Warning: Republicans are upset and splintering, and the President of the United States likes what he sees.
As I take in all the different viewpoints on the right, the reasoned articulation, argument and admonishment, I can agree with some thoughts, and most vehemently disagree with others. Those disagreements can decide for me whether the person is for the same end as I am, and I can make that determination and move on. But the right needs to stick together and not lose our cool, because the esidentpray is isteninglay. The danger I see right now is not a lesson on growing up, but a lesson on tolerance.
And I think we can all agree that the left is more intolerant than we are, right? (David Frum just stopped reading this.)
Take Jonah Goldberg’s assessment that conservatives preach too much to the choir, and that we activists need to try to persuade liberals. I disagree, unless he means (and he didn’t) that we need to persuade the liberals on our own side. But I disagree because it is a long-shot in persuading a progressive liberal. They are not coming from the same place as we are, and the idea that we can get them to vote our way on a massive scale is kind of preposterous.
Instead, persuading conservative or moderate traditional Democrats on all the issues is a better way to create trust. But when Republicans in positions of power actively try to silence conservatives and remove their argument, is very difficult, if not impossible to keep that trust, and consequently, that vote.
Sarah Palin said something similar to Goldberg, that we need to move out and speak to others outside of our sphere of influence. I did not take that as a suggestion to move over to Media Matters and try to make sense and find common ground with them. Instead, I understand it as helping more people understand constitutional conservatism, a qualified term necessary because the word ‘conservative’ has been used so much by so many to appeal to a conservative nation, that it has now lost its meaning.
I disagree as well with Dan Riehl’s assessment that the left doesn’t hate us, and that conservatives need to grow up, because it’s flat-out wrong. That the media in this country is not doing their job, and they don’t care if you can see it, is correct, and I understand Dan’s interest in making conservatism a happy place to be again, but the friction outside the movement is what is causing all the flaming. Once there is a leader for the movement, people will settle down.
I think it may be better if I start saying ‘listeners of talk radio’ instead of conservatives from here on out to illustrate my point.
I have long made the point that listeners of talk radio don’t need to grow up, because collectively, they represent a broad spectrum of the nation, loosely defined as mainstream conservatives. They are already grown up, and took many different paths to get there. A truck driver, a banker, a housekeeper, an actor, from all walks of life, with different life experiences but one thing in common. They are interested in hearing news and views from someone they trust. A grown up understands the problems, and seeks a solution, and right now, there are a lot of grown ups righteously pissed off at the leaders of the party out of power. Telling them to chillax isn’t going to do anything but turn them off of you. What you are seeking from them is tact, which is rare in and of itself, and the current atmosphere does not produce much tact.
It’s really not that complicated. People know when they are being lied to, or when they aren’t getting the whole story. So, listeners of talk radio are not crazy, nor are they to be dismissed. They are to be applauded instead, because they are understanding something with little effort, that many on the right seem to never see. Something is terribly wrong with where this nation is headed, and the people we most identify with, who are sworn to defend the Constitution, aren’t addressing it.
Reagan intimated that he was interested in the Republican party because it was the home of conservatism, and he, being a conservative, would rather have a strong party to fight within, than think of the utter chaos of a third party. Many listeners of talk radio are concerned that the Republican party is no longer the home of conservatism, and are abandoning it, or threatening to abandon it. With all that is at stake, Republicans need to accept one another and fight the left now, rather than each other.
Now, having said all of that, no one will persuade me that amnesty is a good idea, that gun registration is good, that we need to get rid of the social issues, or that global warming is anything but a way to de-industrialize the nation, and make certain leftists filthy rich.
My goodness, where shall we go from here? It seems Mrs. Kuznicki is uninterested in compromise, perhaps she should be chastised and booted from the Republican party.
Not so fast. I’m the one who has voted Republican because of their representations of themselves in election after election. It was not until the utter failure of the party to produce a mainstream conservative at the top of the ticket in 2008 that I decided I needed to join the party to see what’s going on. I haven’t changed a bit. The leadership of the party is taking the wrong path, and it is consequently having a difficult time selling the new path because listeners of talk radio are digging their heels and refusing to go along.
The progression in the movement now, is natural and steady. More and more listeners to talk radio are moving into the Republican party, in order to make a difference. It is up to the leadership to accept this and work with it, or risk a third-party movement which, at this point, would gut the party. El Presidente knows this.
My advice, rather than an admonishment of conservatism, is directed at the Republican party leadership at every level, from the RNC to each County. The leadership in the Republican party cannot sever its grassroots, so, they need to embrace us.
Don’t call us crazy, or extreme. Learn what we know so that you can be informed. With every force trying to break us up, you need to stop being offended that conservatives won’t budge, and start wondering what it is you do not know.