming about three feet too high.
Conservatives have one thing they can count on, their beliefs.
A true Conservative will stand tall against all name calling and bullying.
Pragmatism only gets rinos elected!
We had one but she bailed!
I'm going to be investing my time on the races down the ballot. Mitt Romney sucks. However, Tim Walberg is a pretty good congressman. I'm not going to throw Walberg under the bus because the presidential nominee sucks. Debbie Stabenow needs to get fired. I'm voting for Peter Konetchy in the primary but will vote for whoever the nominee is over Stabenow.
There is a lot of important offices up for election, and we need to remember those. November 6 is election day, not just presidential election day.
We had some "leaders" of what was considered 'tea party' had a coronation meeting to push one of our senate candidates through. A guy got his buddy endorsed for senate. It was sold as 'stopping Stabenow' but it was really to stop Hoekstra. I'm not voting for Hoekstra in the primary, nor the pet candidate of the coalition.
I understand the concern about dilution, but local tea parties are a great thing. Politics needs to start locally at home as tomorrows congressman or president usually starts someplace local.
What I do agree with is that we need ORGANIZATION so our local tea parties can get good people in locally, and move up the latter to the major offices.
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