Skip to comments.Uniting the Conservative Movement
Posted on 04/21/2006 10:00:52 AM PDT by Impeach98
E-Mail the Author
Uniting the conservative movement
Posted: April 21, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
Let's be honest with each other, shall we?
Brothers and sisters in arms within the conservative movement are dealing body blows to each other, and the four-decade surge conservatism had enjoyed is now suffering accordingly.
Until recently, the raucous sibling factions held their tongues and kept their political differences largely under wraps. But the disputes between the various factions of the conservative movement are becoming increasingly more public and counterproductive.
Sparring within a family isn't always a bad thing. In my own family, my brother, sister and I fought like bobcats chasing after a raccoon at midnight, but the rivalries were just as important a part of our family bonding as the more tender times we shared.
And should anyone from the outside take aim at one of us, you could count on us to watch each other's back and form a united front.
The different sibling sects of conservatism have much more in common than what divides us, although it's hard to remember that right now with the rank smell of cordite in the air from liberal attacks.
The family tree
Today's conservative family tree has four branches to it.
1) Economic conservatives who believe in free markets and reduced/limited government intervention and regulation.
2) Social conservatives who want to preserve a culture of Judeo-Christian values where the institution of family is cherished as the cocoon that nurtures our children with the values of decency, honesty, justice and compassion.
3) Cultural conservatives who are fighting to maintain an American identity based on democratic principles and the Melting Pot model that takes the best immigrants have to offer and making it part of the American ideal.
4) National security conservatives who helped propel the Reagan revolution with the cause of "Peace Through Strength." They are anti-communist, and non-appeasers who today advance a similar message as it relates to the threats from Islamofacism.
These four branches were not always united, and it took the ideological firepower of William F. Buckley to make the compelling case that conservatives needed to unite.
Blanche, where have we gone wrong?
Despite noble attempts to keep these various conservative factions working together, such as the gatherings at the American Conservative Union's CPAC convention, the conservative movement is today in danger of a crackup.
For example, how is it that one of the basic tenets of conservatism, fiscal responsibility, could be the area our movement has most noticeably jumped the tracks?
After decades of liberal Democrat rule in Congress that showcased massive big-government spending and stifling tax increases, things were supposed to change with the 1990's political revolution that brought fiscally conservative Republicans to power.
But today's Republican members of Congress make the liberal Democrat drunken sailors of the past look sober by comparison.
What's worse is that the Bush White House has not only gone along with the program by refusing to veto congressional spending increases, but also helping to promote new big-government programs such as the prescription-drug plan fiasco and No Child Left Behind.
Meanwhile, the American identity is in danger of being hijacked by those who believe America should have no borders.
The La Raza crowd has taken to the streets demanding amnesty for those who break our laws and enter our nation illegally. And they believe that American taxpayers should provide them unlimited benefits.
For over 25 years, we have looked the other way when it came to securing our borders, just so corporations could enjoy a quick fix of cheap labor, even as the associated social-welfare costs bankrupted our communities.
What is most disturbing has been to watch as some conservatives are bowing to the threats of political retribution from the illegal-alien crowd. These spineless politicians are more concerned about the ramifications at the voting booth than the American principle of rule of law.
Retreat on the right in the face of terrorism
Constitutionalists and libertarians, who are abandoning the war on terrorism because they don't want to do any of the heavy lifting, must also share some of the blame for the fraying of conservatism.
When the government tried to crack down on the activities of terrorists already operating in the United States with the Patriot Act, civil libertarians screamed that this was George Orwell's "1984" Big Brother totalitarianism coming to control our lives.
Despite their predictions that private content on people's computers would be exposed or that government agents would be listening in to intimate chats with their sexual partners, there has not been a mass pattern of government misconduct and abuse. Except for those Middle Eastern members of Islamic Jihad who are here on expired visas planning to bomb a nightclub in New York these people have probably had their phones tapped.
The libertarians and constitutionalists have been little better in their stance on the war on terrorism on foreign shores. In spite of the incontrovertible evidence of Saddam Hussein's funding and harboring of terrorist organizations and the newly released evidence of additional ties between Iraq and al-Qaida, "conservative" opponents of the war effort have nonetheless continued their cries of protest against Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The National Libertarian Party website goes so far as to equate President Bush with Osama bin Laden. Unlike the Peace Through Strength model that many Libertarians supported in the Cold War, today the official Libertarian Party website says, "problems are solved by peaceful cooperation." Unless of course the people you are supposed to be cooperating with wish to behead you and blow up the school your children attend.
