Opinion by John Tutten:
This is an open letter to the twenty-five or thirty percent of Republicans that can be considered solid Constitutional conservatives. I share your concern for how this 2016 election cycle has unfolded and for what may lie ahead for our nation.
We had great hopes that given the last disastrous eight years, we were in position to turn our country back to the roots of its founding. This was such an enormous opportunity to make the case for conservatism and its promise of prosperity and happiness. However, we now have to face the fact that we did not succeed. In fact, we may have taken a step back from what we sought so ardently.
We have to clearly recognize that the Republican National Committee (RNC) wants to defeat conservatism more than it wants to defeat Democrats. This first started crystalizing for me with the 2013 Virginia governor’s race where a solid, Tea Party conservative, Ken Cuccinelli, was narrowly defeated by Clinton crony, Terry McAuliffe.
Cuccinelli could have won this strategic governorship if the RNC had provided funding at levels equal to what they had provided in previous elections. Instead, the Cuccinelli campaign was starved for funds to the point where they were unable to run any significant media ads the last several weeks of the campaign, insuring a McAuliffe victory. Now for the 2016 presidential election, McAuliffe is using the power of his office to turn Virginia blue and as a result, the RNC’s hatred of conservatism may cost them the presidency.
This scenario has just been repeated in Kansas where Tea Party conservative, Tim Huelskamp, was defeated in the Republican primary by a moderate candidate, Roger Marshall. Marshall had the strong backing of major agribusiness interests and the RNC puppet master, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A late landslide of RNC crony money buried Huelskamp.
Huelskamp was elected during the Tea Party wave of 2010 and was a constant thorn in the side of the Republican establishment and particularly John Boehner. He said no to business as usual in Washington and therefore had to be primaried. Marshall on the other hand was lauded for his ability to “reach across the aisle” (and presumably not stand on principle). Members of the House Freedom Caucus, none of whom endorsed Speaker Paul Ryan, are now on notice.
The rules debate at last month’s Republican convention in another illustration of the RNC’s drive to rid the party of conservatives. The contention raised by conservatives with the convention rules was not an attempt by conservative Cruz supporters or the never Trumpers to disrupt the convention in opposition to a Trump nomination as the obedient Fox News drones tried to promote. It was about reigning in the continuing centralization of power by the RNC. The RNC refused a role call vote on the rules package and crushed any further dissent that could have given the grassroots more say in the process.
The political lynching of Ted Cruz at the convention is another case in point. Everyone knew what was coming down with respect to a Cruz endorsement of Trump. Cruz very forthrightly told the RNC and the Trump campaign that he would not extend an endorsement.
Cruz provided a copy of his speech well ahead of time (and he DID NOT make a dishonest change to it during his delivery as Trump alluded afterward). The Fox News people were advised of what Cruz was going to say well ahead of time and yet they hyped it like they didn’t have a clue whether he would endorse Trump or not. RNC surrogates were then given airtime all through the day of the speech to set Cruz up. There are plenty of reports from people present on the floor during the speech, that the booing was timed and coordinated as well as Trump’s appearance as Cruz finished.
And the next day after receiving the nomination, what does the nominee speak of? Party unity? The fecklessness of his Democratic opponent? No, he goes after Cruz and repeats totally baseless and tasteless charges again. I’m sure the RNC loved that Tourette’s-like outburst.
You see, Ted Cruz is the face now of Constitutional conservatism. His actions are based on Constitutional principles that he honors above all things and this is antithetical to the way Washington works today. Their intense antipathy of Cruz is directly proportional to the fear they have of him and in turn, us. Time will tell if Cruz is finished like they so hope, but it does not and cannot and must not stop the conservative movement.
Our founding principles and conservative values are not just some passing whim. They are instead timeless, objective truths that can be followed or ignored. It’s our choice and responsibility as a society to decide what kind of government we will have and what our relationship to it will be.
As we continue to leave our founding in the rearview mirror, it’s up to we, the conservatives, to redouble our efforts to forthrightly make our case for limited government, individual sovereignty, and our right to make our lives what WE want them to be. We used to hear this from the Republican Party but now they have become the trailing edge of a statist wave leading us to ruin.