It almost seems as if history is repeating itself, at least for conservatives. The surge of conservative, Tea Party candidates beating entrenched moderate and in many cases RINO Republican candidates who have been part of the DC establishment for years or a least well known in the GOP elitist circles has been a shock to some and a nightmare to others.
The conservative surge has shown the true anger and disgust of voters as well as the poor attitude of many of the defeated entrenched candidates as well as pundits. For example after the stunning defeat of RINO Mike Castle by conservative Tea Party backed Christine O’Donnell, Castle revealed his true colors by publicly stating he would not endorse nor support O’Donnell although she was the clear choice of Delaware voters.
We have witnesses another RINO entrenched GOP candidate who could care less about the will of the voters and went even further than the sore loser attitude of Mike Castle. In Alaska, Lisa Murkowski was defeated by Tea Party conservative Joe Miller and though initially conceding to the will of the people has announced that she will ignore voters decision and run as a write in candidate for the Alaska Senate seat.
All around the country conservative Tea Party, Sarah Palin backed candidates have overwhelmingly defeated entrenched GOP Washington insiders or well know state insiders running for federal offices and it has both scared and angered the elitist GOP establishment and brought on the commentary wrath of pundits who have gone on the record condemning voter decisions and claiming that many conservative candidates cannot win against Democrats because they are too radical for the voters in their respective states, especially those in the Northeast.
Two who have come out against the Tea Party backed conservatives who have surprised many of us that have enjoyed and agreed with their political commentary in the past are Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer. Both have blasted the idea that Christine O’Donnell can win in Delaware and have inferred that because voters have chosen many Tea Party conservative candidates over long standing entrenched GOP stalwarts many of which are considered RINOS the Republican take over of majority status in Congress as a result of the mid term election is now not only in question but not likely in the Senate. Only a few weeks ago both were touting how the Senate was likely to go GOP.
Many have compared this 2010 mid term to the massive loss Democrats suffered in 1994 when voters who were angered over much of the policies, especially the health care push of Bill Clinton, overwhelmingly voted GOP and for the first time in 40 years seated a Republican majority in the House and the Senate. While there are many similarities to the 1994 election, the voter anger over Presidential and Congressional policy and action, for Republicans and the backlash against entrenched GOP candidates and the reaction by many in the GOP establishment in better compared to the rise of Ronald Reagan.
In the latter sixties and early seventies the Republican party was considerably different then the party we have grown accustomed to thinking it is since the Reagan Presidency and the Gingrich majority take over in 1994. The Republican party has claimed the mantra of conservative since the eighties and President Reagan, although in recent years that mantra has not fit the GOP and many of the established politicians especially those referred to as RINOS.
The sixties and seventies saw a country club elitist Republican Party which was dominated by entrenched GOP stalwarts like Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon. All considered very moderate to almost liberal in their political beliefs and all entrenched in the GOP. Then came Watergate and the anger of voters against Republicans which brought about the election of Jimmy Carter as President.
Ronald Reagan made his first move toward the Presidency in 1976 almost taking the nomination from then President Gerald Ford in an all out war at the GOP convention but the country club class prevailed and booted Reagan out choosing Ford to run against Jimmy Carter. During the Carter years as the inept Georgian bowed to the Soviet Union, destroyed an already hurting economy and told Americans we had to accept a lesser way of life then we had been accustomed to Ronald Reagan espoused the mantra of conservative Constitutional values, angering the country club GOP establishment but rallying the voters to conservative principles.
Reagan gained the GOP nomination and the country club types immediately came out and said all was lost, Carter would be reelected because Reagan and his conservative ideals could not win in a general election because he was to radical for the American public especially the country club entrenched Northeast where Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller had been the face of the GOP for years.
Pundits stated continually that Reagan could not win and the polls for the most part were agreeing with the pundits as all the way up until election day Reagan lagged behind in most polling. In fact on election day itself in 1980 almost no one believed Ronald Reagan would beat Jimmy Carter and that Carter would be elected to a second term despite the shape of the economy and the general feeling that things were going the wrong direction in the country.
But the people did not agree with the pundits or the GOP country club establishment and Ronald Reagan won in one of the greatest landslides in American history. Defeating Carter by more than eight million votes taking 44 states including Rockefeller’s New York and all of the Northeast states except Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island and taking California in the process. He not only bucked and proved the GOP establishment wrong but his conservative message was embraced by voters and he continued to carry that voter loyalty into an even larger landslide in 1984 against Walter Mondale who was Carter’s Vice President.
We are witnessing a similar situation today as was witnessed in 1980 with President Reagan. The GOP lost the faith of the voters because of abandoning conservative values that voters embraced because of Reagan and booted out the GOP in 2006 and in 2008 the anger continued electing the totally inept Barack Obama just as angered voters elected Jimmy Carter in the wake of anger over Watergate.
Now just as in 1980 voter anger over the shape of the economy and Presidential policy is embracing conservative candidates and values just as they did Ronald Reagan. Also like 1980 the entrenched GOP moderate establishment and pundits are claiming that, especially in the Northeast conservatives cannot win and as a result Democrats will prevail at least in the Senate. Even many of the polls are agreeing with the establishment again like 1980. But voters decide elections now as they did in 1980 and also like 1980 voters are embracing conservative values and candidates.
So rather than listening to the pundits and the establishment we conservatives should not dismay but be increasingly energized as we are seeing a conservative wave sweeping the Nation as it did when Ronald Reagan became President. Everyone said Reagan could not win then and everyone says conservatives cannot win now, but the American people proved the establishment and the pundits wrong in 1980 and once again they will be proven wrong in 2010 as the country embraces conservatism and begins to take our country back from Obama and the progressive this year.
So conservatives rejoice because the people are wiser than the pundits and the establishment. President Reagan believed in the American people and they never let him down. Conservative Tea Party candidates believe in the American people today and just as in 1980 the people will not let them or the country down.
Ken Taylor The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth