Conservative. Republican. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

In 2014, US Senate candidate Thom Tillis told us how he was going to really stick it to Obama when he got to Washington.  (Funny, looking back at that now, I guess he was talking about how he was going to pucker-up extra hard when kissing the now-ex-president’s posterior.  )

The John Locke Foundation has long tried to paint itself as the voice of conservatism in North Carolina.  Yet, its most prominent public faces have been out there calling for very un-conservative things like: more government spending, state-installed GPS trackers on private cars, crossing the aisle to “get things done”, and teaming up with Planned Parenthood and Chris Fitzsimon to “fix” redistricting. 

In the General Assembly, you’ve got a ton of folks calling themselves conservative while they lustily push for more subsidies for the solar energy industry and cheer more money being thrown at public education.

I hate to break it to you.  But conservative and Republican are, in many cases, mutually exclusive terms. For the longest time, the Democrat Party was THE conservative party in the country and in our state.  The Republican Party got a foothold in North Carolina just prior to the outbreak of The Civil War among folks in western NC who weren’t thrilled with the idea of secession.

Since that time, the GOP in NC was mainly restricted to cliques in Charlotte and Greensboro.  They got their congressmen elected there, and got some local elected officials, but were never players at the state level.  

There was actually very little difference between the two parties.  The Democrats were more in number, so they always won the big races. (In the epic Hoover-Rosevelt race at the dawn of The Great Depression, there really wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between FDR and Herbert Hoover.  Same case for 1948’s Dewey vs. Truman epic.) 

Things started to change when the McGovernites took over the Democrat Party.  (You know, the direct ancestors of those fools you see wrecking the streets of DC as we speak.)  Conservative-thinking Democrats had no place to go.  The feckless NCGOP didn’t really stand for anything, and they had no numbers to make a difference. 

But Barry Goldwater came about at the national level — saying a lot of things people at the grassroots had been dying to hear from their leaders.  Then, Richard Nixon came about in 1968 and 1972 — bringing more of that tough talk.  I

In 1976 and 1980, Helms and his team successfully led an effort to put North Carolina into Ronald Reagan’s WIN column.

A light should have gone off in every Republican head at that time.  Party registration numbers don’t mean squat if you’re preaching — and acting on — a message people want to hear.  The onset of the Helms era actually made it cool to vote Republican — and even register Republican.

Helms got 30 years in the Senate — retiring in 2002 — all while standing firm on an uncompromising conservative platform.  

Since he’s been gone, the party has forgotten all of the lessons of the Helms and Reagan era.  Sure, they don’t mind voters continuing to vote for the party of Helms and Reagan.  Plenty of NCGOP candidates will step out there and mouth words similar to what Reagan or Helms would have said.

But they get into office, and start talking nonsense about “finding common ground,” “crossing the aisle,” and “getting things done.”  Hitler, Castro, Stalin Mussolini, Tojo, and Mao ALL GOT THINGS DONE. (Need I say more?) 

If you campaign on a message, and you get elected to office on that message, you have every right in the world to plow full steam ahead on getting that platform enacted.  You’re simply honoring your contract with your voters.  Am I right?

This kind of talk freaks out GOPe types.  Here’s the former chairman of the Mecklenburg GOP, of all places, doing just that:

Nope, Gideon Moore.  If I get elected to the NC House on a conservative platform, and I happen to collect a veto-proof majority of folks there who also ran on a conservative platform, I think it’s safe to say that my friends and I will be calling the shots for the next two years.  We have a mandate.  The big government nonsense preached by the other side lost.  Wait, Gideon was not done: 

Spoken like a true attorney.  Lawyers are trained to huddle up, hammer out a deal, and then all go out for steaks, scotch and cigars (billed to somebody else, of course).  Why cut a deal with somebody who got clobbered in the last election and doesn’t have the numbers to do diddly in the House chamber?   

The minority is welcome to come over and help us pass our conservative solutions. Or they can go back to their spots in the far corner of the chamber and resume the pouting.  




12 thoughts on “Conservative. Republican. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

  1. I don’t usually agree but in this article you’re right on target. As the years go by the number of registered Republicans dwindle substantially. Because those Republicans elected to Federal or State Office soon forget why they were elected. Very few of these Elected Republicans adhere to Conservative Values. Sen Tillis is a prime example of a non-Republican, he makes Sen Burr look like a true Conservative.

