The political universe has done a masterful job of sucking all the meaning out of being a “Republican.” These days, you don’t have to actually believe in one iota of the party platform to be a Republican-in-good-standing.
(Don’t believe me? Thom Tillis AND Tim Moore have both been given the NCGOP’s highest awards.)
We’ve been lectured to death about being too strict in who we admit to the Republican fold. We need a BIG TENT, we’ve been told. BIGGER, if possible. Never mind that a specific list of conservative ideals and principles paved the way for Republican dominance statewide and nationally. Other folks wanted in on our action, but they don’t want to have to deal with any of our *silly* beliefs. Our issues get lip service during campaign time, but get locked back in the closet during “governing” time.
So-called Republicans can spending BILLIONS upon BILLIONS more during their time in office. They can increase government consumption and the overall tax-burden back to levels last seen when Democrats last ran Raleigh. They can gleefully and overwhelmingly and dramatically expand the grand-daddy of all welfare programs – Medicaid. And they still have the nerve to call themselves conservative.
The “Republican” majority has appointed all kinds of people to college and university boards. These appointees have sat by quietly as DEI and other forms of Marxism have been crammed into every nook and cranny of our state’s higher education system. Speaker Thom Tillis got the ball rolling — defending his nominees to the various boards by detailing how much money they donated to the NCGOP. It seems his successor, Speaker Timmy, has kept the ol’ money “ball” rolling.
Being a “Republican” may have been reduced to a big bunch of nothing. But we’ve still got conservatism, right? (*Um, right ???*)
The kid who recently defected from Civitas / John Locke to flack for the Bill Graham gubernatorial campaign was recently quoted suggesting that Graham and Thom Tillis — of all people — have been ‘fighting to grow the conservative movement’. (No word yet if he said that with a straight face.). Maybe I misread his quote — perhaps he said they’ve fought the conservative movement. I know both men are in love with taxpayer subsidies for solar panels — a decidedly non-conservative policy position.
Check out where our current US senators currently rank in terms of conservatism. 100 percent is perfectly conservative.
To put this in context, HERE are the two most conservative Democrats in the US Senate:
Speaking of Locke and Civitas — both of those were founded allegedly to give voice and muscle to conservative ideas in Raleigh. All that pretense collapsed big-time when their founder, Art Pope, went to work as decidedly non-conservative Pat McCrory‘s budget director. Dallas Woodhouse and Donald Bryson — both former employees of Koch Bros. backed Americans For Prosperity – are now the most high-profile big dogs running around Locke and Civitas. (Dallas may have a convoluted title from some other organization no one has heard of. But he sure spends a hell of a lot of time running around Locke / Civitas.)
Woodhouse and Bryson have moved the whole organization decidedly away from an intellectual tenor to more of a landing site for prospective GOPe political hacks and a propaganda shop for favored campaigns.
Donna King and Mitch Kokai – operatives for the “journalism” side of the Locke / Civitas cabal — were briefed for hours months ago on Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s sketchy family business. They have PLENTY of material for a serious story. Yet, we can’t even get a mention of said family business by any Locke / Civitas organ.
The sitting lieutenant governor — allegedly the new conservative messiah — and his wife are heading a business totally funded by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and fully-integrated into that welfare state which conservatives supposedly despise. It’s also swamped in questions that surely warrant an investigation by government authorities. But we can’t get a peep about that from our alleged conservative watch-dogs in Raleigh.
The conservatism pushed by US Senators Robert Taft (R-OH) in the 1950s and Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) in the 50s and 60s emphasized shrinking the overall footprint of government. They recognized the threat big government posed to individual freedom and economic prosperity.
The heroics of Taft and Goldwater begat Ronald Reagan, who begat Jesse Helms, who begat our current crop of warriors – Lee, Paul, and Cruz. Those guys lit fires in voters and evoked all kinds of passion. So, a lot of career politicians hiding behind the (R) co-opted this conservative gospel — giving it enough lip service to get them past the voters for one more term in office.
We had a serious Freedom Caucus led by Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan at one time in the US House. Matt Gaetz is still around swinging away, but he’s outgunned and outnumbered by colleagues starstruck by their committee chairmanships. Gaetz’s most ferocious opposition often comes from his fellow Republicans.
In Raleigh, there is a House Freedom Caucus. They are pretty well ignored and run over by Speaker Timmy and his crew. Jason Saine’s name on the HFC membership list sure doesn’t help the group in the area of credibility.
In Raleigh and DC there are incredible opportunities for conservative reform. But both groups of Republican seem more fascinated with waiting hand-and-foot on BIG campaign donors than with achieving any sort of principled gains.
Election time is fast approaching. Primaries are in March. The next time one of these candidates utters the word ‘conservative,’ demand that they PROVE IT. What have they done to shrink the size and power of government? What have they done to honestly strengthen our country and protect our borders? What have they done to attempt to stave off the impending economic collapse?
The (R) doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s about like joining Rotary or some other civic club. Conservatism still means something. Don’t let the scoundrels get away with co-opting and corrupting it for their own insidious purposes.