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Now Is The Time For Conservative Leadership And Optimism

Conservatives – despite their initial misgivings – went all in for the Romney campaign and Romney’s epic defeat, coupled with other losses, sent many conservatives to bed election night wondering if, as Rush Limbaugh put it, “we’d lost the country.”

DC SunriseLet’s be clear about one thing up-front: voters did not reject conservatives and conservatism in the 2012 election.

Governor Romney may have said all the right things to assuage conservative concerns during the campaign, but he did not run as a conservative.

Indeed, after passing what First Lady of the Conservative Movement Phyllis Schlafly called the “best ever” Republican platform for conservatives, most issues on the conservative agenda were never heard about again.

You couldn’t find a national Republican or Romney campaign ad on the right-to-life, the Obamacare mandate and its war on the Catholic Church or constitutional government.

So, much as establishment Republicans will try to evade responsibility for this epic defeat, the onus is on them and their decision to run a content-free campaign.

Does this mean conservatives have nothing to learn from the 2012 election?

Quite the contrary – the election of 2012 holds many lessons for conservatives.

The first is proof of what I have been saying for many years – Republicans never, ever, win the presidency unless they nationalize the election by campaigning on a conservative agenda.

What we mean by nationalizing the election is to draw a sharp contrast between two world views. Think of the contrast Republicans drew with the liberal Democrat candidate’s view in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2004 when we framed the campaign as a fight for traditional values, lower taxes, smaller, less intrusive government and respect for the individual and constitutional liberty.

Nationalizing the election isn’t an automatic guarantee of victory, but the “stand for nothing” strategy IS a guarantee of defeat. It didn’t work for President Ford’s 1976 campaign, it didn’t work for President George H.W. Bush’s re-election, it didn’t work for Bob Dole and John McCain, and it certainly didn’t work this year for Mitt Romney.

But it did work for conservative Senate candidates such as Ted Cruz, Deb Fisher and Jeff Flake, who all campaigned as conservatives, had Tea Party movement backing and won.

Yes, re-districting hurt some of our Tea Party House freshmen, and some sound votes for our principles, like Allen West and Joe Walsh, were apparently defeated.  However, most of our candidates who were targeted not only survived, but came away stronger for the contest.

And if we take away the right lessons from this election, the Tea Party movement and small government constitutional conservative movement will also come away stronger.

And one of those important lessons that Tea Partiers and grassroots conservatives can take away from election 2012 is that leadership begins with you.

Thousands of volunteers who were never involved in politics prior to the rise of the Tea Party movement in 2009 have now been through two election cycles and received valuable training in campaign techniques and have acquired leadership experience – and the cuts and bruises from being a leader on the front lines of a campaign.

They – you – are ready for the next step; the takeover of the Republican Party by small government constitutional conservatives.

Now is the time for conservatives to step forward to demand a change in the Republican leadership, and to make that change happen one precinct committeeman and one county chairmanship at a time if necessary. We’ve seen the results of letting the Republican establishment run the show and the Party top-down from Washington. As frustrated, disappointed and maybe even frightened of the future as you may be, now is the time for each of us to become the leaders we have been waiting for.

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Blame Where It Belongs

No great courage to slap around the GOP establishment now.  They are what they have always been, and known to all.  That's why the real blame lies at the feet of the conservative leaders and the crab-bucket full of candidates who passively rolled over for Romney well before the convention.  No visible effort was made by principal conservative leaders to broker and substantively back a conservative candidate.

If Ryan, Rubio, or Santorum show up in Iowa between now and 2016, I'll have no time for them.  And would actively discourage others from supporting them.  The same would apply to any candidate to this cycle has the taint of a Romney endorsement to their name, especially coming before the convention.

If there is any courage or vision left among so-called conservative leaders, it would best be used to deconstruct the Republican Party.  Free the establishment to go to the Democrats, and promote candidates who actually believe and campaign on conservative principles.

Why must the Republican Party "reach out" to anyone?

I have already read quite a few critiques by various conservative and moderate commentators, and I keep seeing recommendations that the Republican Party, and conservatives in general, need to "reach out to minorities and immigrants".  I am not sure why we need to "reach out" to anyone, minorities, immigrants, women, men, evangelicals, Catholics--anyone.

As I see it, we conservatives pretty well know what appeals to conservatives, and we know what being "conservative" means.  We believe in traditional values, individual freedoms, strict adherence to the Constitution and the vision of the Founders, limited government, limited taxation, the right of States to nullify unconstitutional or unfair legislation coming out of Washington, the right to keep and bear arms, and a belief that our rights are not granted by the government but rather are inherent from God.  We believe that "all men are created equal", and that these rights should not be altered depending upon the race, color, creed, national origin, or gender of any of us.

The part of this "reaching out" that I do not understand is, if we clearly enunciate these beliefs, as well as numerous others that I failed to name that comprise what we think of as "conservative" and "traditional", these benefits are not limited as to who can avail themselves of them and who cannot, the benefits of the conservative agenda is available to each American individually.  As conservatives, we do not discriminate among individuals.  In this past election process, we conservatives at various times embraced the views of Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich without consideration for their race, color, creed, national origin, or gender.  Why do some commentators believe that the "gifts" of individual liberty, limited government, individual property rights, etc. require some sort of special caveat in order to attract freedom-loving "minorities" or freedom-loving Hispanics or Latinos.  If they think as we do, and they wish to avail themselves of the benefits we, as traditional values conservatives, promote, the fact that they are pigeon-holed by the Left as "different" because they are "minorities" or "Hispanics" or "Latinos" in no way eliminates them from being part of our movement.

