I’ll refrain from opining on the muck fest of the moment, but it’s clear the Ted Cruz endorsement and first debate have altered the 2016 political considerations for conservatives. Unfortunately, the premise of minority status for Liberty Movement and Constitutional conservatives not only remains unchanged, but has been glaringly magnified. What became obvious along with this, is the recognition that one of the proposed solutions is no longer an option. Regrettably it was the preferred option. And while admittedly difficult, one producing the least strife and resistance within these factions of the GOP.
While the history books will inevitably judge the wisdom of the Cruz endorsement, one thing is certain: the ability of a movement leader to stand against the party apparatus is non existent. Not because of their lack of personal fortitude, but the lack of those willing to stand behind them. The punishment for poor political behavior is a price too high for mere mortals to withstand. We, as amateur observers and participants in the political process have no idea the lengths the party will go to enforce discipline on those who dare to speak against it. If we did, we’d be less than apoplectic when a movement leader is corrupted or compromised by party leadership. Disappointment is justifiable when these events occur. The disappointment, however, should lie in the fact that our numbers are not great enough to bolster a rebellious leader; not in the leader’s inability to single handedly effect change on our behalf.
In addition to the flawed thinking behind the renegade conservative, yet another strategy employed by elected Liberty-movement leaders has also proven itself completely ineffective. The attempt of those such as Rand Paul to work in good faith with the senior senator of his state to influence legislation has yielded nothing of significance in terms of policy or procedure that we can point to as a victory for our movement. Again, our disappointment should not be directed at Sen. Paul for attempting to operate in a spirit of cooperation. Our disappointment should still be in our lack of numbers to garner consideration from party leadership.
We tend to view the action of our rebellious movement leaders as more noble than those who choose to effect change through cooperation. I simply submit that neither is more worthy of praise or scorn. Both strategies lead nowhere except condemnation of those who employ them as corrupted sell-outs, when their efforts ultimately fail. In the end, we eat our own and rail against those who fail to deliver change and individually bear what is our collective burden through personal martyrdom. When we repeatedly demonstrate our willingness to hold our noses and eat the GOP crap sandwich, it is preposterous to expect our leaders to think we’d actually join them in revolt when and where it matters most — at the ballot box.
Because of all this, it is now obvious (as well as intellectually and spiritually painful) that our attempts to influence the GOP from within are futile. It is time to relieve our leaders from carrying out what in the end is our own obligation. Exodus is our only option and we must leave now. We must abandon the GOP on, do not miss this, EVERY LEVEL at the ballot box this November 8th. How one chooses to do this remains their individual choice. Abstention, write-in, 3rd party, or the ultimate reciprocal betrayal of (shoot me please) voting democratic are all legitimate levers to pull in order to announce your exit and none should be condemned by any of us.
Where do we go from here? A few options will be forthcoming. But for now, the house is on fire. Fret not over where you dwell next and don’t endanger yourselves by stopping to pick up your cherished souvenirs from a party long gone by. Get out. GET OUT NOW.
Image via Maria Lago.