In the 1970s. a perfect storm of libertarians, Christian conservatives, and conservative Democrats came together to shift the GOP from an afterthought to a force to be reckoned with in North Carolina. Folks with some things in common — and some NOT — came together in a way that benefited all of them (and the state as a whole).
Here we are in 2018. We have two Republican US senators who vote slightly to the right of the average member of the Democrat caucus in their chamber. We have an ever-shrinking legislative majority, elected on a platform of limited government and lower spending, making a mad dash to the left with record spending and appeasement of traditional Democrat constituencies like state employees and environmentalists.
I told this story earlier about watching TV one night with a friend. As the barrage of campaign ads smacked us in the face, my friend turns to me and says,”I can’t tell who is a Democrat and who is a Republican.”
Yeah. That’s the problem.
The NCGOPe has had some time to do a little navel-gazing and soul-searching about Tuesday. And here’s what they’ve come up with:
He is quite the “special” counsel, isn’t he?
Conservatism did not kill the GOP on election day. (We haven’t seen a whole lot of it in action.) The NCGOP simply got out-hustled, out-strategized, out-organized, out-played, OUT-EVERYTHINGED.
A lot of those races the NCGOP lost were lost during early voting. It’s hard to come back on election day from a 6000 vote deficit incurred during early voting.
The party had no sales pitch other than “We’ve been in charge, and would like to keep being in charge and spending your money.”
Dan Forest has not moderated. He’s won TWO statewide races. Dan Bishop hasn’t moderated, and he won in Mecklenburg County. Ted Budd and Mark Harris didn’t moderate. Jesse Helms never moderated, and we gave him 30 years in the US Senate.
Believe it or not, voters have a tremendous amount of respect for candidates who are passionate and principled. (Even if they don’t agree 100 percent, they still like to know the candidate is not BS-ing them.)
Most of our party establishment jumped in Marco Rubio’s lap in 2016. But they could learn a lot from the man in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If the NCGOP wants to survive to fight – and lead – another day, they need to adopt some of The Donald’s fighting spirit.
Extend a hand of friendship or “bi-partisanship” to the leftist hordes, and they will punch you in the face. ‘Moderate’ or ‘cave’ on your principles, and the hordes will demand you surrender further on even more stuff.
Our side needs to stand by our party platform, defend our principles, and HIT BACK. This is not tiddlywiinks, people.