    1. I didn’t vote for Burr in the primarily and general; unfortunately he won. If Ross won, we know we’re getting screwed. Burr screws us a different way. He love’s CLOTURE because he can’t stand to fight for the right. He wants to be on record as casting a vote. Burr, along with Tillis, are RINOs; they’ll vote for CR in a heartbeat.

      I hope someone runs against Tillis; I don’t care if its Greg Brannon. Tillis will not get my vote in any election.

  2. A Republican and a conservative should NOT be two different things. The Republican platform is conservative, and we should expect our elected Republican officials to follow that platform. The problem is that we have too many Republican politicians who abandon principle for opportunism, and the way to correct that is through primaries.

    You leave out a key part of the conservative movement’s history in NC, and that is the Jim Gardner Republicans, who were the state manifestation of the national Goldwater movement, and was based strongly on conservative ;principles. Gardner won as eastern NC district for Congress in 1966 and ran a very strong race as GOP nominee for governor in NC in 1968. Gardner himself served a stint as NCGOP chairman, and Gardner ally Frank Rouse served in 1971-1973. During the late 60s and early 70s, there was a contest for control of the party between the Old Guard led by Holshouser and others and the conservatives of the Gardner wing. Holshouser narrowly beat an overconfidant Gardner in the 1972 primary and after being elected governor conducted the most detailed purge of the NCGOP in 1973-74 to remove conservatives. The Gardner followers then gravitated en mass to Senator Helms and his Congressional Club. Holshouser was forced to accept a compromise NCGOP chairman in 1975 and the Club dominated the party beginning in 1977. One figure from the Gardner era who was a major player later was his campaign manager from his successful 1966 Congressional campaign, Jack Hawke.

    Going back a little further, the Republican Party of 1860 was a virulently anti-southern party. They were not so much anti-slavery as they were anti-southern. They were not on the NC ballot prior to or during the War Between the States and were only organized in North Carolina after the war in 1866-67. One of the organizers of the party was William Holden who had run for governor as an independent Peace candidate in 1864 and got 20% of the vote..Holden was the first Republican governor of the state, and also the only NC governor ever impeached and removed from office. During the war, the Democrats had merged with the remnants of the old Whig Party and ran as the Conservative Party, which label they kept after the war for a period. On the NC ballot in 1866, the parties were listed as the Conservative Party and the Radical Party.

  3. Gideon seems to not understand that America is currently in a civil war over the values America will carry into the future

    Would God make deals with the devil to compromise on how Jesus will return to earth ? NO you cannot make deals with people that are out to destroy everything you believe in especially when they are out to destroy the values that made America so great for so long

    If anyone thinks you can compromise on the values for America they should read “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph by Dennis Prager” one of the great minds of our time with true understanding how we must stand against Progressive Leftism and why the Judeo-Christian Ethic must guide this nation to the future

    When what is bad is being called good and what is good is being called bad too many people with R’s after their name are not protected from this problem but the republican party is infested with this disease

    The difference between people like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee when compared to those like Tillis and Burr should be a wake up call to all republicans

  4. The district chair in your neck of the woods has been more interested in feathering her NCGOP nest and traveling around the state to get face time with political celebrities than actually taking a stand on ideological issues and holding GOP officeholders accountable. Elections have consequences and right now, none matter more than the District Chair elections coming up in a few months. The NCGOP swamp also needs draining and we need leaders willing to push back hard against Moore, Berger, and HB 373.

  5. WE came out a long time ago calling Tillis a RINO and were vilified for it. This week, we were proven right by his own words.

    Hate to say it BUT, “We told you so”.

    Awaiting the apologies…..

    1. Well, in the end it’s up to US to find and support replacement candidates for Thommy, Ricky, and other RINOS.

    2. Tillis needs to shape up quickly or we need to get him out in the primary. In fact, we need to get every Republican in the GA that has been voting for such things as driver permits for illegal immigrants out in the primary.

  6. You get what you vote for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see McCain, Sugar Lips Graham, and this dude switch to Dem to stop Trumps reforms. Nothing surprises or disappoints me with them bc I have zero expectations.

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