Why Can't the Establishment Fix America's Problems?

America has but one political party capable of winning races on a scale large enough to change government practices: the Republican Party. When the GOP takes Washington (or Jefferson City), things don't seem to get better. Wonder why?

Let's take a little stroll down memory lane.

"To secure the nomination, the Dewey forces spent money and made deals and promises that Taft would never make. Offers were made of Federal jobs that Delegates could not resist. Mississippi's delegation was headed by a Taft man, but his Delegates voted the other way. After the vote, one Delegate ran for a train and died of a heart attack on it. He had $1,500 in fresh money on him and the other Delegates claimed it should be divided among them."                                    --Phyllis Schafly, A Choice, Not an Echo

Little has changed since 1948, the year Mrs. Schlafly described above.

In 2012, the Republican machine, in races all across America, will nominate candidates chosen by the Kingmakers.  This year, those kingmakers are making their investments.  Wisely.  They're buying just the right people with just the right promises and just right access to just the right celebrities.

The Grassroots Problem

Kingmakers laugh at grassroots candidates and activists.  We amuse them with our principles and idealism, our willingness to work for free, knocking on doors, sweating in the summer, shivering in the winter.

Kingmakers don't deign to knock doors and meet ordinary people--they have deals to cut. They have staff to do the dirty work of meeting voters.

But the grassroots stress the kingmakers, nonetheless. When a big movement like the tea party rises up and dares to challenge the established powers, the kingmakers scowl. They understand that enough tea partiers with enough time and enough energy and the right candidates could--just might--upset their plans. And then what?

What if another Reagan reached the White House?  Another Taft in the Senate?  Imagine the horror of another Rand Paul or  Paul Ryan stirring up the rabble. What if someone actually ended crony capitalism?

So the Mr. Potters of the GOP crawl into their cobwebby dens and spin their plans. And their plans begin and end with money.

Money Is the Problem

Establishment Republicans operate on a single principle: government is money.  For that matter, Democrats operate on the same principle.  Both parties use government precisely the same way.  They borrow against future generations to buy more power from contemporary friends.

When it comes to Constitutional limits and fiscal responsibility, the only real difference between Democrats and establishment Republicans is who gets the spoils.

Money--and the establishment view of money--is the reason things won't get better just because a Republican wins an election.  The kingmakers don't want fiscal responsibility in Washington.  They just want the debt laundered through their banks and spent on their businesses.

The GOP establishment doesn't want to cut regulations; it wants regulations that favor their donors' businesses.

The GOP establishment doesn't to strengthen America's image in the world, but to make more money overseas.

In 2011, the established Republican Party works overtime to regain the Senate and the White House. If it does, it will reward its friends with our grand-children's fortunes as surely as the Democrats have rewarded their friends.

In short, the establishment can't fix our problems, because the establishment is the problem.

But there is another way.

Anti-Establishment Candidates

In almost every race in America, voters have a choice. A real choice, like the ones Phyllis Schlafly wrote about in 1964.

Candidates like Ed Martin and Todd Akin in Missouri, Richard Mourdock in Indiana, and Rodger Cook in Illinois. These candidates don't have money with which to buy allies. They don't get invitations to royal balls.  Instead, they rely on ordinary men and women to walk neighborhoods, banging doors, and asking relatives to vote.

If these  conservatives are to win their primaries, though, the grassroots must remain strong against the seductions of the establishment.  In tough economic times, those seductions--almost always monetary--will be strong.

But the tea party that carried Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to the Senate can surely win one more for the Gipper, can't we?

Mrs. Schlafly told us how the grassroots prevailed in 1964 against establishment tactics of smears, intimidation, and bribes:

These tactics were not successful because in 1964 the majority of Convention Delegates were independent citizens elected in their districts who sought — not personal advancement or political jobs — but only the nomination and election of a candidate who would end the America Last policies of the past 30 years.

Amen, sister. Amen.

