By Tom Walsh
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
The great cartoonist Charles M. Schulz created the iconic scenario of Lucy Van Pelt holding the football for the hapless and trusting Charlie Brown. As Charlie charges the football to kick it, Lucy snatches the ball away at the last second and Charlie falls down. This embarrassment is repeated regularly throughout the history of the Peanuts comic strip with subtle and not-so-subtle differences. (At one point Lucy even gives Charlie a “signed document” only to inform him when the inevitable outcome happens that it wasn’t notarized.)
This scenario has frequently been applied to politics with the Democrats holding the football and the Republicans trying to kick it. This has happened with such regularity that I seriously question its validity. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t hold the football nor does Harry Reid. John Boehner has been holding the ball and the American people are continuingly falling down in the kick attempt.
What other understanding would account for the Republicans’ seeming lack of courage in the face of the opposition? Why do they continually desire to “cross the aisle” and compromise our freedoms away? Why, with a House majority, have the Republicans accomplished little or nothing? In fact they are generally quiet until election time rolls around. One has to seriously wonder if the Republican leadership is perfectly satisfied with being the minority party in Washington and for how long have they been satisfied with this position. Why not choose to get eighty percent of the perks with limited responsibility? Instead of leadership we get a constant litany of excuses: “We don’t have the votes”, “We only have the House, the Democrats hold the Senate and the White House”, “We’re considering taking the president to court”, blah, blah, blah. They all sound eerily similar to “it wasn’t notarized.” In the meantime the country continues to decline, Americans continue to hurt.
The average American is conservative. Does the Republican Party represent the average American? At best they have grudgingly accepted our support but judging on how fast John Sununu and George H. W. Bush dismantled his revolution it would seem that Ronald Reagan was, to them, merely a speed bump. Face it; we are not the kind of guests welcomed at the elite Republican Women’s dinners but for decades we suffered through a seemingly endless parade of less-than-thrilling candidates. Oh sure they occasionally dangled one of ours as a vice-presidential candidate but the end result was the same: a declining America and a depressed citizenry.
Columnist Mark Steyn often cites the late Dr. Milton Friedman who said: “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.”
Unless one could confine all elected representatives in a cage with dispensers for “wise choice” tasty kibble and “poor choice” electroshock this strikes me as incredibly (and uncharacteristically) naïve. The basic problem is the monstrosity that is our Federal government. It’s so large and overreaching that there can be no “right people” or “right choices”. It’s all wrong, horribly wrong.
When the American people were rudely awakened to the unrestrained power of Washington by the Kelo Decision of the Supreme Court they formed political congregations now collectively termed “The Tea Party”. When these organizations of ordinary citizens had the audacity to challenge the political elite and even win they are attacked. In the Mississippi primary run-off of Tuesday June 24th, 2014 the Washington elites poured money into a state campaign and used Democrat voters to push their candidate to a slim margin of victory. This total disregard for the rank and file of Republican voters should demonstrate conclusively that the Republican leadership does not represent the American people. The good news is that in so doing they have freed us to effect what Dr. Friedman desired.
On Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Wednesday June 25th, 2014 a caller from Mississippi who was disgusted with the interference by the Republican elites said he was going to vote for the Democrat candidate in November. Rush said he understood the caller’s desire to teach the Republicans a lesson. He further said: “I don’t think that they are teachable. I don’t. I don’t think the Republicans will learn. They’re defiant.” Exactly. So the answer is not to teach them a lesson, the answer is to expel them from school because they won’t learn and the way to do it is to do so selectively. Don’t vote out Thad Cochran to make him pay for it. There are so many questions as to his cognitive ability he probably won’t understand anyway. Send a clear message by voting out Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.
We must view the political process not as discrete battles but as a war. We must think and act strategically. With the primaries remaining we must support candidates that represent the American people not the Washington establishment. In November we should vote Republican except for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Even if it means voting for a liberal Democrat we must remove these two from power.
Afterwards we need to continue to primary those candidates who support the Washington status quo. In election after election we can weed out our representatives. In those areas where it is unlikely that a conservative Republican would win in the general election get involved in the Democrat Party, start making an impact there. “D” or “R” shouldn’t matter, only “USA” should. The Washington feeding trough is full of tasty slops and it’s time we pull their Statist snouts out of it.
Mr. Limbaugh continued to warn about the pitfalls of third-party candidates and is probably still correct at least for the time being. However if we continue to be active in the primaries, effect surgical removals of certain individuals, and become involved in both parties we would be well on our way to having a viable alternative party should we need one.
Who really holds the football? We do.
Image: Courtesy of:http://fabiusmaximus.com/2011/05/07/27429/