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Taking Back the GOP

Posted: February 28, 2013 at 9:20 am   /   by

I came across a Post today by Dennis Miller, re-posted by Chicks on the Right on Facebook:

“My gut tells me that what we’re seeing right now is the awkward birth of a third party.”

To be fair, Miller does not explicitly say whether he endorses the idea of a third party or not, but some of the commenters on his page certainly do:

“Why awkward Dennis? We should embracing it with vigor and Patriot Valor!! Third Party? Lets do this America, now is the time!!!!!”

“I’m all for it. These two are simply Worthless.”

“The far right and the far left meet in totalitarianism. Nanny state politics needs to give way to freedom politics. My opinion. I’m not wrong !”

“I hope so, wake up America. We need a “Common Sense” party.”

“Yes! Screw both the democrats and the republicans! We need the constitutionalist party!”

“The Fiscal Party”… Let the other dipshits argue over social issues and focus on fiscal conservatism and balanced budgets. Social issues are ruining this country and are really hurting the Republican Party.”


With all due respect, are you people completely off your rocker?  A third party will not help or promote conservative and libertarian principles and values, it will MARGINALIZE them! It will guarantee the ascension of leftist-statists.  Supporting a third party is nearly as stupid an idea as calling a new constitutional convention!  (another subject, for another time!)

There is one key characteristic that distinguishes the American political left and right from each other:  The left are all on the same page.  Oh they have all their own special interest groups and constituencies, every bit as much as the right does.  And many of them are severely opposed to each other’s interests.  Inner-city minorities very much want voucher programs and charter schools, which are like kryptonite to the Teachers Unions.  African Americans are strongly anti-abortion, as opposed to the feminist/pro-choice crowd.  Labor unions vs. the environmentalists, the list goes on and on.  But come election-day, they all come out and vote for their candidate.  You don’t hear them threatening to stay-home and withhold their support, or lamenting that this candidate or that one is insufficiently ideological, or that they don’t support one particular issue strongly enough.  Nope, the left understands that the only way ANY of their pet-issues will ever be addressed, they must vote for the guy with the (D) after his name.

Then there is us, the political right.  We have become a bunch of vain, narcissistic cry-babies.  We have the social conservatives, who care about nothing except issues like Gay Marriage, and will not support anyone who is not as virulently opposed to it as they are.  Then there are the Moderates, who don’t seem to stand for much of anything at all, but constantly harp that conservatives or libertarians that are “too extreme” (whatever the heck THAT means) are “unelectable,” and then do their best to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy by refusing to support them.  And how could I possibly leave-out the strident Right to Life crowd, who will not support anyone who does not want a federal ban on abortion.  Then of course there are the smug libertarians, who seem to think they are the only ones who understand what the constitution REALLY means, and won’t dirty themselves by supporting someone who is not just as ideologically pure as they are.  But do you know what the funny-part is?  Do you know what all these separate groups have in common?  NEARLY EVERYTHING!

Go ahead, look as far and as deep as you’d like, but you will not find any issues that truly divide the American political right like they do on the left.  There is not one, single issue on the right where, if one faction prevails, another is fundamentally disenfranchised the way you see it on the political left.  If inner-city minorities prevail on school choice, the teachers unions not only lose, a major reason for their very existence is cut out from under them.  If environmentalists win, labor unions lose members and influence.  There is NOTHING on the right that compares.

EVERYBODY on the right wants to see the role and power of the federal government reduced.  Everybody on the right wants to see that same government forced to live within its financial means.  Everybody on the right believes the place to hash-out social and cultural questions is at the local level, not through the courts or federal legislation.  Heck, even if not everyone on the right wants abortion outlawed at the federal level, NEARLY everyone believes it should be subject to reasonable regulation and restrictions, and isn’t that a whole lot better that having completely unrestricted abortion on-demand, paid for by tax dollars?  There is so very little that really divides us, what’s amazing is that the Democrats are the ones with any party cohesion.  THEY should be the ones with a collection of squabbling fiefdoms competing for influence, not us!

Which brings me back to this nonsense about a third-party.  In case you’ve all forgotten, we tried this once not so long ago.  In fact Bill Clinton would be nothing but an obscure southern politician, barely remembered in his own state had it not been for Ross Perot and his third-party run in 1992, and again in 1996.  All the things being said today about the wonders of a third-party were being said during the 1992 campaign too.  I remember it very well, because I was there.  Perot was going to eliminate government gridlock.  He was an outsider, not beholden to the “bosses” of the Republicans or the Democrats.  He would put everything to rights.  As the election drew closer, and it became clear he had no hope of winning, his ardent supporters still stridently insisted that the “message” a big Perot turnout would send would “change everything.”  He got a big turn-out alright, big enough to had the election to Clinton, but not remotely big enough to even sniff the White House himself.  And it changed nothing.  Perot’s lasting legacy is Hillary Clinton, who today would be nothing but an Arkansas lawyer and divorced wife of a former governor.  Thanks to Ross, she remains a presidential contender.  THAT is the sort of influence and legacy all you third-party fans can look forward to.

