I am a constitutionalist and libertarian-leaning Republican. I have participated in many battles against the Republican Establishment. I have been critical of the Republican Party. That does not mean that I believe that the Republican Party is anything except the most powerful and most beneficial political party in America.
The Republican Party controls 31 State Capitals, while the Democrats only hold 18. The Republican Party holds 246 seats in the House of Representatives, while the Democrats hold only 188. Republicans hold 54 seats in the United States Senate, while the Democrats retain 44. This is not a record of political ineptitude or strategic failure. For the last twenty to thirty years (we may have to include Reagan’s congressional coalition of Reagan Democrats), the Republican Party has retained consistent dominance over our state and federal governments.
Now, has the Republican Party done a good job of governing? That’s up for debate amongst Republicans. We all know how Democrats feel about the topic. Conservatives, Constitutionalists, and Libertarians will say no. Pragmatists, Neo-Conservatives, and Moderates will probably tell you that Republicans have done the best they can considering they’ve had to deal with a Democrat President. They’d all be right.
At some point we have to stop treating the Republican Party as if it was somehow more dysfunctional, unsuccessful, or bereft of principle than the Democrat, Libertarian, or Green Parties. The Republican Party is heads and tails “more together” and functional than these other parties. The leader of the Green Party is ready to abdicate her thrown to let the runner up of the Democrat Primary run on top of a ticket rightfully her own. The Libertarian Party continues to nominate Republicans. The Democrat Party nominated Hillary Clinton. The Democrats have more money and more respect amongst the American People than the Libertarian or Green Parties, but the Democrats are no less dysfunctional.
Yes, the Republican Party may have nominated a closet Democrat in Donald J. Trump. Yes Donald Trump has offended and insulted just about every faction within the Republican Party. Of the 17 Republican candidates, only Chris Christie and Lyndsey Graham were less palatable to me than Donald Trump. I’d rather Jeb Bush have gotten the nomination. That said, this is just one man running for one office. Yes, it is the most important office, but that does not discount the importance of our State Capitals and the Congress of the United States.
There are 23 States where the Republicans control their entire State Governments, to only 7 entirely controlled Democrat States.
So all this talk about the Republican Party being nothing but a bunch of losers is nonsense. The Republican Party is the dominant and most successful political party in America. Period.
Which is why, if you are a Constitutionalist, Conservative, or Libertarian, the Republican Party is the Party you want to be working with. Did the Libertarians send Ron Paul, Thomas Massie, Dave Brat, or Justin Amash to The House of Representatives? No. The Republicans did. Did the Libertarians send Mike Lee, Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz to the United States Senate? No. The Republicans did. When Ron Paul ran as a Libertarian for President, how did that end up? How close did he get? When he ran as a Republican, he came in second. Think about that for a moment.
So, amongst all the Republican Party bashing that we’re all involved in, myself included, the Republican Party is sending more principled conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to congress than any other political party. Right? Right.
National Political Parties can only stomach so much dissent and revolution. For the last seven years, we’ve undergone a massive political civil war within the Republican Party and the party has grown. Why? Because we all feel like we had a seat at the table, or at least a chance at a seat. Sometimes conservatives win, sometimes conservatives lose. Does the establishment hold most of the cards and advantages? Yes. Yes they do. However, the process for overthrowing them remains intact and we have availed ourselves of that process on numerous occasions and achieved great victories for the conservative factions within the party.
This is why I reject the “burn it to the ground” philosophy. We’d only be burning down the only institution in our country which has given us a shot and a chance and a voice. Not only is burning that to the ground suicidal, it also borders on ungrateful.
This is why I believe in the process. The same process which gave us Rand Paul and Mike Lee has given us Donald J. Trump. If we begin to undermine the peoples’ faith in that process, by denying Donald J. Trump his rightfully earned nomination, we threaten to give the Republican Establishment new tools to destroy every non-establishment candidate running in the future. How could we object to the Republican Party deciding that, “Nope, Rand Paul doesn’t get to be Senator anymore, we’re giving his seat to an establishment type”, if we do the same to Donald J. Trump?
I know that the nomination of Trump will drive off many of the people I’ve worked so hard to bring into the Republican Party and that is that last thing I wanted to see happen. It happened all the same. I don’t like it and I’m not happy, but I will not call for perverting our political processes when someone won the nomination fair and square. If we do that, it is the beginning of the end.
The Republican Party is strong and it can survive Donald Trump. What it can’t survive is the complete obliteration of its own procedural integrity.