While voices in the media are sounding the death knell for conservatism due to the epic fail of this election, the feeling on the ground, strangely, has never been more optimistic. All over America, I hear, a younger generation is taking the reins from the older one and is mobilized. Here in New York, organization efforts have begun. What John McCain could not make us do in pursuit of his victory, we are doing in the wake of his defeat. The oncoming groundswell is not a celebration of the defeat of McCain, a man who would not have been a bad president, but someone whose ideology on many many subjects undermined the prinicples of conservatism. What we here at TBV and what others in the movement are doing will mirror, we hope, the work that Markos Moulitsas and MoveOn did for the liberals. For better or worse, they gave their party the voice of their people. Unfortunately, their people are crazy.
In the coming weeks we will be organizing on the ground in several key states for 2010. At this point, we are gathering demographic information and thinking of the smartest ways to elect good representatives. Remember that elected officials should not primarily be leaders, but should be a representative reflection of your beliefs and ideals.
Just as the hatchet/scalpel analogy was used in the debates with regard to the size of government, I would like to use a sniper/turret analogy here. In our current position (we will be defending more seats than the Democrats in the 2010 senate race), we will need to build a fort around our incumbents and mow down any opposition. I see AT LEAST two likely vacancies coming from our side and we will need good candidates to fill those spots. On the other side, there are some big name Democrats in states that are not yet competitive that we can’t take out, i.e., Barbara Boxer and Pat Leahy. Devoting any funds towards opposition campaigning would be a waste of money. However, if you are in Vermont or California, look to the House and local governments. However, there are several seats that I think we could pick off. Lone stragglers who will be well defended but the demographics of the state could be used in our favour. They have two years unleashed and that is opportunity for them to make mistakes.
If you are a reader of this site and are at all interested in running for something such as city council, state assembly, whatever, leave a message below and we will contact you. The country needs good federalists who believe in the letter of the Constitution and that this country bestows the individual, not the government, with the power to achieve anything.
We are not Neo-Cons although we support Israel’s right to exist and thrive. We are not Compassionate Conservatives although we want to help all those in our communities achieve their highest potentials. To do so, we need to empower the individual and the best way to do so is to unshackle the market and let entrepreneurs achieve. That is the argument that our people need to make to the American people.
In yesterday’s WSJ, Karl Rove noted:
It is a tribute to his skills that Mr. Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, won in a country that remains center-right. Most pre-election polls and the wiggly exits indicate America remains ideologically stable, with 34% of voters saying they are conservative — unchanged from 2004. Moderates went to 44% from 45% of the electorate, while liberals went to 22% from 21%.
We are still a center right country and can win back the trust of the American electorate. We need the right people to make the case.
We at “Trust, but Verify” have started a Facebook Group to get the word out today. Feel free to join and please invite all those who want a New Leadership, Big Ideas, and Conservative Roots. Join HERE.
To leave you with some hope of change, Katherine Kersten from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Over the years, America has experienced countless zigs and zags in economic and social policy, but has repeatedly proven its ability to right itself and avoid long-term damage. When liberal politicians in power over-reach, as they usually do, we can count on common sense to provide a corrective.
Take the 1930s, when the nation — buffeted by the Depression — seemed ripe for a lurch toward socialism. Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” strategy for recovery was grounded in a vision of big government as savior.
The New Deal’s centerpiece was the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which became law in June 1933. Roosevelt lauded the act as “the most important and far-reaching legislation ever enacted by the American Congress.”
The NIRA created a vast new bureaucracy to micro-manage the economy. Across the country, planners divided up markets — and set prices, wages and production quotas or rules — in sectors ranging from the steel industry to Mom and Pop grocery stores. Six months after the act’s passage, the burdensome industrial “codes” it sanctioned already covered 60 percent of American workers.
An anxious nation initially cheered Roosevelt’s plan. But the president and his “wise men” had overreached, as soon became clear. The NIRA raised prices, slowed recovery and stoked widespread resentment. By late 1934, many of Roosevelt’s staunchest Democratic allies were denouncing it. The act stood no chance of reauthorization, and in 1935 the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.
Roosevelt’s grand plan failed to pull the nation out of the Depression. Nevertheless, in the 1940s and ’50s, America’s political class assumed that some form of state-controlled economy was inevitable, both here and in Europe. Republicans — led by a pliant Dwight D. Eisenhower — did little to resist its march.
Then, in the mid-1950s, an intellectual insurgency spearheaded by Buckley dared to speak truth to power. Buckley took on “a vast, complacent and apparently immovable status quo,” according to his colleague John O’Sullivan. He used a wry smile, a capacious intellect and an “emperor has no clothes” attitude to challenge an entrenched liberal orthodoxy.
Buckley brought together a remarkable collection of thinkers who laid the philosophical groundwork for the modern conservative movement. Once it gained political momentum, it gave birth to the Reagan Revolution — and an era of low taxes, free trade, enhanced competition and remarkable prosperity.
Yet conservative control didn’t last forever. In 1992, the Left enjoyed a new burst of optimism when Bill Clinton took office and promptly proposed a massive government takeover of America’s health care system. Once again, “big government” overreach provoked a reaction. In 1994, Republicans swept the U.S. House of Representatives.
Clinton spent his next six years in office accommodating his policies to America’s free market vision. Under him, Reagan’s legacy became entrenched in initiatives ranging from welfare reform to NAFTA.
We’ve just elected a Democratic Congress and a president whom the non-partisan National Journal has named as America’s “most liberal senator.” We can expect them to overreach, as their predecessors did. And in today’s global economy, the harmful consequences of economic missteps will likely become apparent far more quickly than in the past.
It’s time for conservatives to mount a new insurgency. That insurgency will proclaim that economic policies focused on wealth redistribution, rather than wealth creation, cannot produce prosperity. It will remind Americans that, despite their vague promises of “hope” and “change,” big-government enthusiasts are sooner or later revealed as emperors who have no clothes.