There is a bitter tone in Washington DC. It started off as a brief but loud shout in 2010, then quickly quieted to a steady murmur for the following four years. The source goes by a few names including the Tea Party, right-wing rebels, and even the brat pack. In the House of Representatives, they’re called the Freedom Caucus and they represent everything that the Republican Party and the United States of America needs to embrace if we’re going to pull out of the death spiral that the last three Presidents have put us in.
To understand why this direction is so imperative and how things should play out over the next three years, we have to take a quick glimpse at the ideals that the Freedom Caucus represents.
- True Conservative Political Values: There are points of contention within the conservative movement that are clear, but the core values are universal within the movement: limit government, re-establish peace through might, reduce spending, reduce tax burdens, and maintain personal freedoms for citizens. These are all required for the country to operate properly today and in the foreseeable future.
- Willingness to Lose the Right Battles: Looking at the educational demographics of the Freedom Caucus, we see that they have generally received more education and at better schools than the moderate wing of the party. This means that they are used to being outnumbered and always under attack; the highest levels of academia lean hard to the left. Their skin is tougher. They are more strategic in their willingness to lose a battle to win a war.
- Unwillingness to Surrender: There’s a big difference between compromise and surrender. The Republican party has been the party of surrender in the name of trying to compromise. This is why nothing gets done with their majority. They fear the filibuster almost as much as they fear the veto. Their unwillingness to fight is tantamount with a constant state of surrendering.
- Empowerment Over Entitlement: The real way to rebuild America and make things truly great again is by helping those who need a little help through opportunity. Those who need a lot of help must be given that help. However, too many people who are needing a little help to get them going are being indoctrinated into feelings of entitlement that prevents them from ever being able to help themselves.
One should have noticed that this isn’t just talking about the Presidential election. I noted that these concepts must be the guiding light for the country for the next three years because the 2018 elections will be just as imperative as the Presidential election. Victories by conservatives in 2016 will set the stage but they must continue with the 2018 Senate and House elections in order for a true conservative mandate to be in place. Real progress can only happen with solid conservatism established in the White House and both sides of Congress.
The common notion that is being spread by both liberal and some conservative media sources is that the Freedom Caucus represents a fringe that only has the power to obstruct. This is true, but as Stuart Rothenberg noted in an article, “It’s time to make the anti-establishment wing of the GOP put up or shut up.”
He’s correct. His overall analysis of the situation and the results of a Ted Cruz nomination was asinine, but the premise that the right wing needs to build enough support to take positive steps rather than halting negative steps is absolutely correct.
Since the 1992, the Republican party has played the game of moderation. They have acted scared ever since losing the White House with an incumbent and have continued to roll out lukewarm conservative moderates to try to secure the middle. As I’ve noted in the past, this strategy is flawed and it seems like only the left is aware of this. They continue to push a left-wing agenda while hoping that the Republicans never realize that the people in the middle, the independents and moderates, are not looking for the best middle-of-the-road ideologue. They vote for the best ideas to help the country and those ideas have always and will always come from the edges rather than the center. The Democrats have sold extreme left views to the country because the Republicans are scared to show their conservative side.
I understand why many people do not want to relate to the Freedom Caucus and their various incantations in other branches of government. The far right wing is often associated with negative concepts. The reality is that almost all of these negative concepts are misunderstandings, false characterizations, or results of extremists claiming allegiance.
The biggest misunderstanding is that they are all about obstruction. This is a side-effect of being strong in their values while not having the numbers necessary to establish change. As with any revolution, the only tool available when drastically outnumbered is to slow the opposition. With the power to advance the country in the right direction, the conservative right will be able to demonstrate true American exceptionalism.
The ugliest false characterization is that the far right is about white old men. This is so far from the truth that it’s a shame people can remain so misinformed. A look at the members of the Freedom Caucus compared to the rest of the Republicans in Congress would be shocking to anyone who sees conservatism as an old white male concept. There is a much higher percentage of minorities in the Freedom Caucus than the rest of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Even looking at the three most conservative Presidential candidates shows that Rand Paul is joined by Cruz and Ben Carson on the far right.
The final roadblock that keeps people from relating to far right conservative ideals is unfortunately correct. Extremists always tend to migrate towards the fringe and some of the craziest people in America and around the world embrace either far right or far left ideologies. Nazism, communism, fascism, and other political tags that only the insane or stupid want attached to them are manipulations of far right or far left concepts. There’s no way to keep the crazy people from embracing the extremes on either side, but as a result many people might feel compelled to like the ideas without being willing to take ownership for fear that they’ll be lumped in with the crazies.
The next two election cycles are the most important political turning points the country has seen in decades. Conservatism in its boldest, purest form is the only way to make certain the United States survives and thrives after all of the turmoil that has been building for the last two decades.