FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Put down the signs
As our country spiraled into a black hole of debt and entitlements, I found myself puzzled that the free market of ideas hadn’t responded how I had hoped it would.
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, society normally finds a bright light to fill the void in times of crisis. George Washington in the Revolution, Martin Luther King in the 60′s, Reagan in the 80′s and so on. As we stepped into Barack Obama’s dream of “fundamentally transforming America” I became fearful of the future while confident in America’s resilience and Her incredible ability to produce precisely the person we need at exactly the moment we need them.
I knew in my heart of hearts that if Obama became hell bent on destroying the country that someone will rise up to counter his efforts and thwart his opportunistic form of Progressivism. As the Tea Parties began forming across the nation, I thought to myself “Ahhh, this is where he/she will come from. Rising up amongst the throngs of people and offering an alternative to this mess! Just in time to stop Healthcare from passing too!!” Alas, this was not to be. Healthcare passed and I looked around as though I’d been stood up on a date asking, “Where’s my leader?”
Some glimmers of hope appeared. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin held his ground against the president and trumped him so hard on the numbers around the health care bill that Obama had no choice but to utterly ignore every single word he said and simply move on. Embarrassing? Yes. Effective? Not even slightly. While Paul Ryan is a great and important player in our cause, I’ve come to the conclusion (as has he) that true leadership is not in the cards for him right now.
Sarah Palin maybe? Not so much. She’s gifted, smart, savvy and unafraid. But she’s found her role in the conservative movement and it seems to be finding talent and giving them the media attention they need. That’s an important role as well and she remains a huge player, but once again, leadership is not on the table.
Well there was one man who told Obama right to his face that the Healthcare Bill was unconstitutional. On the day of the infamous vote he defiantly yelled at his Democrat colleagues asking them rhetorically if they believed this bill was a good bill that the people wanted and then answering for them with appropriate anger “HELL NO!” Yes! That’s the kind of leadership we need! It’s just too bad it was all an act.
Well what about Chris Christie? He’s no faker right? HELL NO he’s not a faker. He’s the real deal. A conservative with the right mixture of telling it like it is and common sense that I’ve rarely seen since the days of Ronaldus Magnus. He’s been up to his ears trying to fix the massive problems that plague the liberal bastion of New Jersey. Therein lies the problem. He’s up to his ears in it and frankly doesn’t have time to take on Obama while simultaneously trying to fix such a financially ruined state. He’s certainly a future contender, but this administration is moving so fast that we can’t afford to wait for him.
Bobby Jindal? Despite his credentials and background, his Republican Response speech does raise serious questions about whether or not he is equipped to tackle an oratory master like Obama. You need to either counter with streetwise common sense like Christie does, or you need to be able to take him on in his arena. Jindal seems ill-equipped to do either at this point in his career and once again, time is not on our side.
Mike Pence? He’ll have to do better than this.
Mitt Romney? Populist disguised as a conservative. He’s fine as a northeastern politician, but he’s not “the one we’ve been waiting for” by any stretch of the imagination.
The list goes on and on. From people that are awesome but the timing is wrong, to “leaders” that true conservatives are chomping at the bit to get rid of in November. My thoughts from January ’09 have not yet come to fruition. You may think that I haven’t given it enough time, but in truth, leadership appears as a result of circumstance, not a calendar. They appear when they are needed, and they are needed now.
Then this morning I came across this Redstate article by Erick Erickson and I realized where the problem is. Unfortunately it seems the problem is with us.
We are splintered. As I see it the factions are as follows: Tea Partiers; GOP; Libertarians; Social Conservatives (which includes Religious Right)
The left is splintered as well: Soldiers in Obama’s “army”; Democrats; Ultra-Liberals
But for the left, it doesn’t matter that they are splintered, they HAVE their leader. No matter the bad press he may give democrats on a regular basis there is no denying that they have a smart, charismatic, talented leader to articulate their message on a national level with an army of lock step soldiers ready to do his bidding and spread his talking points.
Every time we gain ground with the public, they take some back after he goes on a speaking tour. Lately this has continued to trend in our direction to where even when he gains ground it’s not as much as we’ve taken, but I don’t believe this can last without central leadership.
I hate to say it but I think the reason it’s our fault is because our protests have overstayed their welcome. As many before me have said, it’s time to “put down the signs.” I was none too please when Erick Erickson essentially said the same thing a few months back because I felt that the Tea Parties were a great way to involve previously unmotivated voters into being a part of the process. I’m not here to completely contradict that previous perspective but I do believe that the time for signs that read “Honk if I’m paying your mortgage” are not producing an environment that will cause a leader to step forward.
I think the time for Tea Party protests in their current form is over. The time for Conservative Rally’s is here. We need to stop pretending like this movement is free of ideology. It’s not. This movement is about originalist interpretations of the constitution. This movement is about low to no taxes. About small government. States Rights. This is about Conservatism.
I don’t care if you’re here because you don’t like spending, you’re against abortion or you just really like the GOP. If we can agree on the core principles of conservatism then THAT is what we should be saying. We shouldn’t be getting together just to have some pipsqueak trying to hock a book that he’s selling on his website talking on a megaphone in front of people holding signs that say the same tired things they’ve said for two years. We should be getting together and having leaders talking to groups of people that aren’t there in a rage but are there to figure out how to articulate our message, how to get organized and how to work together. It’s ok to be angry at the government, but we have to educate and get informed simultaneously. I’ve had conversations with people at Tea Parties before that made me CRINGE because of their lack of true understanding of conservative fiscal principles. And looking to the speaker to fix this is generally a waste of time as they mostly seem to be there in order to get people to chant “U.S.A! U.S.A!” before having the opportunity to buy his new book “How I started the Tea Party movement!”
At CPAC it was completely different. You had motivated people that while they were angry at government, they wanted to be informed. They wanted to listen, to learn. There were no signs. There were no chants. Just an exchange of conservative ideals as well as Scott Brown. (sorry I couldn’t resist) The Tea Parties should emulate this but in nationwide scope. From a movement like this, a leader WILL appear. Someone to bring unity to our assemblage of conservative divisions as Reagan did a generation ago.
Put down the signs. Pick up the mantle of conservatism and let’s take this country back.