Cheap Conservatism in the GOP
We know of the conservatism of Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Goldwater, and Buckley- the conservative philosophy of our Founding Fathers that guided their contentious debates when they changed "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of property" to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness" in order to avoid a stalemate over slavery. Add our time tested Judeo-Christian principles, Natural Law, and good old American common sense. Now apply this framework and test the current "cheap conservatism" we are watching handcuff the Republican party in Texas. How can you win hearts and minds of new voters when we ourselves cannot allow our hearts and minds to be won over by the liberating principles of conservatism. How can we speak about the free market, about competition and having the cream rise to the top when even in our own party, it does not happen? Our actions speak volumes to the rest of the voters, especially independents. Just like the artificial markets of the housing industry, and the bubble burst of the 90's Internet stocks, this cheap conservatism of protected and outdated methods of choosing representation will collapse our Republican party in the long run. Watch the democratic registration numbers in the urban areas. Observe how many new Texans are flocking to our business friendly cities, young professionals with dreams of making it big, and who are still willing to subscribe to old ways of liberal government from their places of origin. The Republican party of Texas, in the future will require a coalition of dedicated individuals that operate within the very philosophical framework they claim to promote.
There is a huge difference between real conservative grassroots and cheap conservative weeds. These Weeds act like parasites off the work of those political warriors from the past, off the resources of others, and kill those around them in order to live with the party system. True Grassroots and party builders lay down the foundation for life above, pushing upwards and sometimes self sacrificing to push the agenda that is needed to reach higher levels. True grassroots find ways to produce fruit, results and grow the party. Observe our Republican party and ask yourself if we truly have the grassroots needed to keep Texas red. Do we truly have the alliance builders, the political warriors who know how to win hearts and minds of those do not believe us and obtain the power needed to enact our conservative principles through government? True conservatives understand the role of the party as a social institution, and how now more than ever it is being threatened by groups of people whose ideology or message would never work in the free market of ideas. The cheap conservatives are the weeds who use the Republican party to push their free market rejected message. They are easy to spot because they tend to choke off others and produce no fruit on their own. They have no concept of mutually shared principles, of truly applying their principles in all honesty without hypocrisy. Without the power of the Republican party they would cease to exist. True conservatives understand that our activism comes from personal interaction with our neighbors, winning the cultural war over generations, step by step, admitting we were not eternally vigilant during Roe vs Wade, during the socialist overtaking of our school system, after 1986 immigration reform, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle, the Middle East petrodollar-funded rising power of hateful ideologues, the derivatives market, and the insurance of the losses in these markets, and on and on. Our fight is to be won with strategy and patience not cheap talking points and childish positions that may rally the base but destroys the prospects of actually getting any support for a crack at being able to influence public policy. The Republican party is better than this. New challenges are rising up before us and we better have our true conservative game face on, if not we will be crushed at the polls. We have work to do, and one of our goals should be to educate ourselves as to what we stand for.
Lately we had been claiming to be against cap and trade, screaming "Keep your hands off Texas!" Yet this primary, Victor Carrillo, a candidate for Texas Railroad commissioner and appointee of Rick Perry was crushed by an unknown accountant. The price we pay for cheap conservatism was made chillingly clear, when the same Republicans who claim to be against "windfall profits" tax, price controls, new federal taxes on oil and gas production from the Gulf of Mexico, federally imposed environmental standards, global taxation and forced investments in new "green" technologies failed to uphold these principles. We are talking about an office that is in the sniper scope of Obama's administration. The Railroad commission, a symbol of Texas sovereignty on the very front lines against a federal onslaught of a possible socialistic mandates. During the very hour when the world's leftist machine is teaming up with the Democrats to undermine our Texas strength, cheap conservatism bore its fruits of fratricide. The best Republican, Victor Carrillo lost. The message that was sent through the voters box was chilling. The message to the world was clear. It is that Texas lacks an educated and true to its words, conservative citizenry. One that is unwilling to protect its most important assets with a simple vote according to the principles that it upholds in rhetoric. Victor Carrillo, one of our best watchmen at the gate was removed from within.
I am concerned that we are too quick to welcome everyone -- regardless of their convictions -- and our "big tent" may collapse on all of us.
Mr. Muniz and Dr. Hicks,
I would have to say that the Republican Party of Texas is going to have a defining moment in the near future that will provide the opportunity to rest all their perceived allegations of alienation of Latinos in the party. Unfortunately if progress is not noted then it will be a continuation of what has been happening the past year where the band is playing a song but nobody dancing.
It is sad to see a fellow Latino loose an election who appears to have been looking out for the interest of Texas and its people. I cannot say that I knew Victor personally but if he is as conservative as you say he is then this is very disheartening to hear. I have read in blogs and news articles soon after the election that there were a lot of circumstances going on in his life that may have impeded him running a strong campaign but this would be irrelevant if his public service was a representation of his campaign. Work ethic and commitment to conservative principles are what our conservative voters are looking for in our elected officials unless they are cheap conservatives as you noted.
I myself am a Latino running for the U.S Senate either this year in a special election or in 2012 depending when Sen. Hutchison follows through on her campaign promise to resign. No, this is not a campaign promotion sound bite but the need to share this information because more than likely you may not have heard or read about me. This would not be uncommon regardless of all the letters I have sent to newspapers, radio outlets, and state and federal party officials.
I am not part of the party establishment mostly because I recently retired from the Air Force and have not been engaged in party politics which happens to be a very strong attraction of my supporters. I hired a consultant to run my poll numbers about a month ago with all the candidates on ballot to include leading Democrat candidate John Sharp. The results had me running in fifth place with 15% of the general election vote. I was ten points off the lead and three points away from John who was running third. I also had a large lead over one of the Railroad Commissioner candidates. It was interesting to see the results especially when a majority of the Republican voters have not heard of me or even knew I was running. My chances of winning are really good considering I am pulling as many Democrat votes as Republicans which can be a very scary idea if the party establishment wants one of their own in the winner's circle. I found it interesting to see Bill White utilize some of my language that is posted on my website to attack Gov Perry last week.
My candidacy does not represent a specific ethnicity or race but a concept that focuses on Texas ideals and solutions to get us back on the right path. I must admit when I attend Republican functions through out the state that my reception is usually lukewarm at best. The look I receive is usually one of suspicion or as others might perceive a RINO. I guess it is hard concept to accept that a Latino can be conservative in their heart and in their actions. If I loose this election, it is not because I was not a viable candidate but the opportunities that my Republican and Democrat colleagues had in regards to visibility, media promotion as well as stature with the party loyal versus the people's beliefs.
If either party, Republican or Democrat, wants to acquire the Latino vote then it needs to orientate, educate, and assimilate to all Latinos and not just the party loyal. The majority of Latinos are loyal to conservative principles not party politics. An example would be my father who has been a faithful Democrat his whole life but voted in the Republican primary for the first time this year and I was not even on the ballot. Conservatism does not belong to the Republican Party but to God. God is first in our Latino lives followed by family and country. Latinos do not ask to be catered to but asked to be respected as equals in God's love and commitment to our society.
I hope to have the opportunity to meet you and other loyal conservatives on my journey to Washington but until then I will continue to keep the faith that God's will be done.
Its important to reread the