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Written by: Jon Moseley
Posted: Dec. 4th, 2012
Almost every challenge facing the Republican Party boils down to one issue: How is it possible for Republicans to win elections? The GOP establishment fights, undermines, lies to, and betrays conservative Americans because GOP insiders do not believe it is possible to win elections on a tea party agenda.
We’re looking at everything all wrong. We want Republican leaders to champion our tea party issues. But they can’t. They don’t know how.
Conservatives believe that a properly-run campaign based on conservative values will win. More than that, we know it is the only way that a Republican candidate can win.
GOP insiders are convinced that the only way a Republican nominee can win is to become a bad photocopy of the Democrat. But that’s because moderates don’t remotely understand how to actually win an election. While conservatives can articulate detailed specifics about their strategy, Republican moderates, elites, and insiders offer only platitudes.
The establishment has a religious faith in the idea that to win, the Republican Party has to surrender everything it stands for and believes. GOP moderates believe it is just “obvious” that their strategy is right. But what is obvious is that moderates haven’t really thought any of it through.
The establishment tells us that the answer is nominating “better” candidates. First, this is a meaningless, superficial platitude, not a plan. Naturally, better is better than worse. Worse is worse than better. This sounds like a child’s nursery rhyme, not a strategy for winning elections.
Conservatives take action, while moderates simply throw rotten tomatoes from the peanut gallery. A “Future Candidates School” has been taught by the Leadership Institute, run by conservative godfather Morton Blackwell, for a couple of decades. Newt Gingrich’s GOPAC was created in the 1980’s in part to prepare conservatives to run for office or for higher office. Conservatives have been doing it for decades.
Second, of course, the most experienced Republican officials are all very experienced in wrecking the country. So if we look for candidates who are “better” in terms of their goals for saving the nation from – well, to be frank – the other Republicans who helped wreck it, we are necessarily going to have to look outside the ranks of self-congratulating, self-important, self-appointed leaders.
When Republican insiders call for “better” candidates they mean “me” (the insider). Unacceptable candidates are “anyone other than me.”
Third, however, by “better” the elites mean “Someone the news media won’t criticize.” However, that is a fantasy… a delusion. The news media will always criticize any Republican to further the liberal, big-government agenda. The liberal media will only praise, protect, or leave alone a Republican to the extent that it harms a different Republican or pushes a liberal theme. Then the same media will turn around and savage that same Republican later when it advances the liberal agenda. John McCain is a prime example. The darling of the media of years past suddenly became evil when the media wanted to elect Barack Obama.
And the reasons given today for the media to attack Republican candidates will change tomorrow. So if the media is attacking the GOP on issue X, and the GOP caves on X, the media will simply attack Republicans on Y later. These factors are obvious to conservatives, yet establishment Republicans remain totally blind to these realities.
But when it comes to running campaigns, conservatives and Republican moderates exist in entirely different universes. The Republican establishment has no idea what you are talking about when you criticize their atrocious election campaigns.
You argue “Let’s run a candidate who stands for something.” You are speaking a foreign language. They have no idea what that means.
Ronald Reagan showed the way. So the tea party and other conservatives believe it is overwhelmingly obvious: Do what Reagan did.
But this blueprint that seems so clear, simple, direct, and obvious to us, the Republican establishment has never understood. Those are the people who during the Reagan Administration kept trying to stop Reagan from everything he was doing. They didn’t ‘get’ Reagan then and they have no idea what we are talking about today.
Republican moderates and insiders differ radically from conservatives in many ways — not just on the issues. (1) on the entire reason for being involved in politics, (2) on how election campaigns work and should be run, (3) on whether and how to persuade voters instead of pandering to them, (4) on personal courage in taking a stand, (5) how to deal with the news media, and (6) how to respond to criticism and negative information in campaigns.
For us, there is no reason to win an election except to change things. We would rather spend our time with our families, our churches, our hobbies, and private lives.
Quite simply, Republican insiders stink at running election campaigns. Conservative campaigns, by contrast, stink only some of the time.
Nothing can change for the better until all Republicans of all types master the techniques of winning elections. Too many people think that it’s a do-it-yourself project of “Doin’ a-what comes naturally.”
The only way to haul the Republican insiders out of their pit of despair is to show them what is really possible. We can’t just talk about it. We have to demonstrate how successful campaigns can be run.