If you are going to have a values-neutral approach that equates terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism with the democratic freedoms of the West, then you will never have anything worth preserving or defending.
Looking for Sharon
We can't deny that it's hot, sticky and steamy under the Big Tent of conservatism these days. Tempers are flaring, and a lot of people are smokin' mad.
But we've got to find a way to reach a broad consensus on how to move the conservative agenda forward.
On Sept. 11, 1960, conservative leaders brainstormed at William F Buckley Jr.'s estate in Sharon, Conn. The end result was pure genius in the form of a document called the "Sharon Statement," which outlined the core principles of a new conservative movement that would lead to the formation of Young Americans for Freedom.
The "Sharon Statement" outlined the conservative principles that would guide a generation of activists. Those campus activists grew up and captured the attention of a nation for their ideas and beliefs that eventually led to conservative electoral success.
Ronald Reagan's presidency provided a Shining City on a Hill that these disparate conservative groups could together take shelter in.
Now it's time for a new "Sharon Statement." The grown-ups in the conservative movement can put an end to the circular gunfire, and sketch out a path for America's future. Instead of shooting at each other, let's start taking aim at the banshees on the Left like Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Al Franken, Chuckie Schumer and Howard Dean.
If we don't get our acts together, these raccoons will be running the country. Isn't it time our family of bobcats worked out our differences to make sure this never happens?
Melanie Morgan is chairman of the conservative, pro-troop non-profit organization Move America Forward and is co-host of the "Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Show" on KSFO 560 AM in San Francisco.
Problem is, Conservatives have NO clue how to hold power. Every time they get it, they end up fighting each other instead of the enemy!
If some of your "family" members try to destroy the family by sharing the goals of the enemy (open borders and big spending socialism), then it's time to remove them from the family.
hahaha good point. Actually that is what most families WOULD do.
It's really simple. The bill is in the house, pass it and this will all go away.
"And they believe that American taxpayers should provide them unlimited benefits."
I doubt they believe they are entitled to unlimited benefits.
If conservs keep circling the wagons, and pushing out those we think are not PURE, the Quisling Dems will be in charge and not for just a short time. Once they regain power, the MSM, and every other institution will be in full gear to permanently destroy any conserv-Pub outlets. Listen, the dolts in the conserv movement pose no danger to my liberties, freedoms and international security. ANY Democrat does. Period.
Just taxpayer funded medical care, education, job-training, etc...
Then the Republicans and the President should reconsider there choice to go against the will of the base and the people concerning amnesty.
After today's column by Melanie was published she heard from a number of Constitution Party members who are furious she singled out constitutionalist opposition to the war on terrorism. They think people like Melanie and others who support the war effort are totalitarians and they think SHE should be rooted out of the "conservative" movement.
The libertarians are opposed to the war AND the higher spending.
Most of FReeperdom and the talk radio world are opposed to the "we love illegal aliens" cabal that's running Washington, D.C. right now.
We have to find a way to get the conservative movement back on the track of pursuing conservatism and getting everyone whose willing to go that direction on board.
I thought Melanie was fired from KSO? Great news if she is back on the air!
The Libertarian Party is not conservative. It's for liberals who are ashamed of the Democrats.
In fact they were the FIRST political party to endorse the Recall Gray Davis movement in California - which Melanie Morgan launched on her radio show.
The Libertarians beat out the Republicans in this effort.
They're certainly not "with" conservatives on plenty of other issues, I'll grant you that, but Melanie's column seems to say they used to be more with the broader conservative movement and now they seem more against it.
Guess that means I'm on the trunk of this tree.
When the branches get excessively long, they must be pruned for the health of the tree.
She was back within a week.
Any party that opposes the War on Terror (as the Libertarians and Constipationists do) is in league with the Democrats.
"Problem is, Conservatives have NO clue how to hold power. Every time they get it, they end up fighting each other instead of the enemy!"
I don't believe this is true. The conservatives are not in power, the Republicans are. There is a large, and growing, difference between the two.
There is no way to forcefully unite the differing conservative factions and any attempt will result in failure.
