In 1992, Bill Clinton’s senior adviser James Carville famously and repeatedly said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
His purpose was to urge all Clinton supporters, especially the leadership, to focus like a laser on making the economy the central issue in the campaign.
To paraphrase Mr. Carville, I say to tea partyers and conservatives, “It’s the primaries, stupid!”
As small-government conservatives, we should be giving no serious thoughts at this time to the 2012 presidential election, nor even to the midterm elections. There will be plenty of time to work on the fall elections after we have nominated our people.
A surfer knows that he does not have to work to build a wave, but he does have to be ready to ride the wave when it roars ashore.
A wave is rushing toward Nov. 2, and it’s likely to be a big wave. In fact, I think it will be a tsunami of biblical proportions.
If this surge primarily sweeps into office the usual big-government, establishment Republicans, then we will have missed the opportunity of a lifetime.
Of course, many good candidates are with the tea party movement. However, the vast majority of positions on the ballot this year do not have good conservatives or tea partyers running.
About 80 percent of the filing deadlines have not passed. This means we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to find, promote, and elect principled, small-government conservatives.
We who want constitutional, small government should be running candidates even when it appears they have little or no chance of victory. The mistake of assuming that good candidates will emerge from the regular party process does not work most of the time.
First of all, in today’s volatile political environment, no establishment candidate is truly safe. The American people want the chance to take out the big-government, establishment politicians, and they are looking to the conservative leaders and tea party movement to give them candidates to support.
Secondly, the only time we are guaranteed to lose is when we don’t compete.
Even when a tea party or conservative candidate runs and loses, our cause is strengthened:
- The candidates and their teams will develop/improve leadership and speaking skills that will serve them in good stead for future battles
- The campaigns will identify and activate previously unknown small-government conservatives
- More people will become educated on the issues
- The campaigns will bring out more voters, thereby increasing the tea party movement vote in other races
- Simply the presence of tea party movement in each race will force the establishment candidates to address issues such as what is the acceptable, constitutional role of government, and what they plan to do to save our republic (which makes them run a far different campaign than the typical mush we hear from candidates)
- And, if establishment politicians win when challenged by conservative candidates, most will be forced to move at least somewhat in our direction than if they were unchallenged.
To repeat myself, there are few, if any, things more important in the coming weeks than to find, encourage, and assist qualified, principled conservatives to file for every public office on the ballot Nov. 2 that is not held by a principled, constitutional conservative.
Of course, if constitutional conservatives are to govern America, we must elect not only a president and a Congress but also city council members, school board members, state legislators, secretaries of state, lieutenant governors, and so forth.
Simply the presence of tea party movement in each race will force the establishment candidates to address issues such as what is the acceptable, constitutional role of government, and what they plan to do to save our republic. (That makes them run a far different campaign than the typical mush we hear from candidates.)
Change is coming to America, and it’s coming in the form of millions upon millions of primary challenges ready to take back our way of life in a tsunami of biblical proportions.
But only if we stay committed to sending a message to the establishment embedded in the Republican Party, whether that’s in the halls of Congress or the local courthouse.
After all, a tsunami of biblical proportions is a terrible thing to waste.
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