HONOLULU, July 25, 2015 — When asked to describe the ideal qualities of a professional politician, Winston Churchill is said to have joked, “The ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year — and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.” Over the last two decades, the institutional Republican Party has developed an art for selecting the most detestable presidential candidates available to mankind, and prophesying to voters that “unless you put aside your preferences and all vote for Mr. Big (R), you’ll surrender the election to the Democrats.”
Of course, Mr. Big (R) rarely wins against Democrats; the likes of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney were all trounced in spite of the GOP’s flint-faced assurances that their candidate was the winning formula. At the local level in states like Hawaii, Republican campaign staff and party volunteers have made post-defeat debriefings a regular tradition, where demoralized conservatives dial in to a conference call to hear a litany of excuses why the latest “Republican wave” failed to materialize or how, goshdarnit, the Democrats just won again in spite of every effort.
The rise of the “tea party” – that is, renascent conservatism – is therefore attributable less to the onslaught of Democrats and more to the arrogance of the GOP leadership. Distressed by the party’s systemic patterns of slighting fiscal or social conservatives in favor of out-of-touch, left-leaning Republicans (you know them as “RINOs”), persons who traditionally identified with the Republican brand took to their state capitols and town halls all across the country and organized a ronin-like counteroffensive to take back America’s honor. In 2010, the tea party shook the foundations of city councils, state legislatures, and the Congress and proved itself to be a force to be reckoned with.
Though tea party candidates since the 2010 election have suffered some key defeats and made a few blunders in office, their movement has nonetheless succeeded in keeping viable traditional American values in spite of the compromises of the GOP and the activism of the Democrats. Americans have seen the disastrous effects of both major parties colluding against them, and all across the country we are witnessing an increased distrust for the political establishment.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties are fighting internal civil wars for the souls of their organizations. The rising surge of Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton and the massive fracturing of the GOP for anyone other than Jeb Bush is proof that America is restless and on the brink of a watershed change. But of all the groups poised to act on this moment of decision, no movement is better prepared to win than the tea party.
America is burned out with President Obama and won’t elect Hillary Clinton no matter how much the mainstream media’s focus groups or polls say she will. Mrs. Clinton offers nothing new to liberal voters other than the allure of being the first woman to win the presidency, a novelty that still does not pay off the $1.2 trillion in student debt or erases the inflationary hardships inflicted by President Obama’s monetary policy.
The Law of Diminishing Returns also applies to the partnership between the Democrats and LBGTs, who, thanks to President Obama’s zeal, already possess everything they want in the form of gay marriage and a repeal of don’t ask/don’t tell in the military.
Short of electing an openly gay president, LBGTs have nothing else to gain by voting for more Democrats or electing Mrs. Clinton, whose own husband in signing the Defense of Marriage Act remarked, “I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position. The Act confirms the right of each state to determine its own policy with respect to same gender marriage and clarifies for the purposes of federal law the operative meaning of the terms ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse.'”
Anti-war protesters won’t vote Democratic, either. The country has seen all too well what a Nobel Peace Prize-winner like President Obama actually does in the White House, and anti-war protesters are suffering the worst case of cognitive dissonance since the Vietnam War.
In short, the Democrats have already played their cards and expended their options. All that remains for the American public now are paying the bills and staying out of the crosshairs of China/Russia/ISIS/Iran, and deep down the voters know those are two areas where the traditional establishment Ds and Rs can’t be trusted to make the right call.
The upcoming primaries will annihilate the establishment picks of both parties as zealous insurgents on the left and the right will flood the caucuses and distort the election into a contest of extremity. The end result will be that the Democratic primaries will choose the candidate that offers the most (scarce) crumbs from President Obama’s table and Republicans will pick the candidate that promises to flip over Obama’s table.
The tea party can only stand to win from this engagement, because the Democrats will no longer have the unified coalitions they need to achieve a win set. You can be sure that most of Obama’s 2008 voters will stay home in 2016, either out of disgust for who the Democratic nominee is or from contentment of having already received their “historic” gains.
The tea party, whose coalition spans low-income blue collar workers, rural voters, stay-at-home moms, hyperidealistic honor-bound military academy cadets, military veterans, career civil service and small business owners (many of whom suffered immensely as a result of the Bush/Obama bailouts) is more diverse and yet more united than anything the Democrats have and more honorable than any of the so-called “upper crust” Republican leadership.
These tea party voters may not make large financial contributions to candidates or the GOP, but they are infectious because among their immediate spheres of influence they are seen by family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers to be authority figures and go-tos for information. They may cause an occasional argument at a weekend BBQ or a family reunion when the topic of Obamacare or some major national issue is incidentally discussed, but they are also the people who get the text messages from friends on Election Day that read “Tell me who I’m supposed to vote for!”
Forget about what you’ve heard on major network news or biased blogs. The tea party is more ready than ever before. They may be pressed on every side, but they are not crushed; they may be persecuted, but they are not abandoned; they may have been struck down again and again, but they have not been destroyed. While the Democrats and Republicans were too busy trying to change the laws, the tea party was changing their families and their communities.
Throughout the late 20th century and early 21st century, the conservative movement has fought to preserve America as a place of freedom and honor. The decline of our country, however, has changed the mission of true patriots from conservation to restoration. In my political novel “American Kiss,” a future presidential candidate calls his movement’s followers “restoratives” rather than conservatives or libertarians because he seeks to restore the unfulfilled promise of the American Dream to Generation X and Millennials. Today’s tea party stands in such a position to restore the greatness of the America, and both parties’ elites know and fear this.
The tea party has never forgotten Ronald Reagan’s words: “Your generation stands on the verge of greater advances than humankind has ever known. America’s future will be determined by your dreams and your visions.”
2016 will be the year freedom advances farther than ever before. Who will win the upcoming election? America will. Wait and see.
Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist, an ordained minister, a former elected official and the author of the new political thriller “American Kiss,” available now from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other major bookstores. DISCLOSURE: Danny de Gracia is an elected Republican district chairman, but his opinions are expressly his own and do not reflect the official opinion of any organization.