Don’t Let Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good
A.C. Kleinheider wrote a piece for The City Paper called The Tea Party revolution will likely be betrayed. Here’s an except from Kleinheider’s piece that gives you the gist of it,
While many on the Right are energized by the level of engagement on display by grassroots libertarians and conservatives in last week’s “Tea Party” protests, conservatives should fight the urge to get too excited about this impressive show of force by the Right for one simple reason: It’s all happened before.
…The Right, in opposition, is always pure, populist and principled. Without hands on the levers of power, professional conservative activists and operatives always return to principle. The Tea Parties were just the most recent manifestation of what the Right always does when on the downslope of political influence. It is not unique and it is not surprising.
…The Paul movement started something on the Right. It tapped into an anger that had always been just below the surface. Now that economic conditions seem to have proved the angry ones correct, this movement has grown. The GOP and the professional conservative class, instead of trying to put out the fire on the Right to preserve their power, are stoking it. Now conservatives, who during the Bush administration were encouraged to be accommodating, are now being encouraged to release their true feelings about big government.
Professional conservatives are hoping that these grassroots conservatives and libertarians can be used, once again, as pawns against their political opponents and as foot soldiers in their eventual return to power.
…This Tea Party protest was, in its purest form, anti-state. It was a shot across the bow of a government who encouraged and then bailed out those corporate interests that left our economy in shambles.
For others, the protest was just an anti-Obama tantrum, a chance to throw bombs now that they no longer have to apologize for a President who called himself conservative.
So be enthusiastic about this “new” Rightist phenomenon if you want to, but if history is any guide, the professional conservatives will use and abuse these grassroots conservatives to get back into power, promptly sellout the principles of the movement, and then convince half of those they sold out that their betrayal is better than the alternative.
Perhaps this time will be different and authentic conservatives will throw off their professional conservative masters and show the country what true Old Right conservatism really is. However, if past is prelude, one should not hold their breath.
Kleinheider is right — and wrong in this piece. He’s right that the “professional conservative class,” who would be more aptly labeled the D.C. Republicans, “will use and abuse these grassroots conservatives to get back into power, promptly sellout the principles of the movement, and then convince half of those they sold out that their betrayal is better than the alternative.”
That’s why I say, “Politicians will always sell us out if it’s convenient. Our job is to make sure it’s never convenient.”
Moreover, not only will the D.C. Republicans go that route, but the inside-the-beltway pundits, including many of the ones who are doing panels on Fox right now, will support the sell-out Republicans and say they had no other choice. They’ll also encourage people to ignore the rabble in flyover country who got the GOP back into power.
But, you have to understand that is the nature of politics: whether you want perfect, uncorruptible tea parties or a perfect, uncorruptible political party, it’s not going to happen.
That’s because given how diverse the American electorate tends to be, no electable political party (as opposed to say, the Libertarian or Constitution Party) can ever be anything more than an imperfect tool to carry out our ideological aims.
Sure, we may be able to get a member of Congress who is in a 60% Republican state or district to vote our way 100% of the time, but there aren’t enough of those people to make up a majority.
That means to get our agenda through, we have to rely on a lot of Republicans who aren’t necessarily all that conservative because they aren’t in particularly conservative districts. Meanwhile, they’re in D.C. where the media is telling them consistently that it’s suicide to be conservative and RINOS have their hands on many of the levers of power because conservatives tend to take their ball and go home when they get mad. (PS: If you ever wonder why so many RINOs are in charge of things in the GOP despite the fact that there are a lot more conservatives in the party, it’s because moderates don’t storm off in a huff when things don’t go their way).
This is why “betrayal” of conservative values by the Republican Party is not an “if” thing, it’s a “when.”
Thar being said, there are two more points worth making:
#1) First off, don’t delude yourself in thinking that a Third Party would do any better because if a large conservative third party were to form, one of two things would happen: either it would split the vote on the Right and conservatives would end up with even less representation in D.C. than we have now — or the third party would displace the GOP and the EXACT SAME PROBLEMS that are happening in the GOP would happen in the new party. As long as conservatives get mad and quit politics when they don’t like how things are going, it’s going to leave an opening for liberals and RINOS to drive right through.
#2) So, why bother trying at all? Because a less than perfect Republican Party still beats the living hell out of the Democratic Party and does get some conservative things accomplished. You’ve heard the expression, “A half a loaf is better than none?” Well, not only is that true, the other option isn’t just “none,” it’s the liberal fascism that the Democratic Party now fully embraces destroying the country’s future potential to even make bread as well as we do today.
If you’re conservative or even a libertarian who places a high priority on small government and restraining spending, there is no perfect option. All you can really do is try to get the Republicans back in power, hold their feet to the fire, and get as many Americans as possible to come around to our way of thinking on capitalism, free markets, deficit spending, and the government.