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The Republican Establishment Has Betrayed Its Conservative Base By Richard Moss MD

  

There is great tumult in this political season, a great wave of discontent that is roiling the nation, and moving it in directions unimagined only six months ago. The frustration manifests at the national level in the Presidential race occurring in both political parties but particularly the Republican Party where the two lead contenders are total outsiders. The race in the Democrat Party has been less surprising. It is likely that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat standard bearer, a pasty, white septuagenarian, shrill and unappealing, an eternal cloud of scandal hovering overhead, a “feminist” icon whose chief accomplishment was marrying well. Otherwise, you or I would never have heard the name Hillary Clinton. Her ascendancy to the top of the Democrat heap was predictable. Bernie Sanders is an avowed Socialist, a throwback and translucently white septuagenarian from a party that claims for itself the banner of “diversity.” He is a vintage Red from the sixties who never outgrew his sixties radicalism. But then neither has his party. The McGovern wing of the Democrat Party is now the Democrat Party, a hard, left Marxist Party no different than the Socialist Parties of Europe. The Democrat Party of your grandparents, of Truman and JFK, a party of the working man and the middle class, that fought our wars and defended America’s honor and interests is long gone in the aftermath of the age of Obama, with both candidates seeking to extend his legacy or drive it even further to the left. The chief concerns of today’s Democrats are not jobs or improving the lot of working Americans but “Climate Change”, shuttering coal mines, transgender bathrooms, abortion, and that other great crusade, free condoms.

But it is in the Republican side where we see the real conflict between the Party Establishment and its base. Democrat leadership adores its grassroots and only wishes it could enact more of its policies and agenda. They are all, in effect, radicals – at war with free markets, traditional values, private property, the Constitution, our nation’s founding and history, which they generally deplore. Democrats believe fervently in the central role of the federal government as the primary engine of civic virtue and there is general agreement throughout the party that more government is better.

In the Republican Party however the Establishment is locked in mortal conflict with its rank and file including evangelicals, values voters, the tea party, conservatives, and constitutionalists. Party leaders regularly heap scorn upon them, discredit them, and actively seek to defeat their candidates or destroy them through denigration and lack of support.

The reason for this divide is that Republican Party leaders are threatened by the base far more than by Democrats, hence hostile to it, for conservatives seek the one thing Party Elders fear more than anything else, even more than Democrats: to shrink the power of the federal government and thus halt the gravy train that Party Elders and their preferred candidates, lobbyists, and crony capitalists all feed from. Democrat victories do not concern them. They will still have a place at the table. Elections and issues come and go. What matters is continued access to power, even if Rome is burning. Tea Party Constitutional types that actively seek to diminish the federal government and devolve power back to the states, balance budgets, and pay down the debt – now that is a threat. They prefer instead to continue the charade, the borrowing, spending, and growing government, heaping massive burdens of debt upon future generations until the laws of economics assert themselves, and the federal enterprise collapses, leaving vast social upheaval in its wake. But by then the ruling class will be long gone, and our children and grandchildren will be left to reap the whirlwind.

When we observe the list of major campaign issues of the last year, the divide between the campaign rhetoric at home and the abject failures in Washington, we recognize the reason for the extraordinary disconnect between the Republican base and party leadership. Despite overwhelming victories in 2014, with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress, Republicans in Washington have given Obama everything he has wanted, including Cromnibus, Obamacare, Amnesty, the EPA, Import-Export, Fast Track, Planned Parenthood, and the Iran Nuclear deal. They folded on sanctuary cities and Syrian refugees. They passed massive education and transportation bills. They have gone along with the spending and debt. And the base has reacted with anger and frustration. At the Presidential level they have rejected Jeb Bush, Chris Christy, Marco Rubio, and the disgraceful John Kasich, who remains in the race despite having no mathematical path to the nomination. And they have backed instead the outsiders, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

The people, in other words, are angry as hell and hold the federal government, Washington, and the Republican Party, in particular the Congress, responsible. Yes, they are tired of the backroom deals, the political patronage, favoritism, and cronyism. They cannot abide an inept, unprincipled Republican Party in Washington that can’t surrender on major issues soon enough. They have had it with the career politicians that betray the base that wins them stunning, landslide election victories as was done in 2010 and 2014 – and get nothing for their trouble. And a Republican Party at war with its base, cut off from its roots, will go the way of the Whigs – and not endure.

A new, revitalized, conservative Republican Party that promotes and cultivates the interests and values of its base is required. A party that fights for limited government, liberty, the rule of law, balanced budgets, and American sovereignty. That defends the Constitution and the Bill of Rights including religious liberty, the second amendment and state’s rights (federalism). A party that believes in free market capitalism not crony capitalism and defends traditional values and the Judeo-Christian foundation of the nation. The party must fight to secure our border, oppose amnesty, and stop the destructive EPA and its war on fossil fuels, so damaging to southern Indiana and the nation. It must also be a party that will restore our military. This was Reagan’s Republican Party. This was the party of Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican President who freed the slaves and preserved the union. In truth, it is the party of the founders, of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, a party of limited government and a strong private sector and vibrant civil society. It is a party that must believe, as Reagan once described it, “that we are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.”

The standard bearer of this message today, the exemplar of this vision, is Ted Cruz. I believe in and carry this message as well. The Republican Party must decide if it is to become a principled conservative party that stands for liberty and limited government or remain the big government, big spending, liberal, progressive party it is today. In which case it will rip itself apart and leave the nation to the tender mercies of the left and the Democrats.

 

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