A close examination of the subtleties of the McCain political debacle reveals the truth of what heartland America was expressing during the past two major elections, and what the GOP needs to acknowledge if it is to turn the political tide back on the left. So far however, it does not seem to be getting the message.
For nearly two decades now, and particularly in the wake of the 2000 presidential election debacle, Democrats have been pursuing a diabolically simple political strategy. In short, they moved hard-left, knowing how reflexively the “mainstream” Republican response would be to follow them. But of course the GOP would pathetically claim that, by doing so to a lesser degree than the Democrats, it would somehow retain the mantle of “conservatism.”
Thus the GOP could continue in its delusions of relevancy, while clearly abdicating any real qualities of leadership. Simultaneously, it would be helping implement the liberal agenda that in reality was orchestrated to empower the Democrats. Meanwhile, the disillusionment among the base of Republican voters would eventually cause a political collapse of the party.
By 2009, it has become undeniable that the plan ultimately worked, although some unexpected events along the way delayed, for a time, the Democrat effort to seize total control of the United States Government. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 briefly shook the nation from a former complacency that had enabled the wayward and corrupt Presidency of Bill Clinton.
President Bush, having embarked on that misbegotten “new tone” effort at finding “middle ground” with the left during his first eight months in office, was suddenly confronted with the reality of the Islamist threat, and had to redefine himself and his presidency as one committed to the reestablishment of a safe and secure American homeland.
The public focus on this aspect of his agenda proved to be a saving grace, circumventing the landslide of Republican losses in the 2002 mid-term congressional elections that inarguably would have ensued, had the Bush White House and Republican Congress been characterized solely by his contemptible pandering to the left, the resultant increase in the size and scope of government, and the inevitable bloating of the national budget that followed.
Nevertheless, the tides of public cynicism eventually caught up with Bush and the Republican Congress. In 2006, America thoroughly repudiated the direction in which these GOP “moderates” had taken it, giving control of both the House and Senate to the Democrats.
Failing to discern the message sent by the electorate in the starkest of terms, the unrepentant GOP continued on its disastrous course. In 2008, with the prospect of archliberal “Republican” President John McCain further sabotaging the conservative movement from within, frustrated and disgusted voters bolted, allowing Barack Obama to assume the nation’s helm by default.
Yet a close examination of the subtleties of the McCain political debacle reveals the truth of what heartland America was expressing during the past two major elections, and what the GOP needs to acknowledge if it is to turn the political tide back on the left. So far however, it does not seem to be getting the message.
John McCain lagged badly in the 2008 pre-election polls, except for the brief period after he had chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. And had the McCain campaign spotlighted her bold and distinctly non-erudite ways, instead of becoming embarrassed by her and attempting to minimize her prominence in his campaign, the outcome of that race might have been entirely different.
Since that time, with the Republican Party in a shambles, Palin and grassroots conservatism have clearly undergone a renaissance. Yet among the Republican “elites” this reality has not yet been comprehended. The mood among conservative Americans is one of outrage and frustration at the status quo, generating an incredible energy and commitment to do something about it.
It is crucial to understand that this groundswell is not about cult followings and personalities, and by her own words, Sarah Palin knows this to be true. Admittedly, the prospect of her appearance at any rally can guarantee an enthusiastic crowd of thousands. But ultimately, such gatherings are not about her. On numerous occasions, far larger crowds have assembled across the nation at “Tea Parties,” and other protests, without any such notable figure on hand as a draw.
Likewise, the sales of her newly released book “Going Rogue” are astronomical. But contrary to the deluge of liberal media distortions which falsely depict a public intrigue over the “He said/She said” squabbles within the McCain/Palin campaign, readers are far more interested in the principles Sarah Palin espouses and courageously represents.
Americans have come to the grim realization that their country and its government is being wrested from them, and they instinctively understand that it is up to them to get it back. Otherwise, the greatness of freedom and prosperity that they once knew will be lost forever.
This is the message that is motivating real America, and that resulted in the recent stunning Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as the incredibly strong showing of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in New York District Twenty Three. Still, it appears that within Republican Party circles, the disastrous plan is to continue “business as usual.”
In the upcoming Illinois Senate race, as well as the Kansas District 4 Congressional race, “moderate” (read: liberal) candidates are being preselected and anointed by the Republican Party leadership, thereby virtually guaranteeing a repeat of New York District 23, which ultimately fell to Democrat Bill Owens. No doubt, this preposterous “scheme” is being pursued elsewhere.
America is not, and will never be, inspired and motivated by a GOP strategy of diluted liberalism, especially when the full strength version is available right across the aisle. If the Republican movers and shakers can muster the courage to field and support truly conservative candidates, America will rally to them. It would be a tragedy if they once again “fumble” at such an opportune moment.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.