For a long time, the Republican Party has been neither conservative nor libertarian. So few were surprised to find a rather bright line drawn between the GOP and the recent tea party protests. The truth is, the anger of the tea party demonstrators was directed as much towards what the GOP has become as it was towards the Democrats. Understandably then, GOP leaders haven’t been happy lately about their own grassroots.
While conservatives and libertarians make up the majority of the GOP, they don’t make up even half of the leadership. The rank and file are interested in principles of conservatism and libertarianism. They want to see those principles applied to governing. The GOP leadership has no interest anymore in such matters, being more enamored with attaining and remaining in power. Those principles are just standing in their way.
Still, at some point the Republican Party needs to be eased back into this discussion, because there isn’t enough in the way of organization outside the party to represent the views of the conservative and libertarians among us. But how can that be done given the way the GOP leadership has slid off the conservative/libertarian map?
Principles are the answer. Principles of individual freedom were most certainly at the root of the preachings of people like William F. Buckley. Those principles and goals would be further supported by replacing the leadership that is unwilling to stick to those fundamental ideals of limited government.
What follows is the mission statement originally written by William F. Buckley Jr. at the then fledgling National Review on November 19, 1955. This was the founding document of the magazine and needs to be viewed through that filter. That said, I dare to suggest to you that the Republican Party has found itself in trouble precisely because it has parted with these principles.