The Republican Party can’t win if it won’t fight.
If you believe the Democrats (and some Republicans) the biggest threat to the Party of Abe is a man named Ted. It’s tempting for the GOP to believe that all it needs to do is practice some Cruz Control and wait around for Americans to wake up and realize that it is the sensible party with the moderate solutions.
And if that doesn’t work… there are always the elections of 2020 or 2024… or 2124.
If you don’t fight, you can’t win. That’s what the Party of Lincoln, a party that tested its mettle in a devastating national conflict, has forgotten. Instead it has become a party of good losers who would rather lose easy than fight hard.
The GOP would like to win without fighting. It wants to wait for the voters to come around and recognize that it’s the better choice because it compromises.
Like the nerd waiting for the pretty girl to recognize his niceness, the Republican Party is futilely courting an American voter who barely even knows it’s there… at least until he watches the next Saturday Night Live skit depicting Republicans as crazy evil billionaires who want to power Christian nuclear plants with the corpses of minorities.
And he’ll believe that is what the Republican Party really stands for because the elephant no longer roars loud enough to be heard, it moderately whispers, and is outbrayed by every jackass.
The Republican Party has allowed its enemies to define it. Its moderation has convinced voters that it’s crazy and dangerous because without raising its voice and fighting back, the only things they know about it comes from its enemies.
Complacency has made it impossible for the Republican Party to compete. It’s so busy being reasonable that it unreasonably fails to realize that no one is paying attention to its displays of moderation.
Its reasonable and moderate candidates were shot down twice. Meanwhile the last Republican to sit in the Oval Office was a man that the media tarred and feathered much more thoroughly than McCain or Romney as an illiterate Texas hick who loved killing black people and bombing countries.
George W. Bush was not all that conservative, but he was pugnacious, and that is a quality that Americans admire more than moderation. Ted Cruz is an actual Texas conservative and he is also pugnacious.
The Republican Party has forgotten that it did not win the midterm elections in 2010 because voters saw how moderate and reasonable it was. If those were qualities that impressed voters we would be tuning in to another speech from President Romney about the improving economy.
The midterm reversal happened because a bunch of people wearing costumes and waving yellow flags began arguing with Democratic politicians trying to sell their constituents on a disastrous health plan. The plan is still disastrous and the people with the costumes are still out there, but the GOP would like them and Ted Cruz to go away and stop interrupting their plan to win in 2014 by impressing the public with their moderate program of reasonable compromises.
And if that doesn’t work there’s always 2224… or 3224.
Ted Cruz isn’t the biggest threat to the Republican Party. He’s the only hope for the Republican Party. Cruz understands that you have to fight to win. You don’t get points for compromise. Compromise is what it takes to run the system, but voters elect candidates to do specific things for them. They want politicians who will represent their interest to the best of their abilities.
No one hires a lawyer to settle a court case. The court case may have to be settled, but a client expects his lawyer to get him the best terms by fighting as hard as he can. A lawyer who advertises his reasonable and moderate willingness to make a deal as soon as possible will have no clients. A party that advertises its eagerness to settle on any terms it can get will have no voters.
While the Republican Party worries about Ted Cruz alienating voters, it might want to consider the voters that Ted Cruz is bringing in. Conservative voters have been staying home from elections that don’t inspire them.
Passion wins elections. Passion feeds turnout. Passion makes voters feel like it’s their fight, not just another election.
Instead of bringing passion to their fight against the left, Republicans misdirect their passion into circular firing squads. There have been more passionate Republican attacks aimed at Ted Cruz in a single month than there have been against Barack Obama in an entire year.
The deluded establishment still believes that it would have won even bigger in 2010… if not for that pesky Tea Party. It believes we would be listening to President McCain explaining to the nation why we’ve been bombing Syria… if only it wasn’t for Sarah Palin. And it believes that Mitt Romney would have won in 2012 if it wasn’t for… that’s the question.
The Tea Party was out of the picture. The Republican Party had two men up front who could quietly, calmly and reasonably make their case to the nation. And their case was good. It was a story about the American Dream, about small businesses becoming big businesses in an economy driven by vision, ambition and individual striving.
And it went nowhere.
American voters had a choice between two men. One was passionate. The other was reasonable. One was applying for a job interview. The other was warning that their children would starve in the streets and their daughters would take wire hangers to themselves if he wasn’t reelected. Despite the poll numbers, the turnout favored the passionate candidate. It favored the teleprompter demagogue warning that the sky, the phones and the food stamps were about to fall.
Elephants never forget. That may be true of Loxodonta Africana, but Loxodonta Americana never remembers. Ted Cruz is the new Tea Party, the new Sarah Palin, the man in the middle of a circular firing squad that is taking its targeting orders from Democratic Party political operatives in the media. African elephants aren’t cannibals, but American elephants eagerly eat their own.
The Tea Party was right about what it takes to win. Sarah Palin was right. Ted Cruz is right.
The Republican Party has two options. It can learn to fight or it can give up. A political party that fails to compete abandons itself to the tender mercies of its enemies. And the left has no mercy.
Ted Cruz tried to teach the elephant to stop eating grass and switch to a diet of red meat. The American elephant can either evolve into a predator or devolve into a rhino and be preyed upon by the wild asses of the Socialist desert.
The Republican Party will never win by out-moderating its enemies. Its last three presidents who won reelection were not known for being mild-mannered and soft-spoken types.
Politics is not a game for the weak. It is not the sport you play if you are afraid of hitting or being hit. It has moments of greatness that bring nations together and uplift peoples… but those moments will never be achieved by those who fear to fight for what they believe in.
Ted Cruz is not afraid to fight. The Republican Party could stand to learn from his example.
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