These are exciting times if youâ€™re a grassroots conservative activist. After years of being taken for granted by a Republican Party leadership that simply assumed that weâ€™d keep on voting for whatever leftist RINO they handpicked for us, a new paradigm seems to be in the making. The assumption that the GOP has to â€œmove to the centerâ€ to be electable appears, as we speak, as if it is being proven untrue. Doug Hoffman, the insurgent conservative candidate in the NY-23 special congressional election, has successfully driven off the RINO candidate and now appears poised for victory over his Democrat rival, if two polls that came out on November 2nd can be believed (at the time Iâ€™m writing this, the election still has not taken place). Likewise, in Virginia, a slate of very conservative candidates are set to sweep the big three state races handily â€“ each has led his respective race by double digits for weeks now â€“ polling well even in northern Virginia, the place where weâ€™ve always heard that solidly conservative candidates just canâ€™t win anymore. Yet, Bob McDonnell, an unabashed socially and fiscally conservative Republican â€“ who was even attacked for a very conservative religious thesis he wrote twenty years ago â€“ is going to smash his Democrat opponent tomorrow, in what is now a purple state that voted for Obama in 2008. All in all, conservatism appears set to make a comeback tomorrow â€“ the news reports of her demise were certainly premature.
Of course, this only surprises those David Frum-style â€œmoderatesâ€ who have spent the last four years trying to foist off the narrative that the Republican Party needs to become more liberal to stay competitive. So far, that has only led to two straight drubbings in the national elections â€“ 2006 and 2008 â€“ as the Republican Party drove off its own base while failing to replace them with an adequate number of â€œmoderates.â€ This is unsurprising, since this nation is fundamentally centre-right. An estimated 40% of Americans identify themselves as conservatives, making us the dominant plurality. It should only seem to be common sense that if the GOP drives away 40% while trying to plug into the 30% or so that claims to be â€œmoderate,â€ that it would find itself electorally hampered. Conservatives are the base of the GOP â€“ we are the ones who do the groundwork, who work the phones, who put up the yard signs, who donate the money. If weâ€™re not happy, as the old saying goes, ainâ€™t nobody happy.
And it looks like our hard work is paying off. With conservative Republican candidates winning, with a successful elimination of at least one RINO already, we appear to be taking our rightful place once again. We should, of course, realize that the county-clubbers who run the GOP wonâ€™t let go without a fight, but we are in the process of successfully proving that this is a fight we can bring to them and win. We are the barbarians coming out of the rough, and messing up their neatly manicured putting green â€“ and weâ€™re having fun while doing it!
As with any group flush from a dazzling array of initial victories, we need to be careful with where we proceed, however. Raw emotion, enthusiasm, can only carry us so far. We need to consolidate our gains, and strategize intelligently about where we go from here. As I ponder this necessity, Iâ€™d like to make a few suggestions.