I've been a lifelong Republican, and have even worked as a State Central Committeeman for the party, but I'm done...out. And the kind of nonsense we've witnessed by John Cornyn and the NRSC over Charlie Crist and Carly Fiorina is why. Well, not entirely why, but perhaps the last two nails in a coffin the GOP's been building for itself since 1995, the year after the Contract with America, when it became apparent that not a whole lot of that Contract was going to get delivered.
Working at various levels of the party and in politics, from internships on Capitol Hill, to mixing it up locally, from watching my own congressman do everything he could to isolate conservatives he knew would vote for him anyway, to watching the failings of our national party time and time again, I can do nothing but conclude that there is functionally no difference between the parties any longer. Both will get us to the unconstitutional socialist nanny state the Democrats would simply impose on us today. The Republicans would takes us down the longer, more scenic route, but the destination is the same.
So what to do? A third party?
The history of third parties in this country is appalling and replete with examples of political trainwrecks that in too many cases did nothing more than empower the opposing party. But there are also successes down those tracks, and they might be worth exploring now, especially in the current environment, when the American people are most in the mood to "toss the bums out", all of them, a situation not unlike the 1850's when the last major party came to be, coincidentally the Republican Party.
The Democrats have succeeded in pretty much transforming themselves into the Socialist Party USA without too much electoral fuss, aided in large part by their fellow travelers in the media, a luxury Republicans will not enjoy should they seek to transform themselves into anything resembling a party that possesses a SPINE. GOP leadership has , on the other hand, sought the media's approbation by offering "Democrat-lite" and in so doing, compromised our principles and lost us elections, while failing to secure the media approval so desperately sought. Good Republicans, in the eyes of the NYT, LAT, and WaPo, are Republicans like John McCain. You know...the kind that lose, or who sponsor bills with Russ Feingold or Ted Kennedy.
All of that is changing, however, and the "media" who at one point could dispense their loving approval like beads at Mardi Gras if only we Republicans would debase ourselves like so many inebriated young demoiselles on Bourbon Street, now find themselves stewing in their own pot of arrogance and irrelevance, to say nothing of bankruptcy. Democrats are virtually apoplectic as the disinfectant of sunshine is directed at their socialist/ACORN/SEIU/media/academia cabal and its liberal disease is exposed, while Republicans are just outright confused since they're now being asked to actually BE conservative, not just TALK conservative and don't appreciate having their feet held to the fire. Just as they'd figured out how to play so dutifully to the tune being called by the MSM, along comes some upstart like BigGovernment.com and upsets the apple cart!
Thus we are told, that we, the little people, are just too stupid to understand how "things really work in Washington" (which is of course a complete misreading of our "angry mobsterism" -- we DO know how things work in Washington, and that's the problem. THAT is what we want stopped!). We understand that it is only Republicans who are asked to compromise, lest we be held out as obstructionists, but never Democrats, and we've somehow bought into the lie. From top to bottom, the Republican leadership is filled with those who have more fealty to the institution they serve and their colleagues, than to the people who put them there. And time and again, We the Sheeple, rather than throwing the lot of them out, have preferred to dance with the Devils we know, than risk dancing with the devils we don't.
Of course, this has always been true of a people -- witness Jefferson's own words in the Declaration: "...and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed."
But just as Jefferson noted that it takes a long train of abuses and usurpations in order to get people to act against their governments, so too is it with political parties.
That time is come.
A coalition of the conservative elements of the GOP (the majority), the Libertarian Party, Constitutional Party, and Taxpayers Party, Conservative Party, and Independents, under a unified new party (let's call it the Conservative Party for now, the way it is in most other countries) is an attractive option. Combined, these groups could swiftly and quickly marshal resources, sweeping out incumbents of both GOP and Democratic parties, and beginning the work of restoring a federalist republic, as outlined by the Founders, Just as the Republicans replaced the sclerotic Whigs, it is well past time now to pull the plug on this charade that the GOP in its current incarnation will ever act as anything but a brake to slow down extremist elements of the Democratic Party, rather than offer an entirely new destination marked not by ever more federal intrusion and creeping socialism, but by liberty, small government, low taxes, and economic prosperity based entirely upon an individual's abilities.
You know...that whole life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness thing everyone's forgotten.
The Republican Party is beyond redemption if for no other reason than at its core, at its DNA level, it was never, ever really comfortable with Ronald Reagan. And while all now pay homage to the real Great Communicator, the actions of the GOP since Reagan, at the national level, says it all: Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain. Not a Reagan conservative in the bunch. So if we'd really like to be the party of Reagan, we're going to go have to start our own. Because people like Cornyn and any number of other Washington effete elitists, every bit as much a creatures of the Federal leviathan as Nancy Pelosi, have the singular aim to make sure we NEVER become the party of Reagan again, and that we never, ever become the country our Founders intended, lest their drinking buddies over at the Washington Post object and disinvite then to the next cocktail party.
Could the coalition I described ever come together? Would it not splinter over the issues that currently separate them? Perhaps. It is just one scenario. But a center-right independent party based on low taxes and Constitutional government would OWN the next election. And run the socialists, and the enablers out on the next rail leaving Union Station.