Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Will the Tea Party Lose Again?

With growing disapproval of the Obama administration’s leadership and the increasing popularity of the Tea Party movement within Republican ranks, many observers—myself included—are hopeful and even quite confident that the underdog GOP may make a strong comeback in the upcoming November elections, regaining control of the Senate, further expanding its strength in the House, and picking up a few more state governorships. This may yet happen, and we won’t be surprised if it does. However, we may not be as accurate and objective predictors of the upcoming election results as we like to think we are. We may be allowing excessive optimism and wishful thinking to obscure the full reality of the electoral situation America is currently facing. Specifically, we may be deliberately ignoring and failing to take into account (or at least underestimating) the two most influential and decisive factors in the upcoming elections, particularly in the Senate: 1) the relentless determination of the corrupt and well-funded Washington political establishment to retain its grip on power by any and all means necessary, and 2) the regrettable failure of Tea Party Republican candidates to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for winning elections that is at least as reliable and effective as that of their establishment counterparts.

The plain fact is that the integrity of our national election system is now seriously compromised by the increasingly widespread and pervasive corruption of the Washington political establishment, which includes not only President Barack Obama and his Democratic cronies in the Senate and House, but also fat-cat Republican politicians in Congress who are content to tolerate his radical agenda for the sake of prolonging their careers. This immoral and unscrupulous establishment has been, is, and will continue to use big money, big lies, big media, and voter fraud to maximize its advantage over upstart Tea Party challengers, thus dishonestly and illegally manipulating America’s election system in order to retain control of our national politics.

Meanwhile, Tea Party Republicans, who have emerged as the prime alternative to the corrupt establishment in D.C., have the right principles and sound issue positions but lack a well thought out and coherent strategy for winning elections. Part of the problem is that, instead of clearly and consistently distinguishing themselves from the establishment, they frequently compromise with and surrender to it for the sake of short-term political gain. By employing such “go-along-to-get-along” tactics, they turn off the very voters that they set out to attract in the first place. For example, in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the Tea Party settled for an establishment Republican presidential nominee, hoping that its own more conservative vice-presidential nominee would convince Republican and independent voters to go for both of them. This tactic failed miserably in 2008 and contributed to the Tea Party failure of 2012.

Another part of the problem is that most Tea Party candidates are still using the old Republican campaign formula of focusing mainly on their middle-aged and older white voter base, whose overall percentage of the U.S. electorate is gradually shrinking. The Tea Party as a whole has not yet adapted to the changing demographic realities of the twenty-first century American electorate, nor is it adequately tapping the vast and steadily growing reserve of conservative black, Hispanic, and Asian voters in the nation’s larger cities who will play an increasing role in deciding national elections over the next few decades. Instead of aggressively campaigning to win minority votes as the Democrats constantly do, the Tea Party is simply writing off most urban black and Hispanic voters as committed Democrats. This is a big mistake, because despite their voting habits, most of them are in reality potential Tea Party Republican voters because of their solidly traditional values. According to recent Gallup polling, a majority of all minority voters identify themselves as pro-life, and a Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute poll revealed that 83 percent of Hispanics are pro-life. Furthermore, 70 percent of blacks and 53 percent of Hispanics supported California’s Proposition 8 which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The main reason why so many African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans routinely vote Democratic despite their values is because Democratic politicians have them convinced that Republicans are racist. Unfortunately, many Tea Party leaders reinforce this notion by neglecting to nominate minority candidates or reach out to minority voters.

But the biggest flaw of all in the Tea Party campaign strategy is its inversion of the proper hierarchy of values. The critically fundamental and non-negotiable moral and cultural issues such as the right to life, traditional marriage, religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and America’s Christian identity are of the greatest importance and should be given top priority; our other constitutional rights (such as the right to keep and bear arms and privacy rights) should come next in line; and all the important negotiable issues such as the economy and jobs, our national debt, education, energy, food safety, health care, poverty, prison reform, taxes, immigration, national defense, and foreign policy should follow. Yet most Tea Party candidates have the whole thing backwards: they place the most emphasis on jobs and economic growth, followed by selected negotiable issues and constitutional rights, and then at the end, almost as an afterthought, they mention that they are pro-life and will defend marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Many Tea Party candidates believe that focusing mainly on jobs and the economy is the best strategy to win votes in a prolonged recession. But the fact is that, even in troubled economic times, focusing primarily on the absolute moral values that form the very basis of our society and nation is what resonates most with voters across party lines and enables conservative candidates to win elections. It was an unswerving focus on these key moral issues that helped propel that Tea Party to victory in 2010 and powered Rick Santorum’s remarkable insurgency against Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. When candidates speak of abortion as a grave moral evil that must be outlawed, when they pledge to protect our First Amendment rights from unjust federal encroachment, and when they defend marriage as it has been understood by all cultures throughout human history, these truths of the natural law resonate deeply within the core of potential voters in a way that job growth and securing our borders simply cannot. Furthermore, by courageously speaking the truth and sticking to their guns on these fundamental moral issues, candidates win the respect and support of many more voters than they otherwise would.

