As everybody on the planet knows now, Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States. Democrats retained control of the US Senate, while Republicans retained control of the US House of Representatives. In other words, the national elections produced no change. But, in reality, we haven’t had any significant change in a national election in many years.
The last significant national election that produced dramatic change (at least temporarily) was the congressional elections of 1994, when Republicans swept both houses of Congress and denied President Bill Clinton’s Democrats control of the legislature. It was dubbed the “Conservative Revolution.” The other election that could be regarded as a national coup against the established political order was the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
However, within a year of the 1994 congressional elections, Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott had successfully fought off attempts of rank and file GOP congressmen to truly reduce the size and scope of the federal government, and by 1995, it was business as usual once again. And after Mr. Reagan was shot just a little over a year after taking office, much of the conservative agenda that he had campaigned on seemed to quickly fade away.
But ever since Reagan, republicans have routinely rejected legitimate freedomists and have nominated pseudo-conservatives. The result has always led to a resounding defeat for republicans at the polls. Since the defeat of George H.W. Bush after one term in 1992, due to his blatant big-government and globalist policies, Democrats have dominated the White House. The lone exception was the election of G.W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. But, Bush, Jr., ran as a Reagan-conservative. He wasn’t, of course, but he was perceived as one. But it was Bush, the Big-Spending-Warmonger, that doomed the GOP’s future failures. Bush’s out-of-control deficit spending, coupled with his preemptive wars of aggression, and the implementation of a burgeoning police state/surveillance society made the name “Republican” something dirty to the American electorate. As a result, the GOP is in complete disarray and without principled leadership.
Mitt Romney was just the latest attempt by the GOP establishment to force a big-government “moderate” upon party faithful. The true freedomist Ron Paul was treated in much the same way that Pat Buchanan was treated back in 1996. By hook or by crook, the GOP was not going to let a principled freedomist win the Presidential nomination. They wanted a controlled big-government toadie. They got what they wanted, and they lost! In fact, every time the GOP nominates a “moderate” as their Presidential nominee, he loses. Every time! One could almost get the feeling that the party establishment would rather lose with a moderate than win with a conservative. After all, why would the American people want a Wall Street moderate who will implement 85% of the Democrat agenda when they can elect a blue-collar Democrat and have the real deal? At least the Democrats are perceived as being compassionate. The GOP’s refusal to listen to their grassroots, to advance populist causes, and to disconnect themselves from Wall Street continues to cost them elections. In short, the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., is completely out of touch with average Americans.
The same scenario played out here in the State of Montana. The GOP candidates for Governor and US Senator (both pseudo-conservatives) lost to Democrats. (At the time of this writing, the race for governor is very close with only 7000 votes separating them; but the Democrat has held the lead all yesterday and today, and it is doubtful that the Republican can overtake him.) This is actually a good thing for the Montana Republican Party, as it removes from leadership the two most powerful neocons. These are men who had steered and manipulated the State party away from freedomist principles in much the same way that both Bush I and Bush II had done nationally. Now, true freedomists within the State GOP have an opportunity to rise to positions of leadership and begin steering the party back to its conservative roots.
But as I predicted earlier, the Presidential election did not provide long coattails. In DC, Republicans ended where they started, with control of the House of Representatives. Neither did Democrats increase their advantage on Capitol Hill at all. So, let’s not forget that the GOP controls the US House of Representatives. This means that the GOP controls the purse strings for ALL federal spending. If the Republican Party is serious about reducing spending, they have the power to do it. All monies appropriated for federal expenditures must be authorized by the House of Representatives. So, Republicans should quit crying in their milk and start demanding that House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the House Republican leadership start growing some man-stuff and stop funding all of these big-government, unconstitutional expenditures-including all of these foreign wars that are sapping both our freedom and our prosperity.
Here in Montana, Republicans maintained a significant majority in the State House of Representatives (my son, Tim, ran as a Republican in a predominantly Democrat district, and appears to have lost a close race) and picked up the attorney general’s office. Furthermore, there were five ballot initiatives, all of which had to be regarded as Republican issues. All five passed overwhelmingly.
Republican propagandists can complain all day long about principled freedomists who choose to vote for a third party or not vote at all for a given race. But they shouldn’t blame the voters; they should cast blame where it rightly belongs: at the feet of the GOP leadership. I no more owe allegiance to a political party than I would owe allegiance to a retail store. If the business does not convince me by its product, service, and price to shop there, I am under no obligation to do so. I will go down the street. It’s laughable to think that I owe my business to one store. What a joke!
It is equally laughable to suggest that I owe my vote to one political party. Each candidate has an obligation to convince me that he or she is worthy of my vote. When he or she does, my vote is given them. But when a candidate doesn’t earn my vote, they are not getting it–regardless of party label. That’s the way most Americans vote. Oh sure, you have the party loyalists who would vote for their party’s candidate if a baboon was nominated. Thankfully, the numbers of these types of voters are quickly shrinking.
And in truth even the party loyalists who condemn people who won’t vote for the “lesser of two evils” (meaning someone from their party) are blatant hypocrites, because they won’t do it either. The only difference is whether the “lesser of two evils” is defined by either principle or party. Let me explain.
Here in Montana there was a two man race for Clerk of the Supreme Court. One was a Democrat; the other was a Libertarian. There was no Republican in the race. The Democrat won by 14 percentage points. Pray tell, why didn’t all the Republicans vote for the “lesser of two evils” and give the Libertarian the victory? Why? Because party loyalists refuse to vote for anyone who is not a Republican, meaning the “lesser of two evils.” In other words, they behave in exactly the same way that many freedomists behave: they refuse to vote for the “lesser of two evils.” The only difference is the definition of “evil.” To freedomists, “evil” is the abandonment of constitutional, freedom principles; to party loyalists, “evil” is the abandonment of the Republican Party.
Here is the bottom line: Republicans don’t win elections when they nominate pseudo-conservatives. They crash and burn. And they have been crashing and burning for decades now. If Romney had any coattails, it was to taint true Republican conservative candidates with his brand of neoconism. When will they ever wake up and realize that they are perceived as being an out-of-touch, elitist, money-driven party that doesn’t give a darn about average people? Furthermore, when will they stop treating principled freedomists like toilet paper?
All over America, in State after State, the GOP leadership bullied, harangued, and stomped on Ron Paul and his supporters. The way Ron and his followers were treated in many State GOP conventions and in the national GOP convention was nothing short of criminal. Had Mitt Romney behaved as a gentleman and not like a vengeful tyrant, had the GOP leadership treated Ron and his supporters with the respect and dignity that they had earned, this election might have turned out differently.
Frankly, Mitt Romney deserved to lose, not only due to his big-government, liberal track record, which is out of step with rank and file freedomists, but also due to the shameful treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters, which he either knowingly tolerated or may have even orchestrated.
Furthermore, for the Republican Party to ask principled conservatives to support candidates who routinely trample constitutional government, who routinely support bigger and bigger government, who routinely aid and abet a growing police state, who routinely finance more and more unconstitutional wars of aggression, who routinely vote to bankrupt America with deficit spending, who routinely provide bailouts for their banker-buddies, and who routinely treat honest, hardworking freedomists like doormats, is to ask for more and more disaster at the polls.
So, the net result of the 2012 elections was NO CHANGE. And the reason there was no change in the elections is because there was no change in the Republican Party. What was the definition of insanity again?
[Editors note: this post was originally published at chuckbaldwinlive.com.]