If we're to reverse America's drift toward socialism, away from the Constitution, we must rekindle the spirit of '64 and the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

In both of those years, "independent citizens" rose up and slapped down the Republican establishment.  They said "no" to the jobs and the bailouts the kingmakers offered.  The Goldwater and Reagan delegates stood by their principles, putting America's future before their own egos and wealth.

Yes, Goldwater lost. But Reagan won. And Reagan's victory owed much to the lessons conservatives learned in 1964.

For history to judge us well, we tea partiers must drive a stake through the heart of the establishment.

If not us, who?

If not now, when?

 Note: These views do not necessarily reflect the views of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition. But they should. ;-)

Top 5 Moves for Herman Cain Supporters Right Now

herman-cainHerman Cain is riding a wave of popularity because of his upset win in the Florida straw poll on Saturday.  He’s helped by Rick Perry’s free-fall and Mitt Romney’s establishmentarianism.  But Cain is a huge underdog. That’s okay because America loves an underdog.

Here’s what must happen right now for Herman Cain to win:

1.  Social Media avalanche.  Get @THEHermanCain trending on Twitter, and keep it there for five consecutive days. How?  Simple. Use Hootsuite (or similar tool) to schedule original tweets about Herman Cain, with a shortened link to his site (http://bit.ly/r19euz) and his Twitter handle (@THEHermanCain).  Send 2 original tweets per day—one in the morning, one in the evening.  Post about Herman Cain, with link to his site (http://bit.ly/r19euz) on Facebook every other day (no more). (For more tips on effective social media campaigning, get my $1.99 ebook “Weaving the Roots.”)

2.  Bloggers posting human stories about why Florida voters picked Cain.  Real stories like this one from Byron York:

"I liked Cain, but I wasn't sure he could win," said Zena, from Washington County.  "But after I heard this, I thought it doesn't matter if he wins or not -- I am for this man. He was awesome."

Or this one from the same York piece:

"I couldn't make up my mind," said Thelma, from Panama City, after the vote.  "It was the speech that made the hair stand up on my arms.  It wasn't a tingle down my leg -- it was an emotional excitement that this man knows how to get our country out of trouble."

3.  Add a link to Herman Cain’s official website to your email signature. This is a powerful tool that everyone who sends emails can use.

4.  Attend a local event.  You’ll need to sign up for email blasts from the Cain campaign (http://bit.ly/r19euz) and read them. But don’t just read them. Forward important ones to 5 friends.  (Only important ones. Don’t spam the undecided.)

5.  Donate Money.  I know conservatives and independents hate the idea of money in politics. Without money, Cain cannot compete.  I’ll say it again:  without millions of small donations, Herman Cain will lose.  Of all five must-do actions on this list, this is the most important.  Give whatever you can, then tell the world, “I just donated to Herman Cain online http://bit.ly/r19euz."

In 2008, the Republicans nominated John McCain—an echo.  In 1996, Republicans nominated Bob Dole—an echo.  In 1988, 2000, and 2004 Republicans nominated echoes. (Did I say “Republicans?”  I meant king-makers.)

If you want to make a difference—and blow Obama out of the water in November 2012—don’t give the American voter an echo—give him a choice.

While the Republican presidential field has many good men an women in its ranks, as do many Congressional and state races across the country, most candidates are corporate-sponsored echoes of big government and crony capitalism.

Our grassroots movement has come too far to return now to business as usual.

Last night, I had the rare and wonderful honor of introducing Phyllis Schlafly at a fundraiser for Ed Martin.  Mrs. Schlafly sits in the conservative pantheon with William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan, Russell Kirk, and Barry Goldwater.  Her 1964 book, A Choice Not an Echo: The inside story of how American Presidents are chosen, laid the blueprint for Ronald Reagan’s near-miss in 1976 and victory in 1980.

In 2012, the GOP can give Americans a choice, or it can destroy itself with mere echoes.  At this moment in history, there is no third way.

 

Note: Views expressed are mine and do not reflect the official position of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition.