It’s All About the Grassroots Stupid!
I am sick and tired of my fellow conservatives scanning the landscape looking for a conservative Obama. A messianic conservative who will leads us all to the promised land just like Reagan. It is these conservatives, a lot of them from the DC area, who do not have a solid understanding about what brought Ronald Reagan to prominence.
Ronald Reagan did not come to prominence because people believed that he was a messianic figure who would solve all the problems of the world. He was a product of the grassroots. Millions of conservatives looked in the mirror each morning and they saw a conservative who believed in the principles of the movement. In Reagan, these grassroots saw a reflection of their own beliefs through his actions and words. Reagan’s rise to prominence was not a messianic rise, it was a grassroots statement that their beliefs mattered and they elected the person who best represented those views.
The problem with looking for a Messiah, is that you invariably end up making value judgements on personality not substance. This is what has happened to the Republican party. Instead of voting for people who matched our values, the party started pushing candidates who could win. Win they did, but at what cost. The grassroots was disinvited from the party, and these new representatives failed us miserably on every issue from No Child Left Behind to Medicare Part D to TARP to spending to earmarks. Then during election years they would go back to the grassroots and ask for our support. The game ended in 2006 when we started realizing the error of our ways and just stayed home.
So, it is that I implore my fellow conservatives and party members. We will NEVER get another Reagan if we vote for a Messiah. Whether it be Palin or Jindal or Huckabee, we have to start voting for the candidates who reflect our views and reflect what we see in the mirror each morning. It is then and only then that the Reagan will come along. Will we lose ground at first, especially as the national leaders fail to recognize the gig is up? Yes, but will we be stronger at the local level? Yes. Will we start becoming more energized? Yes. Will we be empowered? Like never before because now everyone’s vote actually starts to count!
We have to organize as conservatives, the grassroots is highly disorganized and don’t count on the RNC to try and organize it any time soon. They, for the most part and dependent on the outcome of January 30th, are still focused on solely winning at all costs…period. What they have done over the last ten years is systematically destroy the grassroots involvement and input. As a result, our bench is so sparse of quality candidates. Inevitably, some beltway hack will point to “several” quality candidates, forgetting that we need 535+ quality candidates at the Federal level, not to mention all of the other races across the nation. That several just doesn’t cut it. Even IF America wanted to return Congress and the Senate to the hands of Republicans, I honestly don’t think that we have the grassroots and lower level support to support that effort. I started Cincinnatuscoalition.com to try and accomplish this.
We have to stop listening to the Beltway and Manhattan conservatives who tell us how it is. Where were they during the 08 primaries? Sitting on the sidelines for the most part allowing the media to choose our nominee. This means, stop giving money to the DC organizations that “promise” victory in 2010 and giving money to the candidates we support directly. Forget the NRCC and the NRSC, are they going to spend money in New Jersey on that pro-choicer they have made into a poster child? You don’t know and neither do I. Give it to the candidates. Slatecard.com is an excellent resource among many to allow the grassroots to give money directly to candidates.
In short, we have to as conservatives rally among ourselves. Stop waiting for the next conservative leader to step up. Get involved, start fundraising, start building, the next leader is the person you look at each morning in the mirror.