Here’s the Horse Sense: Those who say the GOP cannot succeed without abandoning principles don’t have principles themselves. Principles are the only hope for the future of America and they win people over not by promises but by educating people about the opportunities they create for our nation and our people.
Comedian Groucho Marx said, “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.” That’s a funny line, but when people actually live like that they are phonies and will lose sooner or later. That’s exactly what happened to the GOP in this election. The hypocrisy of the establishment GOP is laughable as they pretend to be conservative. But while the battle for control of the right goes on, the left ushers in the principles of another Marx besides Groucho and they handily win the election. Not because there wasn’t substance to the GOP positions, but because there weren’t enough people left in the GOP to represent them who were principled conservatives that could present a truly conservative option to voters.
Before the voting machines had cooled down from the election, the establishment GOP was looking for someone to blame for the loss of their candidate, Mitt Romney. Knowing they were in trouble with such dismal election results, everyone was looking for a scapegoat so they could maintain their power and quietly slink away until the next election when they’d rear their ugly heads once again.
Let’s get something straight from the start. Just because someone calls themselves conservative, or is called conservative, does not make them one. I can walk into a McDonalds and call myself a hamburger but it doesn’t make me one. I can call myself anything I like, but it doesn’t mean it’s true. The establishment GOP has become a group that includes many unprincipled people who are only involved with the GOP for power, not for principle. For if they truly were in it for principle, if they truly believed in standing for the principles that are the foundation of the GOP platform, they would be true conservatives who would never be willing to compromise those very same principles. But what’s the first thing they do when they lose the election (after looking for a scapegoat)? They say the party should abandon its principles to attract more voters.
If you sincerely believe in the principles that are the foundation stones of our republic then you would not be willing to compromise them. Principles that can be compromised aren’t worthy of being standards to live by. Those who compromise are not worthy of leadership. I don’t care who says it or how famous they are. I don’t care how great a speaker they are. I don’t care what great books they’ve written. If they won’t stand on principle then we should not be looking to them to gain any insights into direction for the future.
Principles are the key to long term success. Years ago during IBM’s heyday, their famous vice president F. R. “Buck” Rodgers said, “The only sacred cow in an organization is its principles.” Principles are the first thing sacrificed by most people. They won’t stick their neck out for principles, but they don’t even realize what hypocrites they are. Principles are the single most important thing and yet they are usually the first to go. Politicians and their consultants and advisors are perfect examples of people who are quick to abandon them. True leaders hold fast to principles.
Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny.”
Yet there are people in the establishment GOP who will compromise principles at the drop of a hat. And now that they’ve found, once again, that their candidate failed miserably in the election they are quick to abandon principles and suggest that that is the only way to win in the future. Maybe they need to examine why their candidates like John McCain, Bob Dole, and now Mitt Romney aren’t well received by voters. It’s because their values don’t represent the values of most Americans. Those who love America want leaders who will stand for principle regardless of the cost. But the establishment GOP not only won’t do that, they are quick to attack anyone who they think made a mistake that could possibly be seen as negative by the left.
Conservative voters are the ones who made this election go the way it did. They either chose to vote for Romney and at least stem the tide of another term of Obama’s spending, increasing regulations, and continued disregard for the Constitution or they chose to stay home, vote for third party candidates, or even write in other candidates. Between all of it there wasn’t enough concentrated support for anyone other than Obama to win. And so we had a smaller turnout for Mitt Romney than for John McCain. Obama didn’t win the election, the establishment GOP lost it. But the establishment GOP refuse to understand it. They’ve got blinders on and keep telling themselves that it has to be someone else’s fault. They have never noticed that the common denominator in these candidates is looking at them in the mirror. It's the establishment GOP. Shouldn’t that tell them something?
The establishment GOP have many people in their group who are not willing to truly embrace principles. They don't understand that sometimes we have to pay a high price to do what is right. A true leader knows that it is the only choice to make. True leaders will sacrifice for principles, while many who simply hold leadership positions often sacrifice their principles. The establishment GOP is made up of many of the latter.
Abandoning our principles to try to gain some votes will not be successful. What we must do is educate people as to why choosing the higher road, the road of values and principles is superior to living in the muck and mire of disgust that the left calls free choice when, in fact, it actually enslaves its followers.
The GOP can only survive and succeed if it embraces true conservative principles. That may mean that many who have even held high positions in the party must leave. But without a solid stand for principle by the party members, including the leadership, the GOP can never succeed like it desires.
Conservatives must draw a line in the sand based on principle. If the establishment GOP won’t abandon its folly and become people of honor who will stand for principle at all cost, then the GOP will never be attractive to voters. It will go by the wayside, just as the Whig Party did before it when it died due to a split over slavery and the result was the birth of the Republican Party.
Whether the establishment GOP comes around or not, the conservatives need to offer them the ultimatum. Either they change and embrace conservative principles or the conservatives must form their own party. Then they can take a solid stand for principle and with much hard work over time they can educate and win over voters who are looking for the party of integrity and substance. Any future the conservatives hope to have in American politics will only come about as the result of a strong and unwavering stand for principle.