The Ruling Class and the Grassroots
by Tom Donelson on January 30, 2012 at 7:32 PM
Recently I wrote a column on keeping Ron Paul in an anti-Obama coalition and what could be seen was the lack of the faith in the ruling class, in the case of Paul’s supporters, the Republican establishment. When asked the question, would you vote for another Republican, the answer was no. As one Paul supporter noted, “I voted for Bush and his 'humble foreign policy'. I am not a Democrat and am a member of my state’s Republican Party. My major concern is the shredding of the Constitution by both parties. Undeclared wars, TSA, NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, Patriot Act, and so many other infringements on our Constitutional rights that it has become impossible to count them all. I can only imagine how much worse it will be for my own kids when they’re my age. That is why only Ron Paul will have our vote. Citizens of this country have sat on the sidelines while our Constitution has been bleeding from a thousand tiny cuts and has become so irrelevant that someone who insists on following it is considered extreme, isolationist, outside of the mainstream, or whatever other label the label makers want to slap on Paul. The truth is that our retaining our rights is the most important thing we can do, it’s what has made this country great and losing them is what has put us in this downward spiral. Just look around us! What are we giving our kids?”
The campaign has shown a divide between the grassroots and much of the leadership of the Republican Party. For the grassroots, the establishment gave us Medicare Prescription, increase spending, unpopular wars and for many grassroots, they don’t see the remorse on part of the establishment. As Sarah Palin noted recently, they see cannibalism of their candidate, whether it is Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul being attacked by the establishment in a coordinated effort. Ron Paul is as much a rebellion against the ruling class. So is voting for Newt Gingrich.
With the economy approaching Banana Republic status, and the ruling class paralyzed, it is not hard to understand why much of the grass roots are skeptical of what the establishment can render. Maybe it is simply that much of what the grass roots hold dear means little to much of the ruling class as Obama once declared, much of America clings to “God and guns.” The latter represents why there is a divide to begin with.
The fight over gun control has been one of those issues that has divided the grassroots and a good portion of the ruling class, who always view the ownership of guns as an anachronism, whereas much of the grassroots view the Second Amendment as a Constitutional right, and the Constitution is what keeps our Republic together. The Paul rebellion centers on defending the Constitution, and the real implication for Paul supporters is liberty and the rise of a liberty agenda reducing the role of government in our lives. The recent reaction to SOPA and PIPA is an example of the rebellion, for many viewed this as extension of government in our lives and invasion of our privacy. Newt Gingrich may be the ultimate insider but he grasped the implication of this rebellion as his campaign is as much a rebellion as the Washington, DC establishment within the Republican Party as anything else. His occasional attack on the mainstream media is another example of his catering to the grassroots rebellion.
Sarah Palin is the one politician or conservative activist who has understood the implication, but then she was as much of a victim of the ruling class as anyone, and her recent statement on cannibalism reflects what is happening on a grassroot level. Palin wrote, “But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans 'bitterly clinging' to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the 'wisdom' of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 that didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.”
The main guard have used Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle against the Tea Party without acknowledging it was the Tea Party who brought us Marco Rubio and Bob Johnson as well, candidates superior to what the establishment brought us and Pat Toomey was Tea Party long before it was cool, so it could easily be argued that the portion of the Republican Party that brought us Christine O’Donnell also brought us a the recognized future Super star of the Republicans, Marco Rubio. It is often forgotten that the establishment supported Charlie Crist, who not only deserted the Republican Party, but proved to be flakey. The choice that Republicans had in Delaware was between O’Donnell and liberal Mike Castle, who showed no loyalty to the Republicans in the 2010 election as far as Republican choice for Delaware Senate election in 2010.
In the end, the Tea Party provided the grassroots for the 2010 wins, and they are an important key to winning in 2012; the real question is how much of the Republican establishment and conservative leadership understands that it is not just winning the election but a reversal of Obamanomics?