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St. Louis, MO, United States
What the name sez, Christian, conservative, 2nd amendment supporter. Physician, wife, daughter and loving mother.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Restructuring the Conservative Movement

No sooner than the President-elect was announced than pundits everywhere were talking about the tatters of the Republican party and the need for some serious regrouping in order for the party to survive. Over the past week, I have also heard a growing number of voices that have been lobbying for the idea of a real third party. I have even read a thought or two about a secessionist movement. It is obvious that many people are thinking about what to do and brainstorming about all sorts of possibilities, some realistic and some....not so much.

Yesterday's Saturday political talk shows were filled with mention of a resurgence of the young fresh conservative faces such as Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence to name just a few. Today, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence graced Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and were quite impressive in laying out some preliminary guidelines for needed action.

Even as the election returns were still coming in, some pundits were making a case for the Republican party to move toward the squishy center and this has been promoted by any number of people in the past few post-election days. This is, however, not the way to make the Republican party or the conservative movement viable. To reimagine the Republican party into a conservative democratic party is not tenable. This is part of the reason why John McCain lost. Before he added Sarah Palin to the ticket his support was luke warm, but after adding her to the ticket, there was a rush of support that went in the direction of McCain. In fact, it is likely that many Republicans cast a vote for Sarah Palin rather than a vote for John McCain. If he had added someone else to the ticket, I feel that his loss would have been even more dramatic. As my husband proclaimed this summer as he winced at the thought of voting for John McCain, "If I wanted to vote for a Democrat, I would have voted for the Democrat." It is time, now, to rid the party of all of the old RINO's that pollute the Republican party and this includes some of the old and venerable names in Republicandom--Lindsey Graham, Richard Lugar, Chuck Hagel to name just a few....in fact some of these individuals may find themselves in positions in the Obama presidency. These men and women are not truly conservative and have shown it time and time again by pandering to the other side of the aisle and giving up ground to them in the name of bipartisanship. We saw it in the wake of judicial nominees in the Gang of 14 and even this summer during the rogue Republican congress when the old RINO's got on the bandwagon at the the last minute and formed a moderate coalition to work with the vacationing Democrats. It is time to sweep out the old and replace them with new fresh faces who embody true conservative principles.

Getting young conservatives out in the front lines will energize the Republican base. These are the internet and social media savvy conservatives that we need. During the Rogue Republican congress this August, the #dontgo movement was mounted by the social media and Twitter became the home for communication from the darkened House floor to the people around the country. During the entire August recess, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence and a number of other Republicans held forth in the darkened House chambers to make their case for drilling offshore and throughout the country where oil reserves were thought to exist as a bridge solution for $4-$5 per gallon gasoline and diesel fuel, exorbitantly expensive aviation fuel and heating oil. While Nancy Pelosi was on her book tour, and her fellow Democrats were on vacation, the Rogue Republicans stayed behind to make the case that something had to be done to gain energy independence from foreign oil. Daily briefings were made public via Twitter, conservative bloggers, cell phone cameras and internet audio and video media who staunchly stayed on top of the situation and spread the word even though the TV cameras, air conditioning and MSM coverage were turned off during this time.

The #dontgo movement caught on and was picked up by some of the conservative radio talkers and a groundswell of ordinary citizens began flooding the offices of the vacationing Democrats and some of the moderate Republicans who had gone home with phone calls, letters and email ordering them to return and get something done about the high cost of fuel. The same sort of conservative groundswell resulted with the response to legislation for amnesty for illegal immigrants and it was squelched in favor of better and tighter enforcement of laws already on the books and tightening of our borders. Conservative groundswell also had a role in the recall of Harriet Miers' nomination for Supreme Court Justice by the Bush Administration. We know that our voices, when mounted together can be heard.

Team Sarah which was a coalition of women from all walks of life who supported Sarah Palin entered the election with about 44,000 committed members and since then as added another 10,000 members since the defeat of the McCain ticket. The One Million woman townhall internet teleconference that was held by Team Sarah on November 1 was awesome. Next week, the #dontgo movement will be reborn into a new conservative rebuilding effort with emphasis on sweeping out the stale Republican leadership and tying all of the loose ends together into a conservative answer to moveon.org.

Conservatives need to be cohesive and organized. We need to be disciplined and principled. We need to tie all of the splinter groups together and make use of the social media. We need to appeal to young people in a stronger way. We need to be sure that we stay aligned with the ideas that we should have espoused all along--smaller government, personal responsibility, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, etc. While the black vote went overwhelmingly for Obama, we know from YouTube and the blogosphere that there were some very outspoken black Republican voters. We need to reach out to those conservative Latino and black voters where we have common ground and be sure that they realize that our tent is big enough for conservatives of any bent.

I am looking forward to seeing the new Republican party rising out of the ashes of the 2008 election defeat as a stronger, more vibrant, more cohesive and more vocal party that can stand up successfully in the 2010 mid-term election and stave off further Congressional losses and put themselves into a strong position for the 2012 Presidential election! If we all band together and work for the next two years to educate and energize potential voters, this could happen.

1 comment:

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