A related flaw in the Tea Party campaign strategy to unseat the Washington establishment is its failure to take full advantage of all the issues, and neglecting to make certain important topics campaign issues when they would certainly qualify as such. For example, most Tea Party candidates have little or nothing to say about the gradual loss of America’s traditional identity as a Christian nation due to the increasing influence of radical secularism on our national culture, nor do they discuss how to address this monumental problem. Furthermore, they prefer to avoid the thorny questions of whether “In God We Trust” should remain on our currency, whether prayer should be allowed in public schools, and whether the Ten Commandments should be displayed on public property. Their silence on these matters implies consent to the negative answers already being imposed on America by radically secularist lobby groups through the courts, the major media, and corrupt establishment politicians. In other words, by neglecting to make America’s traditional Christian identity one of their foremost campaign issues, which it certainly should be, most Tea Party candidates are allowing their opponents—America’s radically secularist enemies within—to control, dominate, and dictate the terms of the debate on this subject. They are surrendering when they should be on the offensive. They are victims when they should be leaders.

If the Tea Party is to present itself credibly as the future of America, it must develop and implement a comprehensive, aggressive, and forward-looking strategy for winning elections adapted to the realities of the twenty-first-century electorate. This strategy must include a proper order of emphasis on the issues and reaching out to the silent majority of black, Hispanic, and Asian voters who share its values. Only if it develops and implements such a strategy for victory at the polls will the Tea Party have a fighting chance on an electoral playing field artificially skewed in favor of the corrupt, and predominantly Democratic, Washington establishment by big money, big lies, big media, and voter fraud. These four dirty tricks often go together now in elections, and their combined results are most effective when used by establishment Democrats against establishment Republicans, or against Tea Party candidates who look and act like establishment Republicans. The close presidential election of 2012 offers a painful lesson in this regard.

In 2013, the American Civil Rights Union, an independent legal organization, uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2012 presidential election. In Ohio, for example (that key swing state in nearly all U.S. presidential elections), the ACRU found that Barack Obama received more than 99 percent of the vote in more than 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County alone. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, the organization discovered a large number of precincts in which Mitt Romney received no votes at all. (Both results are statistically impossible.) In Pennsylvania, a poll watcher found that electronic voting machines were switching about five to ten percent of the votes from Romney to Obama. In one of Virginia’s largest cities, another poll watcher reported that thousands of voters for Obama who could not speak English were apparently being bussed in, and many were voting more than once at the same polling location throughout the day. And in more than 200 counties across two dozen mostly eastern and central states, the number of registered voters exceeded the number of eligible voters. The total number of fraudulent votes cast in the 2012 presidential election was around four million. As a result of all this, Barack Obama was declared the victor by one and a half million votes, becoming the first president in American history to successfully pull off re-election through massive organized voter fraud—while keeping his dirty trick well concealed from most of the voters. Mitt Romney should have won the election by two and a half million votes.

And that was just one presidential election. Who knows how many other fraudulent elections we have unknowingly witnessed in recent years? There’s good reason to believe that voter fraud may have resulted in the narrow Colorado Senate race of 2010 being stolen from Tea Party challenger Ken Buck by Democratic establishment incumbent Michael Bennett. Probably several Senate races were stolen from Tea Party and Republican candidates by establishment Democrats in 2012. And just a few months ago in the Mississippi Republican primary, establishment Republican Thad Cochran claimed victory over Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel thanks to outright voter fraud. (McDaniel has been challenging this result ever since, and his case is currently being reviewed by the Mississippi Supreme Court.)

In addition to declining public approval of the reigning Washington political establishment, accurate and objective predictions for the return of the GOP in the rapidly approaching 2014 midterm elections will take into account the tenacity of that establishment as well as the strategy problem of the Tea Party that aspires to take its place. Putting all these most influential factors together, I predict that Republicans will pick up three to five seats in the Senate, not enough to retake control of that house of Congress. They will hold their own in the House of Representatives and maybe lose a state governorship or two. This will happen as a result of some of the upcoming elections again being stolen by establishment Democrats. Some may consider this forecast a bit pessimistic, but it is better to be realistic than to indulge in wishful thinking. On the whole, the 2014 elections will be another blow to the Tea Party movement, but hopefully this defeat will serve as a clear wake-up call to the realities of its own shortcomings and the staying power of the corrupt D.C. establishment. As a populist movement committed to returning America to her founding principles, the Tea Party has grown remarkably in national power and influence in recent years. It is here to stay, and there is no question that it carries within itself the potential to take command of our national future for decades to come. The question is whether it will make full use of that potential—and thus become strong enough to actually take over Washington and put its own agenda fully into practice.

Copyright © 2014 Justin D. Soutar. All rights reserved.

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