Tea Party Members and Energy Needed by Republican Party
Pundits like Tony Quinn believe these folks should not be involved in the Republican Party, nor should they, by extension work, vote or donate to Republicans candidates. If you are banned from the Party, why support it?
Tony Quinn wrote, “It is time for California Republicans to confront the real enemies who are dragging them from defeat to defeat, and this means dealing with the Tea Party extremists in their own ranks. Until the state GOP faces up to this it cannot be rebuilt, and 2014 is exactly the time to start.”
He takes on Congressman McClintock for the “offense” of demanding a balanced budget, government ending its spying on American citizens, wanting families to decide the health care they want and lowering taxes—or at least not raising them any higher. Those are basic Republican principles. They are also basic Tea Party principles.
Were it up to the Tony Quinns’ of the world conservatives will shut up and agree to support those in the GOP that vote for higher taxes, have little problem with big government and the use of government to promote large corporations over small businesses and determine that Washington, not local parents should control government education in the communities.
The Quinn idea that supporting the Constitution is extreme is radical in and of itself. But, what would happen if Tea Party members and conservatives with Tea Party values refused to participate in the 2014 election? .
The 1964 election was a disaster, because moderate and liberal Republicans abandoned the GOP. Imagine the 2014 elections if conservatives did the same. We would have the same results as 1964.
Instead of complaining about the Tea Party and conservatives, Quinn and his friends in the media and public office should sit down with these volunteers. They need to learn about the principles and values, find common ground and work together on basic Republican Platform agreements on economics and the role of government.
My first political activity was walking precincts for Nixon for President is 1960. During the past fifty plus years I have seen issues and movements come and go. During that time the conduct of campaigns has changed dramatically. In the early 1960’s we had data bases of all voters in a precinct. Today we use Excel spreadsheets. In the 1960’s we had 4×6 index cards with the name and information of voters, usually kept in a shoe box.
Our communication was based on door to door leafleting and phone calls. Today we have web sites, Facebook and the rest of social media. Our ads were on radio and TV, today they are on special YouTube Channels and blast emails make a small budget campaign look big.
Throughout that time one campaign technique stayed constant and successful, the walking of precincts, door to door, by volunteers that were ideologically in tune with the candidate. It was, and is, the sincerity of these volunteers that tell the voter this is a candidate that connects with real people.
At the same time, probably since the first campaign for office even before the Declaration of Independence, there has been a natural tension between those that fund campaigns and those that work the campaigns. In a tight race, the Andy Vidak Senate race for instance, lots of money was needed, but hundreds of volunteers throughout the State, from San Diego to Humboldt, either phoned from their counties or came to the District to walk precincts. The overwhelming majority of these volunteers were Constitutional Conservatives, who the media calls “Tea Party extremists”. Imagine, supporting the Constitution in 2013 is being extreme? While many were actual Tea Party members, most were not, just old fashioned Constitutional Conservatives.
The donor base, because it is business oriented, is nervous about cutting taxes, which means less government spending. They are concerned about losing tax incentives, subsidies, centralized government planning and being able to use government regulations and policies to push aside their competition.
The tension is really between those in the GOP that want to limit government and those that want to use government for their benefit. This difference of opinion is not really based on “extremism”, it is based on the age old debate about the role of government.
At the recent California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, the Tea Party Caucus of California was formed and had its first meeting—over two hundred people was in the room and dozens more unable to get in were in the hallway listening to the speakers. This was by far the largest Caucus at the Convention—and this was only its first meeting.
Tony, and his friends, you have my phone number. Give me a call and I will set up meetings for you with the Tea Party. We all want a GOP victory in 2014. That happens if we stop bad mouthing our principled office holders and start uniting and walking together. The choice is yours. The future of California and the nation is at stake.