An immediate GOP purge won’t work
posted at 5:01 pm on January 24, 2016 by Taylor Millard
The GOP Establishment of “biggish government works just fine” needs to go away. They need to either join the Democrats or just retire and let “the base” (which allegedly loves freedom and libery) run things. That’s a fine thought to have, but there seems to be a split on how to actually make that happen. There are plenty of people who believe an atom bomb-like purge needs to happen, which vaporizes the Establishment in one fell swoop. Ace over at Ace of Spades seems to have decided this is the best way to go because he’s tired of just hoping “winning elections” will solve things:
Although I’ve come to hate politics and I just despise reading the news now, the one good thing is that I’m liberated from splashing some ketchup on Sandwiches Made of Actual [Crap] and trying to sell them to people as tasty and healthful.
I feel liberated. I serve no “Greater Good,” as I don’t know that there’s a Greater Good to be served anymore. So I can just say exactly what I think.
And what I think is that the establishment has to be destroyed.
We will not be ignored, we will not be condescended to, we will no longer accept broken promises and lies as our payment for our service to the GOP.
And if it requires destroying the GOP and electing a Democrat to teach the establishment this lesson, to chastise them and to humble them, then we shall do just that, and do so happily.
You will either come to terms, or you will be destroyed.
The anger makes total sense, and it would be absolutely fantastic if the Establishment could be sent packing in one election cycle. I’m angry too at how the GOP Senate leadership of Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and the GOP House leadership of Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Pete Sessions appear willing to make a deal which is more 80-20 in favor of President Barack Obama and not the reverse. This idea that the GOP has to be “moderate” to attract voters makes no sense to me because there needs to be an actual difference between Republicans and Democrats (not just on social issues, but on surveillance, spending, taxes, subsidies, etc). But here’s why an immediate purge isn’t going solve anything. It’s like a landscaper getting rid of a tree. He doesn’t replace the old tree with a fully-grown new tree. Instead, a young sapling is planted which can grow into the spot where the old tree was. Those wanting a GOP purge have to realize this is what’s going to have to happen if they want the so-called RINO’s gone. The new party is going to have to grow into power, and it’s going to take years. This means being willing to think long term and realizing true victory isn’t going to be found in just two or four or even ten election cycles. This means completely changing the minds of people, and convincing them a more fiscally responsible way of governance is better than what’s been going on for the last 116+ years. One thing Jim Geraghty at National Review pointed out is it’s possible people DON’T want to see government cut because they like the status quo.
Polling indicates that 70 percent want a smaller deficit . . . but the only spending cut that gets anywhere near a majority support is to foreign aid — about 1 percent of the budget — and even that’s close to an even split. “For 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels.” People want smaller government right up until the point where it actually affects them.
This shows it’s going to take years to convince the electorate to put a true majority of smaller government advocates into power. So it’s more important for conservatives and libertarians to play the long game (the very long game) to see their plans come to fruition. It means not chasing every new populist bauble or figure who comes along promising to bring about change or fixing a country with even more big government. It also means being more active and deciding to keep politicians accountable when big votes come up. It also means resisting the urge to immediately throw someone out when they vote the way we don’t want them too or when we disagree with another pundit or blogger. Ed, Jazz, AP, and myself all have different opinions on certain things, but I’d rather have them on my team. Ace and I disagree on immigration, and I disagree with a majority of Reason writers on abortion, but they’re folks who are freedom fighters and despise statism. It means I’ll work with them, unless they start advocating an expanded government on a regular basis. The same goes for politicians who don’t vote the way I’d prefer them to on everything. I disagree with Thomas Massie on the Farm Bill, but he’s still someone I support. The same goes for Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and myself have differences on foreign policy and online gambling, but they’re much better politicians than the ones they replaced. They aren’t perfect, but no politician (or pundit) ever will be.
The Right should always be looking for better candidates to represent their freedom and liberty viewpoints in government (whether it’s federal, state, or local). But a big, gigantic purge all at once is not going to solve anything (as much as we’d like it to happen). The Right has to think long term when it comes to getting rid of the Establishment. If we don’t, then people are just going to get more angry and reactionary which could end up completely destroying their chances at all of success.