Matt Towery
For most in the political commentary business, labels come and go. I've read reactions to columns throwing about labels like "RINO" (Republican in Name Only) and "Establishment," coupled with others using terms like "radical," "ultraconservative" and "Neanderthal." Now, as likely most Republicans are all too aware, the media are making a great effort to not only paint the GOP as a hopeless cause, but one in which entities are being formed to launch, or are already underway with, an all out assault on the "tea party" and the most conservative wing of the party.

But it is critical for conservatives and those who vote Republican in most elections to come to understand that there is a little bit of truth and a great deal of wishful thinking in most reports of a purging somehow being staged in some organized fashion against all conservatives. And equally important, it is imperative for "movers and shakers" within the GOP to understand that self-examination and adjustments are fine for any political organization that took it on the chin in the November elections. But attacks on its base are not part of any solution. To both sides it would be fair to warn, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

First, to conservatives who believe there is a concerted effort to not just "polish an image" but abandon principle, the answer is that politics, like business, is market-driven, and the system will ultimately stay true to its consumer. Yes, the postmortem shows that the GOP is doing poorly in appealing to women, Hispanics and younger voters. And as a result, the approach to a few policies is going to have to change in order to get enough votes in critical elections to, say ... win. But those changes will come organically and, based on years of experience, I believe pragmatically.

No, you can't have just cheerleader commentators on television who ignore blatant realities and therefore lose all credibility with their viewers. And nominating candidates who decide to venture into not just conservative policy, but areas where their views are out of sync with all but a small percent of voters is not a way to run a railroad. But remember, just a few years ago it was the Democrats who had this problem. Too many of their nominees for office appeared to be too far to the left and off into policy tangents that most could not comprehend or support.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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