Our message of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is unambiguous.  It is right out there in front of everybody, and everybody is equally permitted to choose to share those views.  I personally believe that if we, as conservatives, begin to alter that message by offering special considerations to Americans who are labeled differently, then we are compromising our beliefs and diluting the benefits of conservativism.  No true conservative should be willing to compromise the values that make us who we are, and no true conservative should be willing to adulterate or dilute those values in order to attract Americans who are looking for something different than an opportunity for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".  I believe we can certainly "welcome" all Americans into our cause, but I do not believe it is necessary to "reach out" to anyone more than anyone else because that is not what being a traditional, conservative, patriotic American is all about.

Amen Dixie Col!

 But to the liberal commentator on your post: By all means do as you please in your bedroom, you'll be the one answering for it alone. We don't care what you do in your bedroom or who you do it with. It's that you want me to pay for it and accept that it's the equivalent that most of us have an issue with. Life is a different story however, as the first right guaranteed in our constitution, it is our responsibility to stand up for those that do not have the ability to stand up for themselves. So when you are talking about taking another persons life it becomes the responsibilty of the governed to protect their right to live and on that issue you have already excersized your right in the bedroom it seems.

Don't back off an inch Dixie Col there is a lot of us right behind you!

life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Many would say the message of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' has been pushed aside by the message of 'life according to The King James Bible' as the evangelicals lead us further into the morass of the culture war. We claim we want the government out of our lives but then demand its intrusion into our bodies and bedrooms. What business does the government have telling me who I can marry or that I must carry a pregnancy to term!? If the GOP platform would've said "We hold abortion as birth-control to be repugnant but ultimately it is the individual's responsibility to make such decisions according to their own moral compass" and "We have no position on same-sex marriage as this is not something government should dictate", the Romney transition team would be in high-gear right now...

The Election

What the conservatives need to learn  from this election is to hire their own computer programmers.  Peace, Robert Walker


YES, We need to kick out all RINO's along with the fat-assed, slow moving elephant mascot and exchange it for a LION as a symbol of AGGRESSIVENES toward a Social Democratic Party infested with Jack Ass Marxists who like to call themselves "Progressives"....albeit they "progress" in the WRONG direction!!!

OF COURSE this is all "wishful thinking" of a simple old American Patriot and Constitutionalist!!!

Establishment leadership: Step Aside, please!

Now is the time for the Republican leaders in Congress to step aside and let a new generation of conservative leaders, dedicated to the Constitution and limited government, to assume leadership. If the face of the Republican party remains that of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain and other aging establishment country-club Republicans, there is no hope for re-energizing the party for 2014, 2016 and beyond. There are many more dynamic, new faces in the party that need to take over in Washington, including Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Kelly Ayotte, Sen.-elect Deb Fisher, and others. The party needs to develop new ideas and new approaches to appealing to Hispanic and Asian-Americans, who are culturally conservative, family-oriented and open to a GOP that will embrace them and support their social and economic interests.

The National Senatorial Campaign Committee did a miserable job in botching what should have been a big gain for Republican seats in the Senate; they somehow managed to turn favorable conditions into a net loss. Cutting funding to Todd Akin because of one stupid comment that he apologized for was a complete cave-in to the media sensation-mongers, especially in a race that should easily have turned Claire McCaskill out of office. Everyone involved in the NRSC effort should resign.

This is not time for stand-pattism in the GOP leadership. Stand pat and we lose. Time to clean house, and get back to true conservative principles and an outreach to all voters, especially those the GOP lost by huge margins.

Latino vote

I agree w/most of your comment but I still wonder why, if they are cuturally conservative and mostly Roman Catholic, did Latinos vote overwhelmingly for Obama who is pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion (going so far as to support killing a baby who survives abortive attempts) and mandating that the Church provide abortifacients and birth control in their insurance policies.  Although Romney did not speak about these issues, Obama did; time and time again at the convention.  I am stunned by the outcome and believe that House leaders such as Chaffetz, Lee, Price and other bedrock conservatives must be bold, holding hearings, speaking out and demanding answers.

Kind of Got It Right

It's time to put and end to crony conservatism where the party machine manipulates results in order to get their guy elected. Had we put up a true conservative like Ron Paul we'd all be waving bye bye to BO. However, Mitt was the annointed one by the party bosses and they were going to make sure they got their guy and...............they were so hell bent that they didn't even seat the RP delegates at the convention. So come on. Lets get the party out of the hands of the cronnies and then maybe we can move on and move forward with some expectation of success. Otherwise the Republican party should bring in the clergy for the performance of last rights.

Kind of Got It Right

Hear! Hear! As of Nov.6, I am a full-on Ron Paul supporter. Wimpy, middle-of-the road campaigns win nothing but disdain and a drubbing at polls.


The "inner-circle" HAD to throw Ron Paul under the bus simply because he was too dangerous to the corrupted powers that be in DC! ~ There is no doubt that Ron Paul was the true "front-runner" among the intelligently informed within the mainstream public, but thanks to a corrupted national media and "fixed" primaries he was wrongly made out to the historical and Constitutionally challenged to be a "whack-job" ....and the suckers fell for it! ~ Had the GOP embraced Dr. Paul and put their efforts behind him we would not have Obama for another, sure to be tragic, four years of anxiety and depression among true Americans! ~ Pure logic; Conservatives would have voted for ANYONE that the GOP picked to defeat Obama, BUT the GOP LOST the MAJORITY of Dr. Paul's supporters who voted on principle of not settling for the lesser of two evils, thus wrote in Dr. Paul's name! ~ At least, had Romney picked Dr. Paul as his VP, he would have surely been elected POTUS! (that is IF Dr. Paul would have accepted the position!)