New Video Montage Shows Why Most Americans Think Biden Is Too Old to...
A Biden Spokesperson Did Not Just Say *That* to Explain Joe's Wandering Off...
MD Sheriff Has a Message for Biden After Arresting an Illegal Who Murdered...
Latest Palestinian Poll Should Kill Further Discussions About Ceasefires
It Was Quite A Week Of Media Stupidity
My Father Lived Out Equality: He Adopted Ten of Us
A Quick Bible Study Vol. 222: Jesus Quotes Isaiah - Part 1
What to Expect in the First Presidential Debate
A Politically Incorrect Prayer
Who Does Kamala Harris Think She Is Weighing in on Our Sex Lives?
The Tolerance Lie
What Most People Do Not Know About Capitalism
CNN Bullies Ticketmaster Into Canceling Tucker Carlson Tour
Senate Republicans Block Bill Protecting IVF
Nearly Half of Americans Have Little Faith Biden Will Make It Through First...
OPINION

Getting Out Of the Republican Coma

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Republican National Committee recently launched a Web site devoted to giving "users the opportunity to discuss their reasons for being a member of the Grand Old Party and what being a Republican means to them."

Advertisement

It means having their butts kicked -- big-time. The rest, I assure you, is a profound mystery.

So the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party is on. Then again, many Democrats probably contest the notion that Republicans own a heart or a soul. On the latter, they may have a point.

The prominent conservative columnist David Brooks recently declared the coming Republican war would pit "Traditionalists," conservatives who believe Republicans have strayed too far from Reaganism, against "Reformers," who, he argues, want to modernize, moderate and expand the party.

Traditionalists vs. Reformers. If only it were that clinical.

For the past eight years, we haven't had a Republican Party that was excessively conservative or too moderate; we've had a party that employed no principles to speak of -- unless securing power for power's sake is now a creed.

After all, what exactly did Republican candidate John McCain stand for? The Republicans (and independents) conferred the mantle of leadership to a media darling and longtime Senate insider who based his entire campaign on fighting the entrenched establishment and media.

Advertisement

It was almost satirical.

McCain was the most "moderate" candidate Republicans could unearth -- in effect a non-pick of a lethargic party -- and they were thumped, while Democrats nominated their most liberal candidate in history.

Conservative leaders from all sects promptly converged in Virginia after the election to plot ways to stop the Obama agenda. Good plan. But there has to be more. Movements aren't hatched in think tanks or in top-down dorm-room bull sessions (by the geniuses who brought you compassionate conservatism!).

After the 2000 Bush victory, elite Democrats spent years whining about a stolen election, while grass-roots progressives, instead, channeled their anger into a revolutionary movement that, with the help of a charismatic leader, carried the day in 2008.

Nearly every faction of the Democratic Party's coalition is willing to live together (for now) in the name of victory. The left stiffened resolve, targeted traitors and sharpened rhetoric.

Such is not the case on the right. Republicans can't afford to purge mushy apostates. They can't afford to christen the half of the country that listens to Hank Williams Jr. as the "real" America and ignore the half with taste. They can't afford to entice Middle America with a round of wonky remedies.

Advertisement

The Republican stupor is not a result of a lack of moderation; it's about a lack of purpose.

Economic conservatism -- not the "slashing" of government, as Brooks contends, but a tenuous control of massive government growth and intrusion -- is a moderate pursuit. The pursuit of free and international trade and the fight against collectivist policies in energy and health care are also moderate pursuits.

For now, the best antidote for Republicans is a child's timeout. Sit, think about what you've done -- and plot your revenge. Conservatives will be willing to fight the battles of tomorrow once they know what they are. What they need now is a shot of idealism and then a renewed intellectualism.

Now they're stuck with neither.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos