Robert Knight

Third, if the Tea Party wants to accomplish anything, it has to remain independent. One reason the recall succeeded is that proponents wisely sidestepped the Republican Party, giving the gun issue center stage. It wasn’t the GOP vs. the donkey party. It was the people of Colorado against gun-grabbing zealots.

Former Pueblo policeman George Rivera, who will take Giron’s seat, told a Republican Party forum that the election “could send a strong message and a chill up and down every politician’s spine, Republicans and Democrats in Colorado.”

Meanwhile, the Democrats tried to fuzz up the stakes, going so far as to inject the abortion issue into it. How they did that is grist for another entire column.

When you have an issue that transcends politics, it’s wise not to hitch yourself to one party but rather to let the parties fight over you. The people promoting constitutional marriage amendments did just that in many states, such as North Carolina in 2012 and most dramatically in 2008 in California, garnering sizable majority votes among traditionally Democratic voters.

This doesn’t mean that, on balance, the Democratic Party is an equally convivial home for the Tea Party. Far from it. Tea Party members typically are not attracted to groups that loudly boo a convention vote to mention God in the party platform. But the Republican Party, many of whose top officials think they have the Tea Party in their pocket, will have to earn trust the hard way – by ceasing making excuses. They need to deliver policies aimed at restoring constitutional government and fiscal sanity and sending government thugs to jail. It would also help if they stopped affecting a deer-in-the-headlights look when asked moral questions that their constituents intuitively understand have straightforward answers.

In a way, the Republicans are responsible for citizens having to go to the trouble and expense of mounting a recall election. If the elephants had offered a real alternative to the zany donkeys who pretend to be mainstream just long enough to fool a majority of voters, the recall campaigns would not be necessary.

We’re living in a time when cultural elites deploy well-funded attacks on our most basic liberties and berate us for resisting them. Their radical agenda depends for success on dividing people into groups, using openly racial appeals and class warfare.

A party that, by contrast, unites the American people in a common quest for liberty and respect for America’s heritage can overcome the built-in advantage of the Left’s control of the media, Hollywood, the schools and even boardrooms in much of corporate America.

And when the people are temporarily fooled by posers, there is often the option of staging a recall election.

It’s the cure when, as a certain president recently said in another context, “we can’t wait.”

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.