I've heard this too much, lately; "What's wrong with the Republican Party?" Nothing is wrong with the party nor the ideology of Edmund Burke/Russell Kirk/William F. Buckley. From where I sit, the problem is the same one that corrupts all who seek elected office; a power trip.
This country was not founded on the concept of an elite group of 'leaders.' Though early on, Jefferson saw what possible usurpation could take place and was driven to run for an office he did not want at a time that all he wanted was to go home. He became the first President to cut taxes to reduce the Federal deficit and estranged himself from the man with whom he co-authored the Declaration of Independence. This country was founded on the concepts that still command Virginia's General Assembly; Convene for a limited period of time, speak your piece on behalf of your constituents and then go back to your 'real' job. Now we have "career politicians" who are more concerned with, to paraphrase Mel Brooks, protecting their phony-baloney jobs than they are about representing their communities. Keep in mind, this afflicts both sides but since Conservatism is based on personal freedoms and therefore responsibility, it's a harder sell than the pandering that a career populist tends to employ so this is where we lose it. Well-meaning Republicans listen to their consultants and slowly transorm into pandering populists, therefore crippling their ability to actually defend the Constitution from the true "Populist-Socialists" who view it, at best, as a 'fluid and conceptual document' rather that a concrete set of laws that restrict governmental usurpation of a citizens' God-given rights.
Now, we have rooms full of well-meaning Conservatives arguing over what went wrong and how it can be put to right. Pardon me, but this leaves me with the same feeling as being in a room full of Washington Nationals' ticket agents arguing about how to get the team out of last place. They're not wrong but, at the end of the day, it's the players that are the only ones who can effect the change. We need candidate's who grasp the true meaning of pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to something. We need candidates that understand that, in this commentators view, the key difference between us and them is while Liberals/Socialists say; "Yes WE can," Conservatives/Constitutionalists say "yes YOU can." And can explain the difference.
We are the proverbial cart that is here waiting for a horse. Where are Conservatives to run for Charlottesville's City Council along side Andrew Williams? Are there any others that will join Rodney Thomas in his run for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors? What about the two school boards? Anyone want to run on the promise to bring the two efficiency reports into effect? How about the General Assembly seats? Could there be a conservative challenger for the 57th district in the House or the 25th Senate district to challenge the status quo on the Commonwealth's education, transportation and energy policies? Let's not even get into the 2010 Congressional election! You see, we can argue over breakfast until the cows come home, but with Eric Cantor playing the role of this generation's Gerald Ford, we need to go and find and encourage the next Reagan's, not waste our time beating the "Bush's."
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