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New Role For Conservatives: Operate As A Fourth Force

For many years, I’ve talked about the three forces in American politics; establishment Democrats, establishment Republicans and those “third forces” outside the two parties – movements such as environmentalists, race-based organizations and especially the conservative movement.

And I’ve also often warned conservatives that for our movement to be effective we need to remain a third force Richard Viguerieand not become mere appendages of the Republican Party.

However, now there is a new force in American politics that is outside the two establishment political parties and the usual right-left third forces, and that’s President Donald J. Trump and his populist legions.

In the case of the relationship between conservatives and the Trump White House it is well to remember O’Sullivan’s First Law, named for John O’Sullivan, former editor of National Review: Any institution that is not explicitly (and actively) right wing will become left wing over time.

I think we can stipulate that President Trump is not a movement conservative; he’s a common-sense patriotic businessman with some conservative instincts who is especially and uniquely attuned to the anxieties and hopes of his populist supporters. 

The President has some conservative advisors, such as Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon and Vice President Mike Pence, but there are also others with whom he is especially close, such as daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who are moderate to liberal on many issues.

Meaning of course that to achieve the goal of governing America according to conservative principles we movement conservatives must now push both the Capitol Hill Republican establishment AND President Trump and his advisors to the right.

But how does that work for conservatives in the age of Trump, where the President and many of his supporters and advisors do not fit neatly into the old conservative versus establishment ideological boxes?

The Capitol Hill Republican establishment’s recent Ryancare disaster should serve as a stark reminder to the conservative movement that being cheerleaders for the establishment GOP or the White House is the road straight to perdition and that conservatives best serve the nation when they act to push Republicans to follow conservative principles.

As I recounted in my book TAKEOVER, during the 1970s and 1980s we of the New Right weren’t operating as an appendage of the GOP; we were working through it in the spirit of the biblical injunction in the book of Romans to be in the world, but not of the world.

We weren’t even operating as supporters of any individual candidate, even though eventually all of us who were active in the New Right came to support Ronald Reagan for president.

We saw ourselves as separate from the established Republican Party. Our goal was to promote a set of conservative principles and values and to back candidates who would stand for those values and principles – if that meant opposing the established leaders of the Republican Party, so be it.

The strategy of acting as a force outside the establishment Republican Party is still valid today; the problem is that too many conservative coalitions and organizations—including some we created back in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s—have become captive to the Republican establishment or the White House.

During the administration of President George W. Bush, the leaders of some of these organizations would get all aflutter if they got a call from Karl Rove; however if they got a call that President Bush was on the line, they would wet their pants even as Rove and his boss, President Bush, were betraying them and supporting policies that went against the conservative ideas they supposedly stood for.

Some conservatives came dangerously close to this error during the run-up to the aborted Ryancare vote. Apparently to preserve their access, some national conservative organizations and leaders were all too willing to turn a blind eye to the misinformation and outright lies about Ryancare that were coming out of Speaker Ryan’s office or were prepared to simply go along with the President during this 100-day honeymoon period.

As it was in President Reagan’s day, the establishment Republican leadership is the first barrier to implementing a conservative governing agenda, but now there’s another force we must consider – a populist President Trump.

Today, many conservative organizations have solid, practical, limited government constitutional conservative policy prescriptions that could help President Trump fulfill his many campaign promises, but as Ryancare proved, he’s not likely to find many of them in bills emanating from Speaker Ryan’s office.

We conservatives must act as a fourth force and urge conservative Members of Congress to translate those ideas into bill form, get them introduced and lobby, push, cajole and demand that those bills get hearings or the opportunity to be offered as amendments.

Then let’s take President Trump at his word that he truly wants to drain the swamp, and in that case his agenda aligns much more with our conservative ideas than it does with those of the Republican establishment.

On tax reform, economic growth, reducing the size and scope of government and many other areas President Trump has indicated he wants to pass a bold conservative agenda. Let’s make it our job to be the “fourth force” that pushes him to the right and convinces him that to pass that agenda he must explicitly and actively move right and align himself with conservatives.

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New Role For Conservatives

Conservatives must remain firm behind President Donald J. Trump to promote his conservative agenda and follow through with it to Drain The Swamp.
We conservatives must not let the Republican establishment and the Democrats
get off the hook or President Ronald Reagan will turn in his grave because we conservatives believe in limited government of the Constitution.
We conservatives have to continue on the Trump train to fight tooth and nail to repeal and replace Obamacare because RyanCare will not work with conservatives because many parts of RyanCare is the same as Obamacare that will cost Americans more money in their premiums.
We must also stand firm behind President Donald J. Trump to drain the swamp in Washington D.C of corruption and pork barrel spending of the Republican establishment and the Democrats with their liberal and big government policies.
We conservatives must continue to stand firm with our conservative principles and reignite the spirit of our freedoms and values we all cherish
as Americans.


Amen to that. It seems like too many people don't understand this, and are just ready to make Trumpism the new conservatism. I've had fears at times that ConservativeHQ was moving the same direction. It is refreshing to see that that is not the case.

It is only those who operate outside of the party machine and independent of the Trump matrix that will have the opportunity to lead our country to true restoration. We must pray that true conservatives, both in Washington and without, will understand this and take the lead.

Pence is Ryan's "good, close friend"

Until you at CHQ acknowledge and openly admit that Pence is an Establishment Republican when it comes to his "closest" friendships, ties, and actions (remember his caving on Indiana's religious freedom bill that you criticized on these web pages?), you will not be able to give a healthy analysis.

My point? Yes, I agree with your characterization of the Ivanka/Jared liberal influence on Trump. But you err when you consider Pence to be on the conservative side of Trump: Exhibit A is how vociferously Pence came out in support of his "close friend Paul Ryan's" Ryancare bill.

Please open your eyes to who speaks conservative, and who FIGHTS conservative. I haven't yet seen Pence FIGHT conservative when it counted. Therefore I don't see him FIGHTING conservative in Trump's ear either, not when it comes down to Trump or his "close friend Paul Ryan."

IMO. Thanks for reading.