Who’s Really Getting Purged From the GOP? Conservatives or Moderates?
Again and again, conservative candidates are cut down by the party in primaries.
January 17, 2010 - 12:00 am
Moreover, on issues of grave importance to conservatives — like illegal immigration and balancing the budget — GOP moderates insist on forcing the party to pursue policies that are unpopular with the general public and anathema to the base. There’s usually not even an attempt made to meet conservatives halfway, perhaps by pushing security first on illegal immigration or freezing spending. Instead, the message to conservatives on these core issues over the past few years has been: “Like it or lump it; we don’t care. Who else are you going to vote for?”
Then there’s the presidential nomination process. The first few contests are open primaries, which means that moderate candidates have a big edge over conservatives. Why should conservatives be asked to put up with a system that puts the candidates who best represent them at a tremendous disadvantage?
The same question could be asked of the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee. How can these organizations build huge war chests on the backs of conservatives, and then turn around and sabotage conservative candidates in primaries without a second thought?
Conservatives have not said: “We’re a conservative party; we want the Republican Party to support conservatives over moderates in primaries.” Instead, we’ve had conservatives candidates cut off at the knees, again and again, in order to help moderates — some of whom have since repaid the favor by changing parties or endorsing liberal Democrats over conservatives.
Yes, the GOP needs both conservatives and moderates to win elections. Moreover, neither conservatives nor moderates can reasonably expect to get what they want all of the time. Additionally, since the GOP has far less seats than the Democrats in D.C., we need to bring in more moderates — not drive them out of power. However, the best way to draw in more independents is not to be a spineless, poll-driven party of men without chests in an attempt to appeal to moderates, but to be a principled party that stands up for honest conservative governance.
We need to stand up for fiscal conservatism, traditional values, law and order, and a strong defense. If we fight corruption and craft conservative free market solutions to the problems the American people are facing today, the GOP can create a coalition of conservatives and moderates that the Democrats can’t match.