People either love him or hate him, but one has to admit that in a very short time Steve Deace and his radio program on WHO Radio in Des Moines has become a political force here in Iowa. We shouldn’t be surprised, this is a guy who took down a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2002 with an interview on a sports station.
Anyway, Deace has devoted a lot of time on his program to discussing the internal struggles of the GOP. Yesterday, I emailed him during his show as he was discussing one of my posts. I wanted to try and expand on my line of thinking.
The following is what I sent Deace, and his response in bold. He asked if I would consider posting this on my blog, which I agreed to do as he has given Krusty Konservative a shout out on a number of occasions.
Below is the email, which he sent back to me during his show.
I read your blog post today and I think it is very well done, and something that I agree with.
I'm pleased that you read my blog, and I'm always thrilled when people like you help promote it. I think we both agree that people are intellectually lazy. Face it most people don't open the pantry and figure out what they can make for dinner, they instead they debate between McDonald and Burger King. The same laziness has taken over the political process. Do most people really know who our candidates are and what they stand for? Heck the majority of people don't even vote.
In my recent posts I've been focusing on the role of the Party. It’s not something that's easy to explain for some reason.
That's because to too many people, the Party is a like a church. On this I agree with Yepsen, but for a different reason. Yepsen sees any social/moral issues as the party overstepping its role. I see folks expecting the Party to be a tool of righteousness, which is a role reserved for the church, as incorrect. The GOP can't make people or society better, only the church (Christ) can. But any party or organization Christians of any stripe belong to must -- and I repeat MUST -- reinforce what the church is trying to accomplish and convey. Otherwise a house divided against itself cannot stand. This is why so many social conservatives blur the lines between the two, because it's a very fine line indeed and easy to cross. Particularly in a culture like ours that is infested with a weak, watered down, and ineffective church. At that point people like me get frustrated and look for a substitute, and they want the party to do what the church was intended to.
I think it is absolutely critical that the Republican Party stand for certain core principles. The candidates that run under the Republican brand also must support these core principles as well.
Couldn't agree more, which is why I don't understand people like your poster in the replies section who said we need to support all Republicans. Really? So if Hillary wants to be a Republican tomorrow without changing any of her core convictions we're okay with that? Bernie Sanders? Barney Frank? If it's only about being Republicans, then why believe anything? Then why even have a platform? Why even call yourselves Republicans? Why not call yourselves the Free Agents? Maybe the Ink Blots is catchier? And I keep hearing this 80-20 or 51-49 ratio theory in terms of agreement. Fine. Then how come people only float those to the so-cons? How come nobody asks the Log Cabin Guys to just plug their noses and vote for Huckabee? How come it's always the social conservatives that have to compromise and accept the pragmatic paradigm?
It is also important to find a mechanism in which the part can reach out and get people to vote for their candidates. I think you do that with the fiscal issues. And while every social conservative I know is rock solid on fiscal issues, we always seem to get bogged down on the social issues, which prevents the Party from reaching out to the masses on the fiscal issues.
Here's why this happening: about half of the people in the party don't believe the Bible is true and the other half does, and among the half that doesn't about half of those folks are indifferent and don't care one way or the other while the half actively looks to thwart the ones who have Biblical convictions. This creates gridlock, especially since those folks often find themselves in positions of leadership and use their leadership posts to thwart people like me. For a long, long time we took it. But after 2006 it became obvious to many of us that selling out your core principles only leads to losing in the end, so you might as go ahead and fight for them. The other dynamic is that the party's most loyal voting base is motivated by issues the party doesn't want/like to advance. That's not a long-term recipe for success. And I respectfully don't accept the notion you can't convert people on social issues. Almost 40% of the people at Iowa Right to Life are Democrats. Over 60% of Iowans would vote for a marriage amendment. But do we run on these issues? Do we try to advance them? I go and talk to people all the time that don't agree with me, and sometimes -- lo and behold -- when I have reason, data, and the courage of my convictions I can persuade a few to my side every now and then.
So what needs to be done?
The party needs to answer the question why do you want to win elections? Do you want to elections to stay in power and cash the check, or to advance an ideological agenda? People like me want to advance an agenda and then go home to our families to die in peace and wait for the Lord's return. The other side wants to perpetually stay in power, cash the check, feel important, and pad their resumes that they can't take with them to the grave. The party is in this position because it didn't advance the agenda that those that put them there wanted them to -- plain and simple. And this always happens to an apparatus like a political party, by the way. You're always just one generation away from rigor mortis. The Democrats went through this in the 1980s and now it's the GOP's turn. And the GOP will either embrace the generation changover that is occurring in the country or it will go the way of the Whigs from whence it came. This is history repeating itself. It's the 1850s all over again, with the social activists realizing after 1849 that the party was never going to truly oppose slavery, instead offering them an at best a state-by-state solution to calling Negroes property and not people. The activists left and started the Republican Party. Don't think that outcome can't repeat itself in this day and age. People like me, particularly my upcoming generation, are just not as interested in the esprit de corps and relationship-driven politics our parents were. Either advance the agenda the platform stands for or don't waste our time. It's that simple. Now, if you don't want us around just say so, change your platform accordingly, and we'll go do our own thing. Good luck trying to win without us. Maybe you can, I don't know, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that John McCain is about to find out.
The Social Conservatives need to realize that we have won.
Brother, we haven't won. We just had two Republican governors (Willard and Arnold) fail to uphold the rule of law in their states and establish sodomy marriage in their states. We had a Senate Majority Leader in Stew Iverson who refused to hold his caucus accountable on the oldest social institution in the history of humanity -- the marriage amendment. There are so many other examples of this two-faced politics I could cite if you want them, but in the end you don't win until you advance the agenda you believe in.
(I was speaking about the internal power struggle within the Iowa Republican Party)
There is a reason Giuliani stayed away from Iowa in the caucus. There is also a reason why a candidate like Huckabee struck lightning here in Iowa. It’s because Iowa is dominated by social conservatives. Now I'm not saying that Social Conservatives can relax and take it easy, they need to remain active. But Social Conservatives need to be engaged in the fiscal conservative issues like they are on the social issues.
On this I agree, but in the end you can't have low regulation, reasonable taxation, and small government without socially sound policy and Biblical morality in place. You can't stop illegal immigration by killing off one-sixth of your next generation's workforce through infanticide. You can't shrink the social safety net without preserving the family. And on and on. God is in charge down here, not us, and we simply will not prosper long-term trying to conduct society contrary to His law. Many, many Republicans/conservatives believe this. The real question is does the Republican Party. Does it want David Yepsen to write nice columns about them, or does it want to win elections? It won't be able to do both.
Does any of this make sense? I get frustrated even writing this.
Anyway, thanks for letting me vent a bit, and thanks for reading.