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Elections Show Conservative Revolution Is Upon Us

Thursday, 05 Nov 2009 04:05 PM

By Dick Armey

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When we act like us, we win; when we act like them, we lose. Few things in politics are stranger than the bogus idea that conservatives can only win when we are Democrat-lite. The readers of Newsmax know this, and I thank you for inviting me to join your online community.

As conservatives, our hope is that the Republican Party asserts itself in defense of free market capitalism and individual freedom. That is why the results of the Nov. 3 election are so important, and possibly show that the next conservative revolution is upon us.

Conservative frustrations began with the failure of the Bush administration and Congress to restrain the growth of government. When the economy slumped in 2007, I'm sure you were just as shocked as I was to see Wall Street and irresponsible homeowners get bailed out with our hard-earned tax dollars.

If principles are of no use in a crisis, why have them in the first place? Politicians may disappoint us, but our policy commitments to personal and economic freedom never do.

The Obama administration and Nancy Pelosi have doubled down on the failed politics of the bailout and stimulus spending and now are attempting to pass trillion-dollar, budget-busting legislation by creating new healthcare and energy entitlements.

Conservative grass-roots responded by organizing the tea party movement, and now they are mobilizing to make a difference in the ballot box.

I endorsed and worked to help Doug Hoffman in New York. Many pundits believed his candidacy cost Republicans a seat. The fact of the matter is that the Republican Party lost this seat when they nominated a fundamentally flawed candidate that did not represent broad public concerns about runaway government spending.

Doug Hoffman came very close to winning despite all of the natural handicaps of a third party candidacy, and the Republican candidate went ahead and showed her true colors by endorsing the Democrat.

The lesson for Republicans? Run candidates that represent the common sense principles of lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

This reminds me of another time when politics was put ahead of policy, when in 2004 the Republican establishment backed Sen. Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in the Republican Senate primary. Specter narrowly beat Toomey, but later decided to switch parties and become a Democrat.

I hope Republicans think seriously about this when fielding candidates in 2010. The grass-roots energy is on our side, as demonstrated today by the thousands of folks who came running at a moment’s notice to storm the halls of congress and let congress hear their opposition to Obamacare.

Independent voters, who look only at policy and do not have time for politics, are overwhelmingly concerned about pocketbook issues and broke for Republican gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia.

The victories of Bob McDonnell in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey demonstrate the winning conservative big-tent model for Republicans. When Republicans are committed to stopping the growth of government, they prosper.

History demonstrates this with Ronald Reagan’s victories and the electoral tidal wave of the Contract with America. In both instances the big tent was built around fiscal responsibility and energizing the conservative base while appealing to independent voters.

Although talking heads are saying grass-roots conservatives are pushing the Republican Party to the far right, the reality is this movement is pushing the GOP to fiscal conservatism, the dead center of American politics.

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