That doesn't mean conservatives can't unite, only they will not do it by design. Each faction has it's own separate agenda, goals and strategies. Conservatives will unite temporarily around a cause or event in which communal identity is shared, like the presidency of Bill Clinton or the WOT.
People need to understand this and make it work for them rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Thank you for saying that.
A lot of people confuse the two. That was the other thing that Melanie gets a lot. She'll talk about the conservative movement and people will talk about the Republican Party.
The Republican Party has certainly been the party that advanced conservatism in recent times, but it's the party straying from certain conservative principles that is part of the crackup in the conservative movement right now.
REPUBLICANS have no clue.
And that's because 'Republicans' can be anything from a pro choice, gun grabbing, tax and spend, big government liberal to a pro life, pro gun, small government conservative. It's now wonder we can't 'hold' power. We constantly are fighting the ideas of our liberal counterparts and they are within the party.
The GOP will never gain and retain power with such an identity crisis. A party divided cannot stand.
When people get disgusted with their party, in this case the GOP, sometimes they go third party. Most of the time they just drop out altogether because they cannot and will not abide the left wing of the party.
They will not support pro choice candidates or the party that supports them.
They will not support gun grabbers or the party that supports them.
They will not support tax and spend liberals and the party that supports them.
Are you seeing a trend here?
You may be one that disparages 'single issue' voters, but a lot of people have lines that must not be crossed. When they have nowhere to turn, they turn away totally. Again, you may be one of those who disparages that reaction too, but people of principle should never be taken lightly.
A renewed GOP centered on Constitutional principles without pandering, without special favors for certain groups, with respect for freedom, without its hands in the pockets of taxpayers would be larger than the current GOP, and stronger. Such a party would retain power for generations to come.
That message brought to you by a Republican Party hack who is afraid of liberty and the things that people do that he doesn't approve of, even when it doesn't effect him or anyone else. (One of which is voting for anyone other than a Republican no matter the person's beliefs, just as long as the person is an "R".)
Great way to put it.
And for too long the GOP has bought into the big tent theory whereby anyone could be part of the party until it became only about winning, not about solid principles.
The party that will stand for anything, in fact stands for nothing.
Let me translate this for the lurkers:
Badray belongs to the party of sex, drugs, n'rock n' roll.
And IF I had born a Rockerfeller - I wouldn't have to worry about my bills.
If pigs had wings they could fly.
The reality is - this is and always will be a two-party system. If we don't elect Republicans, then Democrats will win - its that simple.
I know there are conservatives who feel that letting the dems win will galvanize conservatives to turn the Republican Party towards the right.
What they don't realize is the terrible irreversible damage the dems would do to our nation in the interim.
The other thing that many do not realize is that only about 1/3 of Americans consider themselves to be conservative. There is no way that 1/3 will ever be able to outweigh the other 2/3s. The farther to the right we pull the Republican Party - the more voters we'll push into the Democratic Party. Not a good thing in my book.
For your information, I am a Republican who is solidly in the right wing of the Party. Ever hear of the Republican Assembly? I know, you hate them too, right?
I am a Christian who loves sex, likes rock and roll but prefers the big bands of the 40s and 50s, but I rarely even take prescribed medicines and won't take so called recrational drugs. I am pro life, pro gun, and want low taxes and small government that stays within its constitutional bounds.
But in your eyes, I'm a terrible person because I don't kiss Republican ass or worship the Party.
Polls consistently show more Americans self-describe themselves as "conservative" than any other political affiliation/leanings.
I love your inconsistency. In your post right above the one that I am replying to, you point out that there are those who should be excised from the party. But when I say the same thing, I'm the one who is dividing the party.
You are such an ass.
BTW, exactly which of the things that I outlined are you having a problem with? Do you think that a party should stand for certain things and against others? Or don't principles matter? Take a pick. We cannot be take all sides of an issue and expect success.
If the GOP ceases to be the party that advances conservative beliefs then what should I care about it's success?
So, whatever it takes to get the GOP back on track on certain issues such as federal spending, growth of government, illegal immigration, etc... is fine with me. Because in the end I want the GOP to be a conservative party or else it will no longer be the party I identify with.
No. I think you're a naive person if you expect to accomplish anything at all in a third party.
Brothers and sisters in arms within the conservative movement are dealing body blows to each other,
is demonstrably wrong. Brothers and sisters in arms within the conservative movement are, despite disagreement over individual issues, united. The problem is that the Republican party has been taken over by "compassionate conservatives", i.e., not-conservatives. The body blows are between conservatives and socialist statists.
