I started this on Twitter after reading about the conservative purge in the House and about Dick Armey's departure from FreedomWorks. I've no detail on the latter, it came as a surprise to me, too. I hope there's still a level of goodwill there, although the initial media reports made it sound like it was anything but an amicable break. I said this earlier on Twitter, collected here, with further thoughts after:
A battle on the right further splintering us would be a dream come true for the left. I hope some people see this. I've said it before: you can't simply swap out politicians and presto! Electorate is changed! That's such a lazy, quasi-prog approach. You have to actually get out there and change hearts and minds. It's hard, multi-generational work. For whatever reason it seems some on our side think that the left has stopped trying to destroy the right simply because election is over. I'm watching some smart, conservative thinkers fall into the same traps laid before during the election. And those within the GOP who seem to be working against such reconciliations should realize they're playing with their party's future. The GOP has to STOP playing defense. Exit polls showed people were terrified about the economy because of Dem policies BUT they lacked trust in GOP to fight. Opportunity here! The left wants an all out war on the right. They're looking ahead to midterms while everyone else is focused on the weeds. GOP leadership would be wise to not aid that -- us as well. Extreme heat on congress is required. Hold the line. If you're unhappy about the politicians, what have you done to change it? And no, I'm not talking about working on a campaign. If you're unhappy about the politicians, what have you done to change it? I'm not talking about working on behalf of a legis issue. What does it all come back to? The very thing I've been saying for the past few years. CULTURE. Politicians are reflections of ourselves.I said all of this and more in a monologue some months back. It's such a lazy mindset to think that we can just swap politicians and viola! Insta-conservatism. A moderate gets elected to his or her office because their constituency put them there. If you want to effect lasting change you have to change the hearts and minds of the voters. Activists are focusing on the wrong people. This is a multi-generational battle. As conservatives, we hit back at the instant-gratification society, so why would we contradict ourselves on such a belief when it comes to our politics? The left spent generations to shift the electorate to this point -- you think one election cycle will fix it? The left within the last two weeks has trumped up two different assaults on our unified front. They've exploited our reeling feelings after we lost like any good opponent would (you would too, admit it) and are looking to drive a wedge between the party and its base. They're not playing for right now, they're playing for two years from now. And what is two years from now? Midterms. A chance for them to possible reclaim the House and rack up more senate seats. They aren't trying to make their base angry at them, they're trying to make the GOP's base revolt. They know that if they can make it look like the GOP is either compromising on taxes in fiscal cliff negotiations or if the moderates within are waging operational war on fellow Republican conservatives, they will get their split -- and affect midterms. We may not agree on everything, but we agree that separately we stand less of a chance of overcoming tyranny.
“If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.” - Thomas PaineDon't be conned into thinking that our differences with each other are greater than our differences with the left. Just because the election is over doesn't mean Democrats have stopped scheming to further divide conservatives. Equally that, it doesn't mean that GOP moderates have to help them by folding. I understand the frustration with some certain lawmakers who I confess, I jab daily on air. However don't talk a big game of primarying politicians when you haven't even done the most important groundwork of changing the hearts and minds in that lawmaker's community. That's where you'll find the battle. It's hard, but worthy, work, sometimes with only the goal of planting the seed. Going forward, remember this: The art of political persuasion doesn't always have to happen in a political context or during an election cycle. The ball is in the GOP's court right now. Their first act of goodwill towards their base is whether or not they hold the line on tax increases. The second will be to open arms to more conservative members of the party. Baby steps. We'll go from there. But the GOP should know: no amount of work on our part will bring a party to victory that doesn't want it. Don't alienate conservative grassroots.