What exactly does “Establishment GOP” even mean these days? I’ve pondered this question over and over, with little answer. From what I can gather, any conservative politician who identifies as a Republican is now a member of the “Establishment GOP,” with the exception of those running who lack any political record. Lack of experience now disqualifies you from being a member of this evil, maniacal cult of “Republican establishment hacks!” But wait, there’s more! You also must be rich enough to fund your own campaign, otherwise you are surely – without doubt – a filthy, soul sucking, America hating RINO.
As I write this, I’ve flipped over to Twitter to do a simple search.
These are the first 4 results:
“RINO Romney is considering another run.”
“George Will: Guardian of The #GOP “Establishment”
However, the greatest find was the “rinotracker” website, which I refuse to link, because it’s silly, and I wasted too much time on it already. Additionally, if you’re interested in said website, and frequent it as a serious source for news, I sincerely apologize for the level of dislike you may have for me after this post.
I was a faithful follower of Andrew Breitbart, and I still swear by his genius. He ignited the conservative movement, and unfortunately the website that thrives under his name bears little resemblance to the kind of warrior he was. When the Tea Party was beginning, I fully supported the grassroots movement, the citizen journalism, and the attack on certain members of the GOP who had failed us for far too long. They were, in essence, the “establishment” in my mind. However, as the Tea Party evolved, and after the tragic death of Andrew, I found myself splitting from their ranks out of necessity. It was no longer about small government, the movement had become something completely different.
Conservationists throughout the United States have always baffled me, some of their techniques are rather interesting. Animal A is a nuisance, so they bring in Animal B, Animal B controls Animal A, but now they must bring in Animal C to control Animal B. By the time you get to uncontrollable Animal D, you find that it’s a much greater nuisance than Animal A. Animal A dug up your carrots, Animal D viciously attacks your livestock. The conundrum of it all makes you dizzy. The Tea Party was brought in to annihilate a nuisance, it morphed, and now that those who claim the “Tea Party” title are eating the family pets we don’t really know what to do with it.
So did the people in the Tea Party change? Not really. I think the sane fought, overhauled and replaced a lot of representatives, and demanded better candidates. They succeeded. Of course they didn’t purge them all, that would never happen; there will always be members of our own party we dislike. However, after changing the conservative culture, we then split off and said, “okay, now let’s get some issues taken care of.” Meanwhile, the not-so-sane that had been awakened by the movement decided to hate everyone while disguised under the Tea Party name, and I’ll explain how that works later.
Now, oddly enough, those who hate the establishment tend to love Ronald Reagan. I mean, doesn’t everybody? They may love Reagan, but do they know him?
From firing 11,000 air traffic controllers, to ending the Cold War, we find that Reagan was a man of action. Under Reaganomics, 16 million new jobs were created. On top of that, the military was strengthened, he simplified the income-tax code, and stood for the principles of the Founding Fathers. We elevate him in our mind to their rank, rightly so, and the vast majority of conservatives consider him an easy addition to their top 5 list of Presidents.
Only one itty bitty problem.
Guys, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Reagan was a RINO.
Ronald Reagan was a fighter, but he was also strategic, and at times he compromised.
“He came into office with a strong set of principles and, with some digressions and a few failures, fought for them, represented them and stood by them,” Ken Khachigian, Reagan’s former speechwriter and political strategist
According to Lou Cannon, an author who wrote several books on Ronald Reagan, there was more to Ronald than simply his unwavering set of morals.
“Reagan was practical and willing to calibrate.”
Stuart Spencer, a strategist who worked with Reagan throughout his political career echoed those sentiments:
“When push came to shove, he did various things he didn’t like doing, because he knew it was in the best interests of the state or country at the time.”
Reagan was once a Democrat, yes, but his opinions had evolved over time, and he was also a Democrat when the Democrats weren’t yet the Socialist party. It was a gentle and educated movement in his political leanings throughout 30 or more years as the Democrat party began to seep into the bowels of societal pandering, not an overnight switch; far from a simple flip-flop. He was an optimist to the core, and polite and respectful – even to those who disagreed with him. While I have a few opposing views with Sir Reagan, he earned the pedestal he was hoisted upon.
He was, in essence, the “establishment” faction that the new activists so often preach against, yet he accomplished much. People frequently tell me that Republicans and Democrats are the same, “the whole lot of them” they declare. I take a deep breath, I gather my wits, and attempt to respond with a level of decency I had to gather from the furthest reaches of my brain garden.
I mean, if we could label someone in the current race as “Establishment GOP” it would surely be Graham, Jeb, or Christie, correct? They’re the most hated these days, right? Yet I am still fearless in saying they are distinctively different from Hillary, Biden, or the Socialist twit clogging up social media with his geriatric hippy love. I can confidently say that while I may not ever give them my primary vote, they’d be night and day compared to the current inhabitants of the White House.
“Establishment GOP,” “RINO,” and “Cuckservative” titles are bemusing at best at this point, but I think these labels have become second nature because they’ve been depleted of any meaning, and are now the cheapest, easiest, unchallenged arguments available. They don’t require much thought, you don’t have to research, you don’t even have to have the slightest clue what any candidate stands for. Better yet, you don’t even have to know what you stand for. It’s easy, unprincipled, and cheap. Don’t like someone? They’re the “Establishment GOP.” Your candidate is charismatic – facts be damned – so clearly anyone who opposes you is a “RINO.” Saying you disagreed with the GOP establishment faction once held power, now it’s become one large, fact lacking, vexatious, childish tantrum.
