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Friday, May 5, 2017
Repeal and Replace the Republican Party
In an American Thinker article on October 19 of last year, I argued that conservatives ought to consider strongly creating a National Conservative Party. In that article, I asked the question: "Does anyone seriously doubt that the Republican Party, which unlike the Democrat Party is supposed to actually stand for certain principles and values, is grievously and probably terminally broken?"
What are the possible solutions? We could recruit and run conservatives as Democrat candidates for elective offices right up to the presidential candidate. Few conservatives seem interested in this approach, and because it would take a major effort, it would be doomed to fail.
Conservatives could try, as we have been doing since Reagan, to vote out in primaries those Republicans who do not really want to fix the problems in Washington and to put into leadership positions principled conservatives who will do what they promise. This has not worked – and that is stating it mildly.
Conservatives could boycott elections or run independent candidates who have no realistic chance of winning an election. While this might cost Republicans elections, the winner would be not conservatives, but Democrats, who are at least as bad as Republicans. The idea would be to punish Republicans into being better, but there is no reason at all to believe that it would work.
Why not, instead, do what I suggested last October and create a new National Conservative Party? Conservatives remain the largest ideological group in America, with the most recent Battleground Poll, taken after the 2016 election, showing that 52% of those who picked any ideological choice – conservative, moderate, or liberal – chose conservative. Virtually all other polls show conservatives significantly outnumbering liberals nationally.
The CNN exit poll revealed some shocking consequences of Trump not being perceived by conservative voters as a conservative. Hillary won 48.3% of the popular vote, and 5.6% of that represented conservatives who voted for her over Trump. If Trump had won every conservative vote, then he would have gotten 51.5% of the popular vote, and Hillary would have gotten 42.7%.
Trump did get some liberal votes, but if Hillary had gotten all the liberal votes and Trump none, Trump would have gotten 48.9% of the popular vote to Hillary's 45.3%. Nationally, the failure of Republican candidates to garner all conservative votes costs much more than Democrats' failure to garner all liberal votes.
State by state the situation looks worse. Gallup reported this year that in 44 states, conservatives outnumber liberals; in two states, the two groups are tied; and in only four states, liberals outnumber conservatives. Moreover, in 33 states, the conservative advantage is at least ten percentage points, and these states have 325 electoral votes, 66 Senate seats, and 275 House seats – far more than Republicans have won in modern times.
It sure looks as though a National Conservative Party could do much better in winning elections than the Republican Party. How should the campaign for such a party be organized? Why not have a national convention this summer in which a very specific, brief, and clear platform is adopted that included exactly what this party would do if in power and directly blaming both major political parties for creating the mess we are in today?
Communicate this platform directly to voters by as many media outlets as possible, giving voters during this season of great discontent, in which no one trusts Washington and no one trusts Congress, a genuine alternative in the 2018 midterm elections. Begin to build a grassroots network and a national database.
The next step would be to push states to adopt the Louisiana System, in which anyone can run in the first election for political office, but the top two vote-getters face each other if no candidate wins a majority. Republican Party candidates would soon be pushed into extinction in most states. Electoral votes, of course, would need to be chosen this way, too.
If this party won substantial numbers of seats in the next Congress, its members should reject compromise and move to change the structure of Congress so that all the wicked little machinations used to hide what is really happening are purged and so that the people can actually see what is going on without the mystical musings of Capitol punditry.
Would this work? It is hard to see how it could not be better than having the two Siamese twins – Washington Party A and Washington Party B – has been for America.