With the recent upsurge in Constitutional Conservatism and the Tea Party, one might think that the battle for mindshare is over, and that Conservatives have their victory. It appears that the the majority of Americans are now standing up for their values: those of small government, individual responsibility, fiscal conservatism, and strong national defense.
However, I think there are three dangers. These dangers must be addressed.
First Danger: preaching to the choir. I have been to small groups where everyone shared common values. Once we have agreed upon values, and small differences are resolved or at least put on a back burner, we should not continue to spend too much energy to rile up our own emotions, adding to the “echo chamber” that we have created. We need to figure out how to channel that energy towards persuading the those who are less decided and less committed. And those who are self-identified as Independents but who for the most part share our values.
Second Danger: fracturing the movement. An even more serious danger would be if the huge upsurge in common-sense conservatism cannot be merged with the Republican party. We don’t want a third party. A third party would throw away all we have gained, and assure Obama a second term.
The conservative movement should co-opt the Republican Party, and not the other way around. We need the Republican Party to be true to its platform, and embrace and promote its own values, which are the same as the values of the Tea Party movement.
Third Danger: selling out the movement. We can win the battle but lose the war. This will happen if Conservatives win at the polls, but then enact the Liberal agenda. It has happened before. We see the lessons of history, where after gaining office, self-identified Conservatives proceed to enact big government, pork-barrel spending. And then the Republicans lost their way and their influence. Conservatives and Republicans stand to gain a great victory, by simply standing true to their values.
My background. I am very new to “political activism.”
While I have attended a few precinct caucuses over the years, that has been the extent of my involvement. Until this year I have never made a political contribution that cost me anything. (I live in Minnesota, and the State refunds $100 annually that you contribute to a political party. So I don’t count that).
Since February of 2010 I have become dramatically more involved with politics on the local level, contributing my time and talents. In addition I have become active at the national level with contribution of my treasure, as well as online interactions.
Why now? Quite simply I have been galvanized to action by the most significant unifier of the Conservative movement seen in my lifetime – President Obama! And the hijacking of the American Dream by the progressive movement. And the unbelievable arrogance of the progressive elite towards the patriotic and critical-thinking majority.
I am a small business owner. After a twenty-eight year career in finance, information systems and consulting, I started my own small business in 2001. I love my work, and it has been very fulfilling. My beautiful wife Elissa and I have two sons, one just about to graduate from college and the other in high school.
What can I do? As a start, I have decided to get more involved with local politics. My goal is to assist in promoting common-sense conservatism at the grassroots level, and to promote candidates who are best able to move these principles forward, while avoiding the three dangers I have identified.