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O’DONNELL: Attitude adjustment time for Tea Party, GOP bosses
Question of the Day
“A revolution begins when the desires of many are addressed by the actions of one. It’s a ripple of change that starts when the first stone is cast at those in power and only ends when one side lies defeated or the two sides become one.”
This quote isn’t from a famous philosopher or thinker. Nor is it referring to an important event in American history. It’s from a cheesy nighttime drama and it’s referring to some murderous plot line. While watching TV one night, these words jumped out at me because they seemed to define the political undercurrent in America. A stone’s been cast, a ripple is swelling into a peak, and we are waiting to see which side will lie defeated. I’m referring to the Tea Party and the ripple within the GOP. Hopefully, for the sake of our country, the two sides become one.
As the economy continues to tank and employment opportunities remain stagnant, voters are feeling the direct impact of failed policies. Democrats can’t hide behind clever campaign slogans anymore. Republicans are ripe for a huge landslide in November. This year’s class of candidates is significantly more conservative than years past (thank you, Tea Party!) Therefore, a Republican landslide would be a victory for everyone. Yet, for this to happen, both establishment Republicans and the Tea Party need an attitude adjustment.
This may sound harsh, however it’s the truth that neither side cares to address. The House and Senate can be ours for the taking, without getting nasty, simply by championing the winning principles of our party, of our Constitution. The inexhaustible passion of the Tea Party grassroots, combined with the expertise and structure of the Party establishment, can assure a huge landslide in November. Yet what I’m proposing, for the two sides to become one, is about as likely as a Clinton/Palin ticket in 2016.
Sure, the establishment has pulled some nasty punches. I know that firsthand. The Old Guard can get pretty underhanded, and it is hard to get over that. Yet the Tea Party hasn’t exactly behaved as innocent bystanders. This infighting is damaging our country just as fast as President Obama’s horrific policies. If we stood together, as a movement, in defense of the policies that work we would be a bulwark against the destruction.
The Tea Party is uncompromising on its principles because that’s what is needed to make America great again. Cutting taxes, cutting spending and rolling back burdensome regulation is how President Reagan restored the economy in the 80s. It’s infuriating to watch Republican leadership ignore this simple truth. The grassroots must remain uncompromising so that leadership can be reminded of this standard. Yet we need to be kind about it. Uncompromising and kind are not mutually exclusive.
The Tea Party’s ability to recruit the masses was once the greatest attribute of the movement. Yet, as we’ve turned to name calling and using polarizing phrases like “lame stream media,” we only turn off the very people we seek to recruit. Sure, it’s okay for radio and TV hosts to use caustic language. It gets ratings. But when movement leaders resort to name calling and bashing, it makes us all look bad.
This election cycle, Democrats are distancing themselves from the Obama administration and touting conservative sound bites. However, the actual policies the Democrats represent undermine their very own sound bites. And no one is calling them on it! Republicans are missing opportunities to expose this con because we’re too busy shooting at each other. A current MSNBC promo comes to mind as a perfect example of such a missed opportunity.
In it, Chris Matthews is stoically walking through Independence Hall drawing inspiration from our Founding Fathers. As he cites a litany of victorious revolutions in American history, he encourages the viewer to soldier on in the face of opposition. Ending slavery, women’s suffrage; all took perseverance and passion, he reminds us.
If it weren’t for the fact that it is on MSNBC and features Mr. Matthews, one might mistake the spot for a conservative ad … until the tagline that is. “Liberalism always wins,” Mr. Matthews concludes.
Excuse me?! Liberalism ended slavery? Liberalism won the women’s right to vote? Wrong! (Cue buzzer.)
The Democratic Party blocked abolitionists at every turn. The Whig Party, once the abolitionists’ friend, also turned their back on the movement. They began to waiver, compromise and eventually the Whigs became irrelevant as a new third party (the Republican Party) gained momentum. This third party’s undiluted, unwavering commitment to not only ending slavery, but also defending constitutional rights for everyone made the wishy-washy Whigs extinct.
Early suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Gage were all pro-life feminists who boldly stood for conservative principles in spite of threats, intimidation and bullying. (Side note: feminists and conservative also are not mutually exclusive words. As a matter of fact, I think they are somewhat synonymous. We’ll save that for another discussion.)
Don’t get me wrong, I like Mr. Matthews. He’s a respectful host and usually has thoughtful arguments to defend his liberal position. Yet this promo has me stumped. Is he intentionally rewriting history or has he been duped by revisionists?
Conservatives miss so much when we’re butting heads with each other. Right under our nose, politicians and pundits are rewriting history and claiming our victories. What else are we missing?
About the Author
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