The party of “Don’t tread on me!” somehow morphed into “Daddy, I want it now!” The small government loving freedom fighters are now associated with shameless water carriers like Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin, the latter of which I believe almost proposed to Donald Trump in their most recent interview. She was positively giddy with anticipation for his next matter-of-fact statement – she was emulating a One Direction fan girl. That entire interview made Chris “thrill up my leg” Mathews look like a hardball journalist. And those are just the opinions that survived the brain filter.
This enthralling, body flinging display of political love has consumed commonsense, and what was expelled after digestion is the byproduct of the Tea Party movement. In a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, which displayed epic levels of expert trolling, they polled everyone on the same positions, yet half were led to believe they were Trump’s positions, and the other half believed they were Democrat positions. An overwhelming number of “conservatives” supported Democrat positions as long as they were listed under Donald Trump’s name. Including socialist healthcare, supporting the Iran Deal, Social Security, and affirmative action. In short: “I don’t know what he’s saying, but I like him, and that’s enough!”
Example #1: Iran Deal
In the HuffPost/YouGov poll, while just 20 percent of Republicans told that Kerry opposes ripping up the Iran deal agree with him, more than half of those told that Trump opposes doing so concur.
Example #2: Affirmative Action
Republicans who hear that Obama supports the program, however, are 22 points more likely to disagree with affirmative action than those who hear that Trump supports it.
16% of Republicans agreed with Obama on the exact same universal healthcare question they asked under Trump’s name; however, Trump garnered 44% of the Republican agreement. 16% to 44% is astounding, to put it mildly. That large of a percentage has no idea what they really support, nor what they’re purchasing, they just like the name-brand tag attached.
So I ask again, what is the “Establishment GOP” when candidates who are further right than Reagan are now the “RINOs,” and those who support them are “cuckservative establishment hacks”? In the world of Clickbait Conservatism, there is no distinction for the labels because, as noted before, those using them don’t even know what they mean; furthermore, and most importantly, they’re not conservatives.
Words have meaning, titles have meaning. I’m not making this claim in anger, nor throwing the “well, you’re just not a conservative!” fit. I’m saying that, logically, they do not fit under the conservative, nor GOP, tent. It’s as simple as that. It’s as plain as saying, “Wait, upon further tests of this meat, we’ve found that it isn’t beef at all, it’s actually pork.”
I was, and still am, an adamant fan of the show House; I was convinced that Dr. House was my spirit animal. My favorite part of each episode was clearly the revelation moment at the end. Wasn’t that everyone’s favorite part? The final puzzle piece, nestled it its place after the great epiphany. Throughout the last month I’ve been told, “Maybe we’re the people who stayed home in recent elections because we refused to vote for RINO Romney, elitist hack McCain, or Establishment Bush? Trump represents us! Finally!” This sentence, and those similar, caused me to have that House-like lightning bolt of realization. “I get it!” I proclaimed. Romney was, by all accounts, as conservative – if not more so – than Reagan; as was Bush. The logical explanation for this newest phenomenon is not that some faction of the conservative movement has been driven away, but that they were never conservatives to begin with. They’re thriving under our label because they don’t have one.
WE get to claim Reagan, they wouldn’t vote for him today.
WE get to claim Coolidge, they wouldn’t vote for him today.
WE get to claim a respect for the Founding Fathers, they reject their principles of small government.
WE get to claim respect for smaller government, they are actively trying to grow it.
The political winds have shifted, the Democrats have slipped into Socialism. Meanwhile, this silly group that consists of socialism rejecting democrats, political hobos, and racist residue, have been shaken and revitalized by vitriol. We shook the proverbial snowglobe only to find that dysentery raineth down upon the small, Twisted Sister singing village inside – definitely not fluffy white confetti. They are motion sensor activists who were unfortunately triggered by the end of the Tea Party movement. With no home, they’ve camped under our tent. They, and their one-liners – need to be removed. If the respectful few who have been hypnotized by their irresistible pull wish to go with them, we must let them, and just pray they find their way back. Like the prodigal son, returning with nothing more than little Southern Border statues and “Make America Great Again” hat receipts. And we, like the good conservatives we are, will welcome them back with open arms.
Don’t worry, this type of purge has been done before.
In the early 1830’s the “Whig party” began. People were angry over Andrew Jackson and his “king like” ruling of the nation. The “Whig party” was created by a group in English politics who were adamantly against the royal tyranny. Abraham Lincoln, for example, was a member of the Whig Party. This party was a mixture of everything, including fiscal conservative Democrats and Anti-Masons.
By the time 1856 came along the Whig party was completely falling apart…SO the ever important issue of slavery split the party into the Northern “Conscience Whigs” (Booo slavery), and the Southern “Cotton Whigs” (Yay! Slavery is good). While the Southern slavery loving “Cotton Whigs” found a place to call home in the Democrat party, the Northern slavery hating Whigs became the Republican Party.
Just as we told those slavery supporting doorknobs to go find a different umbrella, we need to do the same today.
So, how about we stop fighting over the “establishment” and start having political discussions concerning candidates who are far from the “GOP establishment.” The next time someone says “establishment GOP” ask them what exactly that is, and why a certain candidate is in that category. What does an anti-establishment supporter look like policy wise? Then when they blunder – which they will – thoroughly school them, and tell them to go find their own party. As a conservative, I believe everyone has a right to their opinions; however, I don’t believe it’s acceptable to label chocolate chip cookies as “steak.” I look at this the same way; you can have your beliefs, but you don’t get to slap the conservative label on them because you like the way it looks.