As the Florida primary election results pour in, I have to wonder how much positive, pro-conservative messaging could have been generated with the $18M that Mitt Romney just spent on character assassination. In the midst of national debts and credit downgrades, there is worldwide civil unrest. From the riots in Greece, through the flash mobs in the UK, and all the way to the Oakland City Hall Occupiers, there are people who realize that one trillion dollars doesn’t go very far these days. Purity is the goal, but reality is the harsh equalizer. While the Tea Party is engaging in the political process and working on policy, the Occupiers are sending a parallel message to elites in both political establishments. The ruling class is on its way out.

When I joined the Tea Party in 2009, I was a purist. Demanding fiscal responsibility and accountability was just on the surface. I also wanted elected officials to represent the people with strong positions on national security and limited government. Like many, reality settled in after the 2010 elections. A mass wave of big conservative talkers and campaigns that insisted on Tea Party principles fooled many.  Unfortunately, many of these candidates did not have an actual record to validate their claims, and their maiden voyages in politics were not particularly impressive.  Many grassroots activists who helped these candidates get elected in the 2010 elections are now recruiting their replacements.

During the 2011 legislative session of the Texas Legislature, my idealism was infused with a dose of realism. As a member of the Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Board, I learned more than a little about how the system works. Money is power, and it rules the political elites. The leadership is handpicked, and laws are written accordingly. The “Good ol’ Boy Network” isn’t just something you see in the big Hollywood films. Even the reformers walked on eggshells, wary of shaking up the status quo. Those who attempted to challenge the ruling class became victims of backlash and threats of formidable challengers in the primaries. This is why the rise of Newt Gingrich as the choice of many conservative grassroots is a sight for my very sore — but now more open — eyes.

The mainstream media, including the “fair and balanced” cable news networks, have been telling Republicans that Mitt Romney will be the next nominee for president. They have been trying to convince conservatives that the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama is the right guy for us in 2012. What conservative grassroots are saying to the media and to the party is that it’s not “Mitt’s turn” — it’s the people’s turn. If Speaker Gingrich wins or loses the nomination, the people will have had their say. The mere fact that Mitt Romney has been running for president for at least five years, and has still found it necessary to spend a fortune tearing down other candidates to prop himself up, is reflective of his inability to win honestly and exposes his lack of substance on the issues. And now that all of his negative ads have been proven to be false, what will he have moving forward?  Jimmy Carter was a successful business man, and from what I’m told, he did a number on the economy.