That title is not facetious, I actually truly believe that what the GOP is going through right now is natural and healthy. For so long the Republican Party has been the next-in-line party where candidates patiently wait their turn and anyone outside of the accepted order is run off like burglar in the night. To put it plainly, that was not healthy for the growth of the party. The performance of the party from 2000 onward when we won control of all of the government has been an abject failure. We’ve spent too much, started too many wars and are risking losing the next generation of voters by clinging too tightly to our 20th century notions on issues like criminal justice and social liberty. The next-in-line party made our leaders more beholden to special interest groups, lobbyists and the consultant class than the voters and activists back home because they never fear nor respected them. Year after year, failure after failure despite Congressional majorities, we have had enough.
Those who have had enough are also having a hard time settling on where they want to go. Bubbling presidential campaigns of Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina showed the interest in something different, as has Ted Cruz’s peaking success we are seeing now. But nobody has captured that spirit more than Donald Trump. I’ve even caught myself fist-pumping him at times – not for his politics, which offend every single liberty-minded sensibility I have – but for the way he leaves establishment pols like Jeb Bush careening for answers. This isn’t 2004 anymore and sadly there are too many Republicans that don’t understand this. I’ve seen the new phrase on the other side of the party is “we want to govern.” But that’s exactly the problem, when we were in power in the 2000s and were governing, it was an absolute disgrace. Two wars that we are 15 years in, massive expansion of government, and out of control spending has tarnished this party and directly gave rise to Barack Obama’s presidency. You want to know why Eric Cantor lost, why John Boehner is gone and Mitch McConnell needs Democrats to pass legislation? Because these men didn’t and don’t understand that the ground has shifted underneath them. It’s not longer enough to just say you are conservative, you have to actually follow through on it.
We need to figure this out and the only way to do it is to have an open and honest brawl about it. What we are going through now is not destroying the Republican Party, it’s saving it. We need to fight and figure this out, we need to have all voices in the party express themselves. This is why Donald Trump’s attack on the RPV loyalty pledge is such an effective campaign tactic. He’s method was wrong. RPV is FAR FAR from being run by the RNC and people like David Ramadan were right to call him out on it. But Trump’s message is not wrong. Remember, RPV and loyalty oaths aren’t new and it’s something I’m on record opposing as far back as 2011. It’s silly because it’s unenforceable and sends the wrong message. Political parties should serve at the whim of the people, not the opposite. As I pointed out all those years ago, we didn’t need a loyalty oath in 2009 and 2010 did we?
And let’s lay something to bed right now. When I hear that only Republicans should pick Republican candidates what that really means is only Republicans the establishment likes should pick Republican candidates. If Donald Trump can get new independent voters to come into our party and into our process, I welcome them unreservedly and I don’t feel so insecure that they need to sign some asinine unenforceable piece of paper. It’s the responsibility of the party to follow lead of the members, not the other way around. Just read some of the blog posts by You Know Who and You Know Who Junior and you can see what I’m talking about. The calls for unity are generally heard after spending two paragraphs attacking tea party leaders and primary voters supporting candidates that roughly have a total of 60% of our presidential primary vote. Furthermore, and I know I’m in the minority here, but I actually love open primaries. I want nothing to do with party registration, it’s none of the government’s business what political positions I have and I sure as hell don’t want to have to declare them to the state just so I can vote. The voters should tell the parties what to do, not the other way around. If Donald Trump finds new independent voters that don’t want to be Republicans full time, I’m fine with that. The more the merrier! Party registration allows complete control over who can vote and who can’t. That’s wrong.
So I say let’s brawl this presidential primary. Let’s get it out of our system. Let’s be an open and transparent party where our voters actually have a say in who the nominee is. The Democrats in 2008 had one of the greatest all-time primary bloodbaths in history and won. What are we so afraid of? I mean, if you’re in politics because you want to make money and get a job in the next GOP administration I get it. But I’d rather have the craziest Trump voter than a job-seeking user of the party deciding who the nominee is.
Let’s fight and the let’s win!