The premise is flawed.
Out-of control government is the enemy, not the democrats.
Did I advocate a third party?
I only said that the party should take one side of an issue.
How does taking both sides of an argument advance your principle?
The GOP, in all of its many manifestations, whole heartedly supported pro abortion Arlen Specter when he was challenged by conservative, pro life Congressman Pat Toomey. Even 'pro life' Rick Santorum supported Specter.
Fast forward to Rick's race right now. The GOP is blasting his presumed Democrat candidate for not being pro life ENOUGH!
Do you see any inconsistency?
They support a pro abortionist, but condemn a pro life opponent for not supporting life ENOUGH!
Even if that escapes you, it hasn't escaped the attention of lots of pro life Republicans.
The GOP doesn't give a damn about what you believe as long as you support them with your money and votes. All they (or the DNC) want is power. Talk of principles are just the buttons that they push to open your wallet.
Do you really think that they care about what you think when they send those 'exclusive' surveys (that probably most people get)? No, they are just finding out what your hot buttons are so they can send you the appropriate fund raising letter with the red meat that will get you to give them money.
What are you smoking?
Or did you misplace your reading glasses.
I am a Republican.
I didn't advocate a third party here, did I?
I jsut refuse to vote for someone just because they are in the same party as I am. Is that so hard to understand?
I guess for you, it is. Sorry to have troubled you.
You're statement about the Republican Party and statists is further proof of this. My guess is that your "perfect world" outcome and the "perfect world" outcome of these Republican "statists" would be very similar.
But instead of taking the fight to those who have a very different view than you, you take the fight to those who largely agree with you.
The solution is to find a way to achieve unity where we DO agree. We expect the Sunni's, Shites and Kurds to do it in Iraq, yet conservatives are making little effort to do so here at home.
The problem is that your solution guarantees a democratic victory. Is that going to be better? Not in my opinion.
How is it that the GOP could go weak on federal spending and growth in government? That should be the CORE of the party to which all other conservative wings are added on (social, cultural, pro-defense).
As a Californian I have the added benefit of having a party that stands for Arnold Schwarzenegger but no ideology right now.
I don't think the public will tolerate too well the rule of liberal Democrats. And I think that such rule might be necessary to revitalize the GOP and rekindle the passion for ideas that until recently had steered the party's path to power.
The Democratic party could literally destroy this country in two years - and probably will. There may be nothing left to galvanize.
Melanie Morgan and the rifts in conservatism. Penny for your thoughts.
My lips are sealed and my fingers tethered..
Eliminate moderates and wishy washy folks and then we can talk. ;-)
oops, that slipped out.
Wait a minute. I thought that was Mark Williams...or was it Eric Hogue? And who was the "Father" of the recall, Ted Costa? Howard Kaloogian? Daryl Issa? Dave Gilliard? Steve Frank?
You guys have me so confused. If I had an ego I'd claim it too.
Good article. I like the 4 categories. My beliefs fall in all four categories, 75-100%.
I think Badray summed it up pretty well:
The party that will stand for anything, in fact stands for nothing.
The only reason anyone's confused is because some people who weren't involved early on have tried to rewrite history. Here's how this one went:
* January, 2003 - Melanie Morgan and Shawn Steel are having a discussion about Gray Davis and his lies about the size of the state budget deficit. Melanie is asking what they can do about Davis and Steel suggests maybe we ought to recall him and Melanie gets excited and asks if they can really do that.
* Melanie and Steel then seriously look into this and the details and get the details wrong the first few times.
* Steel talks to a number of people about this including Ted Costa, Pat Cadell, Mark Abernathy, etc...
* Howard Kaloogian and Sal Russo have heard Melanie Morgan talking about this on the air. They realize that the GOP will never get behind this and it will only work if it's done from the outside. Russo and Kaloogian also have the whole Bill Simon network they can access and Russo talks to Democrat insiders who say "please, go for it, we'll help with it behind the scenes."
* We (Kaloogian-Russo-later Melanie Morgan) retain the website www.RecallGrayDavis.com in late January and build it in a few days. * Steel goes back to CPAC I believe to try to rally support for the fledging recall drive.
* Ted Costa has decided he will launch the recall himself. He's not very competent, his previous efforts came about because other people gave him money. But he thinks he can do this. Problem is, he doesn't have a plan that anyone thinks will work.
