On Nov. 2, the American electorate signed the restraining order against the Obama Administration’s hostile assault on personal liberties, the financial futures of unborn generations and destruction of the constitutional foundation of this Republic. The results are certainly cause for breathing a sigh of relief, but not to begin a lavish celebration. This goes double for the Republicans. It would be a gross mistake to convince themselves they are the champions of limited government, fiscal responsibility and constitutional governance. They need to understand that the American electorate sees this Republic as the victim of a horrible drunk driving accident. The bloodied and broken victim has arrived at the emergency room hopefully in time to receive critically needed lifesaving treatment. The victim is hemorrhaging profusely, and the election victory of Republican candidates is simply an attempt to slow the bleeding, and get the victim hooked up to life support. So much damage has been done that difficult and painful procedures will be necessary to save the patient. Does the Republican Party understand they are only a tourniquet? It is evident many of the newly-elected Freshmen do understand this. Many campaigned on it. However, the question remains as to the entrenched GOP establishment.
Granted, those of us who live outside the beltway have only heard the horror stories of the political gamesmanship of those rooted there. Most of us have no first-hand experience, so speculation and rumors abound. Some of the stories are inflated; some are not; and all spread with lightening speed. The Republican Establishment – the good ‘ole GOP – where there is much hope, and very little actual confidence, is therefore placed in a particularly difficult predicament. The grassroots and the political insiders do not seem to share the same motivations. To Washington insiders of both parties, American politics and government are a business. In many cases, careers are built on the continuation of conflict and quagmire. They build their livelihoods on it.
Not so with we, the grassroots. To us, politics and government are the foundation of freedom and prosperity for ourselves and future generations. This schism ratifies the grassroots’ distrust of the Establishment. The best explanation I can offer comes from my own experience with my marriage. I have learned a great deal after thirty years of making a life with someone who has their own thoughts and a propensity to express them plainly. It has not always been pleasant, but we have managed to make a success of it. The key has not always, if ever, been in agreement on the details. The small things are often the points of abrasion, but agreement on the larger issues seems to be the recipe for success.
This is the problem with the GOP insiders and those of us living our lives in the “real” America outside the facade of Washington, DC. The Tea Party tidal wave has swept in a new class of freshmen unlike previous classes. They won nomination and election by passing through a much more intense and difficult process than previous groups. Most of them have the scars to prove it. The fear of the grassroots that put them in office is that they will be immediately swallowed up in the swamp that has yet to be drained. This is a moment of truth for the GOP.
Do they resist the temptation to circle the “establishment” wagons around the newbies, and control their access and influence? Or, do they respond to We the People and adjust their “old” way of thinking? So far, the actions of the GOP insiders are to parrot the words they are hearing from the grassroots, but continue on with business as usual. As in a marriage when both parties do agree on and love the same important things, the details can be worked out.
But, when the motivations are completely different there is no hope for success.
Is this the beginning of a courtship between We the People and a GOP refocused on the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets and constitutional fidelity? Or is this all just another ruse that will end with broken hearts and a Republic deeper in ruins? The Patriot understands that our founders did not provide for the American people to be ruled; they provided for them to be REPRESENTED. The Tea Party movement has placed its hopes and what little confidence remains in the GOP to live up to that founding premise.
The question is, will they?
Mark Kevin Lloyd is the vice chairman of the Virginia Federation of Tea Party Patriots and the chairman of the Lynchburg, Va. Tea Party.