Whether you are a social conservative, a fiscal conservative, a libertarian, a one-issue voter, or just someone who has realized the Democrats have become nothing but a bunch of Marxists who need to be stopped, there is one, and only one path for you to follow: take-back the GOP.  Going third-party will succeed in nothing but self-marginalization for you, and more losing for all of us.  It will mean guaranteeing the success of the political left, and the implementation of their policies.  It is vain, it is self-serving, and it is madness.

Thomas Seelinbinder

I used to be what David Mamet might call a "brain-dead liberal." I grew-up in a very Democrat (capital "D") household in a working-class family in Ohio. My first minor epiphany came when I started working for a living, looked at my first paycheck, and saw how much of my own money I would never recieve! At first what I really resented was that my money was being spent on things I really objected to, things Republicans liked, and there was nothing I could do about it. Then one day it dawned on me, the problem wasn't the funding of Republican spending prorities, the problem was the government shouldn't be spending on some of these things at all, and thus began my gradual awakening as a conservative.
After college, I settled in South Florida, where I still don't miss the cold and snow one tiny bit. I work in the finance industry, and live with my wife in a nice quiet neighborhood, which could only be better if it weren't infested by an uncommon number of aging hippies.

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  1. Econ101 says:

    Yeah, yeah, but you gotta admit a 3rd party sure is tempting.  I know it’s a “Hail Mary,” but it’s better than falling on the ball at every election from now until doomsday.
    So just how do you suggest we “take back” the Republican party from the old bulls who inhabit it now? With Karl Rove’s “conservative” group?   With the “conservative” leadership of Eric Cantor?  Those old bulls from the Lifetime Legislative Class protect their turf at all costs, and they will feign conservativism at every opportunity and then nominate another old bull in 2016.  
    The “leadership” threw my congressman off the Financial Services Committee because he only voted as the “leadership” directed 96% of the  time (or somthing like that).  He was arguably the single-most-qualified rep on that committee.  
    For that “leadership”, maybe “silverback gorillas” would be a better description than “old bulls” — have you seen how grizzled old gorillas kill off the babies so that they cannot grow up to challenge their status?  You don’t think that’s going on now?
    You wrote a great essay on why 3rd parties can never work … thanks … now how about another one on how to replace Cantor, McConnell, and Boehner with some fighters who will do more than whine and wring their hands in front of the microphones while shooting the newcomers that conservatives worked so hard to elect?

    1. @Econ101 One point right off the bat—–we are replacing the old guard, slowly but surely. There are more conservative, libertarian, and tea party pols now than there were before the recent rise of the liberty movement. These things really do take time.

      1. Econ101 says:

        Yes, and arguably there are fewer consevatives now after the 2012 elections than after 2010.  And our best conservative reps are getting defrocked by “the leadership”.  So the GOP is making inroads in our inroads, no?
        BTW, “The Leadership” is the same eupehmism used in totalitarian countries to designate their nameless ruling politburos, apparatchiks, and bureacrats.  I hate it, but the GOP seems to like it.
        It will indeed take time to restore and renew the GOP if indeed we can do it.  How long will it take to launch a 3rd party?  Why not start that latter effort now and decide later when and whether to offer a candidate of our own?  
        In the meantime, wouldn’t it be nice for a change to have the GOP court a nascent or burgeoning 3rd party rather than push conservatives to the back of the bus at every opportunity?  
        Wouldn’t it be nice for the GOP to pick a 3rd-party-endorsed candidate rather than the next old boy in line behind Dole, McCain, and Romney?
        Where do you think the energy and enthusiasm will be in the future?  With that gathering 3rd-party crowd or those old blue-blood, country-club GOP patriarchs and matriarchs?  Who will carry Reagan’s torch?
        We now know we’d have had nothing to lose with a more conservative candidate in 2012.  The consultant-chosen “most electable” candidate went down in flames and hasn’t been seen since.  His absence tells me he never was the right choice, even though I got on board in the last few months.
        As of now, I see the GOP making the same bone-headed choice in 2016 with another old bull.  The lessons of the Dole, McCain, Romney elections are pretty clear, but I expect the GOP will have learned nothing from them.

        1. @Econ101 I am not sure that this picture of the GOP as a single entity is accurate. The GOP is a massive agglomeration of people. It is shifting and changing. Yes, it has prevailing winds that blow this way or that, but it is not one thing.
          But i have a bigger question—-how would you feel about Marco Rubio?

    2. ThomasS says:


    3. ThomasS says:

       Econ101 – Stay-tuned to this space, I will have much more to say about how I think we should go-about unifying the American political right!

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Taking Back the GOP