Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is It Time Yet For The Tea Party To Form A Third Party?

When this election season began, I felt no particular affinity for any specific candidate.  I looked forward to the Republican campaign for the nomination to shake out who was best qualified to be our President.  But that campaign has turned into an intellectually dishonest horror show that leads me to question whether the leaders of the Republican Party represent my interests as a conservative.  

As to the horror show, the story of Newt Gingrich's time in the House is ably recounted by Jeffery Lord at American Spectator. It, and the Byron York piece on the ethics complaints against Gingrich, draw an incredibly stark contrast to the screed coming out of much of the right wing punditry - NRO, Coulter, Hinderaker, etc. - and most of which you will find headlined over Drudge today. If you were to read this utterly dishonest tripe, you would think that Gingrich was a Reagan hating neo-progressive who lacked ethics above and beyond the adultery issue and who resigned from his position as Speaker of the House because of valid ethics charges.

There are many legitimate arguments for preferring Gingrich as the Republican nominee. Indeed, Thomas Sowell makes many of those arguments in his latest column. And there are many legitimate arguments for preferring Romney, particularly for the risk averse and for those comfortable with our nation as it is.  A handful of people, Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg and several others have made respectful and fair arguments in this regards.

But in the main, we are not being given honest arguments by the Republican elites. Instead, what we have been fed for months has been dishonest demagoguery and demonization of Gingrich.  And just today, that great conservative Bob Dole came out today to tell us that if we elect Gingrich, it will mean political suicide for the Republican party.  It is all nothing more or less than the same intrinsic dishonesty that we saw mirrored in the left's efforts to destroy Sarah Palin as a viable candidate and that has been aimed at delegitimizing Clarence Thomas since the day he was nominated to the Supreme Court.

And not only have the elites engaged in these disingenuous attacks, but they invariably coupled their screed with complete and utter contempt for Republican voters and the Tea Party movement especially. We are the uninformed rubes, too easily swayed by passion, unable to see reason.  We are calls for fiscal discipline are simply ridiculously unsophisticated.  It is arrogance unbound.  Apparently, it is they, not the voters, who own the Republican Party.

For the past two decades in which I have been politically informed and active, I have always believed that the single starkest difference between the left and the right was intellectual honesty. We on the right had it while those on the left dealt mostly in demagoguery and demonization. We on the right were ever willing to debate the facts, those on the left were ever willing to cherry pick the facts and use the race card or its many variants to end debate. To use the words of Bookworm Room: "Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts."

I see now, I have been fooled for decades. I feel nothing but disgust and utter contempt for much of the Republican Party today, and those who have held themselves out to be its champions. I think Mitt Romney, motivated by unlimited ambition, is willing to do or say anything to be elected President of the United States. Were it just him carrying on these disingenuous attacks against Gingrich and the rest of the Republican Party looking on with an objective eye, than my angst would be far less at the moment. But those who should be the party's neutral arbiters have wholly dispensed with intellectual honesty in an effort to destroy Gingrich.

So what of this?

The days of accepting the Republican Party as it is are over. It is not a party founded on intellectual honesty - and thus it is every bit as fatally flawed and destined to fail the American people as are Obama and the Democratic Party.  It is not a "conservative" party.  The reality is that, since the days of Gingrich, we have not not had a conservative option for government, we have had a choice between big D and small d Democrats.

We are in desperate need of a third party - an actual Conservative Party - founded upon intellectual honesty and dedicated to Constitutionalism, balanced budgets, a strong national defense, and doing away with the onslaught of progressivism in the social sphere. We are in desperate need of a party dedicated to making the systemic changes that would restore the Constitutional balance to our government envisioned by our Founding Fathers. The grass roots Tea Party is precisely the vehicle for such a third party.

The Tea Party was courted by Republicans in 2009 and, in the end, agreed to support them. That trust was badly misplaced. It should now be withdrawn and real consideration given to starting a third party at the grass roots level.  I say that irrespective of how the 2012 election ultimately turns out.

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