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"We are on strike, we the men of the mind. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties."-John Galt

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Conservatives: We must guide our party now.

I was very excited to see Glenn Beck is delivering the keynote address at CPAC this year. While he sometimes drives me nuts, he is an engaging and entertaining speaker. Glenn always leaves you with something to think about. I have no doubt he will be great, not unlike Rush was last year.

With the announcement comes some controversy. There are those concerned this means Beck has sold out his independent, conservative, street cred by speaking at CPAC. The Conservative Political Action Conference is the must attend event for Republicans, no doubt about it, however, I'm not sure just because Beck will speak it means he is "throwing in with Republicans". The feeling is that because some folks speaking at the Conference are "establishment" Republicans-i.e. heavyweights in the political arena-Beck's participation means he is now joining with them. Beck seems to dismiss this criticism:
CPAC is different, though, Beck said, asserting “CPAC is my kind of people. CPAC is — I think they’re as angry at the Republicans as I am.”
I would agree with that. Over this last year, between Tea Party, 9-12'ers and countless other activist groups that have sprung up around the country, there is no doubt Conservatives are done with Republicans playing Democrat lite and selling out the base time and time again. These groups have attacked and gutted those in our own party who do not represent what we-THE PEOPLE-want the GOP to represent. It has become clear there is a new attitude afoot in the Republican Party and those voices are here to stay.

Within the controversy surrounding Beck speaking is another pervasive message we see a lot these days-establishment GOP are to be vilified and eviscerated. In many instances this is true, but not always. As conservatives fighting for a return to core values and small government, we need to identify the politicians and candidates that are already in office who will support us in our movement. Keep in mind, while folks like Eric Cantor (R-VA) and John Boehner (R-OH) may not have always done exactly as we would have liked, they also have not had the support and voices of the people behind them for all that long. As conservatives, we have gotten the government we have asked for. We spent years living our lives, raising our families, and voting for the "R" behind someones name. Those folks got in government, made deals, passed laws and did whatever they wanted and few of us held them accountable for much. Once things reached a crisis level, conservatives woke up and started screaming "Hey, what's the matter with you people! What are you doing to my country!"

Its not too little, too late (we hope), but it could be if the only thing we aim to do is rid the party of everyone currently in it. Better to re-train those we identify as mostly having done the right thing over the last few years and replacing those that deserve to be replaced-such as Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME)-with candidates who will better represent the conservative viewpoint....rather than representatives who defect to the Democrats side at every turn. A third party will not work and I believe throwing out every single Republican on The Hill also won't work. There are people up there who represent what we want. They just need to hear from us.

If indeed it is our goal to take back the governement this year we need to be realistic about what a true sell-out is. We need to be mindful of those who look to be working for us, while not being co-opted by those that want to use us. No politician was anxious to jump on the Tea Party bandwagon right at first; can you blame them really? We had been complacent for so long, they really were scared we were a bunch of crazies. As our message has solidified and our resolve has hardened into steel, they are starting to get it. We must guide our party now. It is our time and our responsibility. We must be clear: if they want to work for the people, we want them. If they want to work for themselves, they will be shown the door.

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