* The day that we launch RecallGrayDavis.com to sign up petition circulators, Costa produces Notice of Intent to Recall petition and goes on Eric Hogue show to get signatures for this initial recall document. This now officially starts the clock ticking. Costa then goes on Mark Williams Show which generates more people getting involved with Costa's recall group. And this is what generates the controversy between Hogue and Williams. Hogue was clearly ahead of Williams in jumping on board but Williams sees his station as relevant and Hogue's not relevant and so he believes his people jumping on board made the difference. I'll let everyone decide for themselves who to sympathize with on this as it's a nasty fight I don't want to be in the middle of.
* Costa goes to the media with Steel to boast about his recall drive. He has no website. No telephone number. He has his People's Advocate send out a questionnaire to his members asking "Should we launch a recall or do something else?"
* We step up our efforts and pretty soon the Recall Gray Davis Committee is seen by most people as the official recall committee. They don't realize Costa has a separate committee (it took him over a week to even reserve a recall website). People presume Kaloogian, Costa, Morgan, Hogue are all in the same group.
* Despite being called endless names by the Costa group we realize we have to bite our tongues and not have a public rift in the recall. We agree to use Costa's recall petition even though it is rejected more than 5 TIMES by the Secretary of State's office and the staff are telling us what a disaster Costa's operation is and how he can't get the basic elements of the petition right.
* We go to announce 100,000 signatures collected after we hand over 40,000 signatures to Costa's group (who we backed down to and allowed him to be the official proponent which means ONLY HE can turn in signatures... if we had done our own recall petition he had told us he would still go forward with his own separate one... the 2 separate recall petitions circulating which could not be added up together would have meant an end to the entire recall drive). We are supposed to meet Costa for the press conference and his people are supposed to bring the signatures. Costa at the last minute backs out. He says he cannot bring the 100,000 signatures, that it would be a security risk. We had wanted a UPS truck to meet us at the press conference so we could load up the boxes and have that visual of the signatures on their way to the county registrars office throughout the state. Instead Costa has us look like an idiot with empty boxes. We find out weeks later when the signatures finally arrive in TRICKLES to the registrars office that Costa never had 60,000 - he hardly ANY signatures. Since he had no website, no telephone number or separate recall committee in the early days, and no paid signature collecters, the ONLY people who had gotten signatures were the volunteer activists who in those early days signed up to www.RecallGrayDavis.com (the Kaloogian group). Costa is forced to get a website called DavisRecall.com and files papers providing notice of the launch of his political committee well after Kaloogian's Recall Gray Davis committee was up and running.
* Later Costa has the nerve to tell Darrell Issa and Dave Gilliard that we manufactured a fake press event with empty boxes and that Kaloogian can't be trusted. We are dumbfounded. But, again, we bite our tongues even after Costa is complaining he's not getting credit for the recall. Hint: Kaloogian would organize all of the Recall rallies for the campaign (the February one to launch it, the June one when it qualified, the one right before the election to get people to vote YES) and we'd collect the vast majority of the volunteer-collected signatures. Melanie Morgan recognizes Costa doesn't have his act together and begins telling her listeners to go to Kaloogian's RecallGrayDavis.com website. Soon almost every other talk radio host in the state is following suit and we put out a regular FAX/email flier called Radio Recall with updates/progress on the recall effort.
* Dave Gilliard and Darrell Issa came aboard late. But, without them there never would have been a Special Election. We couldn't have qualified that quickly. However, we would have qualified for the June primary election the next year. That would have meant it would have been harder to pass the recall (more Demo voters) but it also means McClintock would have been the GOP nominee for the replacement election.
That's your story. We (Kaloogian's group) ended up raising $900,000+ and collected over 600,000 signatures. Howard was on CNN, in George Will's column, was on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, etc.. etc...
I would have been satisfied without any progress whatsoever made in the last 5 years, but we haven't even maintained our original position, despite Republican Congresses and President.
I'll settle for a hell of a lot less than perfect. I won't settle for Medicare Part D, CFR, the huge spending increases and on and on--the hallmarks of socialist, statists. Don't attribute a false dichotomy to me. There is a huge area in between perfect conservatism and what the President and Congress have done in the last 5 years.
So...you're wrong. My post proves nothing except that the author is empty-headed.