There’s just something about the swamp gas of D.C. that seems to turn diehard conservatives wimpy, out-of-touch and punishingly dull the moment they get into the GOP leadership. Maybe it’s something the lobbyists are sticking in the hors d’oeuvres at all the fancy cocktail parties they attend. Whatever’s causing it, movement conservatives are entirely justified in being furious at the way the GOP Leadership has behaved over the last few years. The grassroots wanted conservatives who’d represent their interests and they got pod people who spend most of their time servilely catering to Obama and a business lobby that doesn’t have the best interests of the American people at heart.
Unfortunately, for far too many people on our side, this is where their critique of Republicans begins and ends. They start with the premise that the establishment is bad, which is true, but then they go haywire and attribute all bad things to the establishment.
I wish that were true. I wish all we’d need to do to fix the Republican Party, the conservative movement and the country would be to flush Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, John Cornyn and a few other guys along with all their orbiters and everything would be fine. But, it’s not.
That’s because the problems the conservative movement has go a lot deeper than the establishment. Until all of us in flyover country start behaving differently, we’re not going to turn this country around.
For one thing, we need to stop supporting conservative PACs that waste most of the money we give them. Is every conservative PAC doing the wrong thing? No, but you might as well flush money down your toilet as to give it to many of the organizations that are out there. During the last cycle, when we at Right Wing News researched PACs on our side, we found that the bottom 10 took in $54,318, 498 and paid out only $3,621,896. When your performance level is that poor, you’re not helping the conservative movement, you’re hurting it.
What have we done to change our state colleges, which are often hostile environments for conservatives? Are we threatening to pull our kids out of school? Are we pressuring Republican state legislators to cut funds if colleges hire communists and terrorists as professors? Are we doing anything of significance to stop the brainwashing of college kids that is being done with our tax dollars?
As the late, great Andrew Breitbart said, “Politics is downstream from culture.” So what are we doing to change that culture? Are we boycotting musicians, actors and companies that trash conservative values? Not really, which makes no sense because the Left is very effective at doing that and conservatives used to be good at it, too. Are we supporting our local churches that are fighting the good fight or are we watching as they fade into irrelevance because they have no idea how to compete for young people in a digital age? Have you ever noticed that liberals do much better when you poll “adults” instead of likely voters or registered voters? What that tells you is that the culture is even more liberal than you’d think from looking at how people vote. If we’re not willing to do anything to change it, why should we expect it to change?
It’s conventional wisdom that the Tea Party movement had a big impact in a couple of elections, brought in some new Republicans and then mostly faded away. Did we do all we could have with that big national movement? In some areas, the Tea Party made a huge difference, but in too many other places, the Tea Party broke apart into factions, each run by a little Indian who wanted to be a big chief. Although we initially drew people in with rallies, most groups were unable to up the ante the way liberals do. No big music acts, no giant puppet heads, no rebellious fun, just more and more long boring speeches about the Constitution and the Federalist Papers from people who made it on stage not because they can talk, but because they were political allies. Eventually, few people wanted to turn up for that kind of show anymore and Tea Parties faded away.
Of course, it’s easy to point the finger at “leaders,” but are the rest of us doing everything we should? Are we reacting so strongly to hypersensitive liberals, illegal aliens and idiots like Black Lives Matter that we’re saying things that are deliberately designed to offend people? It’s as if some people hate political correctness so much that they think anything that’s not politically correct is good. As annoying as the PC crowd is, the people who go out of their way to be as insensitive as humanly possible may be even worse and there are a lot of them on our side.
Also, I don’t care what the NAACP, Jesse Jackson or Black Lives Matter think about anything, but when I have conservative-leaning black Americans writing me asking, “What’s going on?” when they see images comparing the Obamas to monkeys on some conservative Facebook pages, I don’t know what to tell them other than the world is full of losers and we have our share. The Republican Party will NEVER bring in large numbers of black or Hispanic voters if even the people who agree with us have to overlook offensive comments to side with us on economics and social issues.
Many of us also have a horrible tendency to make “perfect the enemy” of the good. We primary members of Congress with ACU ratings over 90; we accuse people of being RINOs for disagreeing on anything and we are generally impossible to please. It’s fine to go after the establishment with hammer and tongs, but is there EVER a time when we’re willing to say, that’s not ideal, but that’s the best deal we can probably get right now? If we’re never going to be satisfied, isn’t the message people are going to get out of that, “There’s no point in even trying?”
If movement conservatives want to change the country, we can’t just wait for the establishment to change; we must change, too.