Do you remember the characters from “King of the Hill”? Remember Hank Hill? The even-keeled propane salesman who loves America just as much as he loves propane. He trusts his government (sometimes naively to a fault, but he did speak out when he believe he was being wronged) That’s the Republican Party I remember when I first became involved. We trusted the government for the most part, but we made our voice known when we believed that things weren’t going well.
Remember Dale Gribble? The paranoid exterminator who bought into wild conspiracies and had a “healthy” distrust of government. That’s a segment of the Republican Party that I see growing, and I’ve seen it grow a lot more since the 2013 Republican Convention cycle.
We have gone from the Party of Ideas to the Party of Conspiracy. Common Core, Diebold (Premiere Elections) voting machines, Agenda 21, and other fear-mongering has taken hold within parts of the Republican Party. No wonder we have such a hard time winning elections. I believe it would be difficult for an independent/undecided voter to support a party that has a fractured voice (see the three responses to the 2014 State of the Union address).
They say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Well, the loud squeaks coming from the uber-conservative wing of the Republican Party has caused candidates to run even further to the right…which is good for Republican conventions and meetings, but we have to remember that Georgia, although an overall conservative state, is becoming more center-right as the years go on….which will force our nominee (and future nominees) to run more towards the center.
Presumptive nominee Michelle Nunn is already running to the center and pointing back to the days of her daddy (just thought of something, the Democrats point back to Sam Nunn just like we point back to Ronald Reagan….just mull on that a bit). The unfortunate thing about this election cycle is that the Democrats only have to sit back, let the Republican candidates bash each others brains out, and see how much we are able to alienate each other a la “I won’t vote for [insert name of Republican candidate] because s/he’s not *the* true conservative.”
The Republican Party can’t continue to be fractured with the expectation of winning elections. Maybe we need better leadership, or maybe our elected officials should respect leadership. Not bow to their every whim, but not sell them out just because it will get you accolades by conservative commentators and the vocal constituents back home.
We’ve tried to force President Barack Obama’s hand a number of times, but we fail. We fail because we just don’t have the numbers to back up our talk. We tried shutting down the government to force the delay of Obamacare. That didn’t work, and we didn’t win much support with the average voter. US House Speaker John Boehner is garnering flack over the “clean” debt ceiling bill. If I were in the House, I probably would have voted against it, but I wouldn’t have wasted all of my ammunition over this battle. We’ve fought on the debt ceiling before and lost every time. Why should cause an already nervous market go into a tailspin over the debt ceiling debate when ultimately we would probably cede to the President anyway. Again, we wouldn’t have garnered any friends from the average voter.
My fellow Republicans, we need a winning strategy. Principles are great to guide policy, but you can’t implement policy until we win. Obamacare is a horrid piece of legislation, but let’s not promise to repeal Obamacare only to be faced with failure. Let’s focus on our strong points, and let’s come up with solutions that make sense and work to achieve some Democrat buy-in. I mean, if we are honest about the Republican Party being about ideas, then we should work to flesh out good ideas…and those ideas should sell to both Republicans and Democrats.
Let’s aim for more common sense ideas and not harebrained conspiracies.