Is It Time For Conservatives To Dump The GOP? No!

Mark Tapscott wrote a generally sensible column about his frustration with Republicans in Washington who aren’t sticking to conservative principles.

Unfortunately, Tapscott titled the column: “Is it time for conservatives to dump the GOP?

Oh, oh, man does that title just grate on me.

“Is it time for conservatives to dump the GOP?”

Isn’t that kind of like a bunch of astronauts up in space going: “Ya know, this space shuttle is uncomfortable, dangerous and cramped. What do you say we get out of this lousy shuttle and just jump out into space?

If you’re a conservative or even a libertarian, how can you not be a Republican? Where else do you go? To some tiny little party that will be thrilled if they win a seat on a county commission in nowhereville, Montana? Nothing against people in the Libertarian, Reform, & Constitution Parties — and I mean that, there are a lot of very sharp, very decent people in those little third parties — but they’re still wasting their time. None of those parties have amounted to a hill of beans and none of them ever will. Our political system has always been geared up for two parties and it likely always will be. If you don’t support one of those two parties, the best you can ever hope for is to be a spoiler, to help draw enough votes away from the mainstream candidate who holds views that are similar to yours so that he loses. Is that really something to aspire to?

Anyway, back to Tapscott’s column, which, as I said earlier is generally sensible (except for the title). Tapscott writes:

I’m not saying we should just up and bolt right now. What I am saying is this: The rebirth of limited government will remain a conservative pipedream as long as the people in charge of the GOP refuse to sober up.

Put another way, it’s time for an intervention.

…How would an intervention work on the political scene? I don’t have that answer. Some people suggest withholding campaign contributions. Others predict conservatives will stay at home in droves in the 2006 elections, possibly handing the Democrats a bunch of new seats in Congress and revived hopes of taking back the White House in 2008.

Perhaps such a turn of events would be the needed jolt, but it seems just as likely, given recent history, that only the names and party affiliations of those doing damage in Congress would change.

Got any suggestions?

There are a lot of things that can be done, but deliberately staying home in 2006 isn’t one of them. Gee, having more Democrats in office: that’s really going to make things better, isn’t it? Personally, I’d suggest:

— Raise a huge stink when Republicans in Washington do something you disagree with.
— Support conservative candidates who can win against RINOS in the 2006 primaries.
— Support “structural” changes that will lead to better government like a Balanced Budget Amendment, term limits, and anything that reduces gerrymandering.
— Vote Republican, but don’t donate to candidates whom you don’t like and feel free to let them know why when they send you a fund raising letter.
— Alternately, you could increase your level of support for the GOP. Give us a Republican President, 60 Republican Senators, and a GOP majority in the House and on the Supreme Court — which is doable by the way — and the GOP is theoretically capable of pushing through our whole agenda without the Democrats being able to do much to stop us.

In any case, the most important thing conservatives can do is convince people that we’re right. Our representatives in Washington may be a little slow on the uptake, but they eventually get the message — that is, if they’re hearing it from enough people.

My personal theory is that if you can convince 60% of America you’re right, then you will eventually get your way. So either you convince people that your position is right or help people that can do it for you. In the end, that’s the most important thing we can do to help get a conservative agenda enacted. Once enough people agree, the politicians will fall into place.

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