Let’s think back to the early days of the Tea Parties eight years ago. These patriotic groups of citizens were singularly focused on applying pressure to democratic socialist elected officials and electing more conservative Republicans. It became an all-consuming effort nationwide.
Republicans captured many state legislatures and governorships. They gained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and then in the U.S. Senate.
Finally, Trump won the presidency for the Republicans.
In North Carolina, we had some good conservative reforms in our General Assembly during the first four years of Republican control. It went downhill very quickly after that.
Congress, meanwhile, has been atrocious.
Time has demonstrated that the Republicans will concede huge amounts of territory to the democratic socialists on foundational issues– marriage; socialized medicine; national sovereignty and borders; the judiciary; limited, constitutional government; and even religious liberty. Here in North Carolina, the “family values party” is even promoting alcohol during Sunday worship hours and gambling.
Time has demonstrated that conservatives and constitutionists need to be in the respective faces of Republican elected officials– assertively, continuously, vigorously. We need to be pressuring them incessantly.
After they won everything, they succumbed to the temptation of taking the expedient path. They were much more attentive to their donors than they were to their conservative base. Those are two different groups, by the way, with widely divergent interests.
Meanwhile, we fell into a false sense of security because the “conservative” party prevailed at the polls and took control. But we learned that does not guarantee anything because Republican elected officials routinely betray their base. It is not a conservative party. Instead, it is now functionally a center-left party.
We cannot assume that electing Republicans will produce a conservative outcome. We have learned that winning the election is only the beginning of the work that must be done. Once they arrive in office, they must be engaged and reminded of what they were elected to do– over and over and over again. You can’t assume they are going to do the right thing.