Real conservatives in Mississippi and throughout the nation are outraged by revelations of the underhanded tactics employed in the recent runoff election between incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, and his primary challenger Chris McDaniel. In last week’s runoff election, Cochran managed to beat back McDaniel by a margin of less than two percent. However, it has since been revealed that Cochran’s backers employed slanderous fear mongering in order to create panic among the state’s black population as a manipulation tactic to get them to the polls to vote for Cochran.
Such behavior is indicative of the arrogance of the political class, and highlights the ultimate contempt that it holds not only for its political opposition, but also for those members of its base that are considered unsophisticated and gullible. Throughout the course of recent elections, Democrats have stoked the flames of racial discord by claiming that efforts to ensure legitimate voting by requiring identification are actually ploys to suppress minority votes. Yet in the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff, the GOP Establishment colluded with Democrats to demagogue minorities. Post election polling data decisively shows that, were it not for these sordid tactics, Cochran would have been soundly defeated. No doubt the liberal propagandists and their “Republican” sycophants on the nightly news will claim that McDaniels’ fate proves him and his kind to be “unelectable.” But absent such chicanery, he clearly would have been victorious.
In truth, liberal Republicans long ago joined forces with liberal Democrats behind closed doors, and the extent of their duplicity is only now becoming apparent. While Mississippi represents one of the most heinous deceptions, it is certainly not an isolated event. In fact, a silver lining may exist deep within this dark and putrid cloud. Perhaps this can serve as the wake up call for those at the grassroots who have been desperately clinging to the rosy notion that the GOP is essentially conservative and actually supports the Constitution and their values. At its inner circles, it is truly a morally bankrupt and self-serving organization.
This assessment should not be construed as a clarion call to abandon any politician who marches under the “Republican” banner, Chris McDaniel himself being a prime example of why conservatives need to remain within the Republican Party and continue the fight from there. However, the dishonesty and hypocrisy with which members at the highest levels of the party are willing to pursue their political agenda (and it is clearly not a conservative agenda) must be recognized for what it is, serving as a defining characteristic of the GOP Establishment. Every person who supports or defends the manner in which Cochran amassed his “voting base,” or who now attempts to invoke the situation as proof of the political superiority of the GOP “Establishment” (and that list includes many ostensibly conservative talking heads) must be ever after regarded as an infiltrating member of the political opposition.
It is crucial to understand that while the Mississippi episode is perhaps among the worst and most flagrant example, it is only the latest evidence of a political party that long ago ceased to carry a torch for any political philosophy, but willingly exchanged principle for the perks and power of public office.
For far too long, Republican big-wigs have directly undermined conservative groundswells, falsely claiming that they had to focus on the “bigger picture,” in which the welfare of the party would, at some point in the future, ostensibly redound positively to the conservative agenda. And for far too long, conservatives have reluctantly accepted such premises, hoping that they would eventually be rewarded for their loyalty. In 2004, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was gaining momentum against incumbent Senator Arlen Specter, who had inarguably proven himself to be a RINO. In response, President George W. Bush made more than two dozen campaign stops in Pennsylvania on behalf of Specter, hoping to gain a degree of loyalty from Specter and in the process, secure Pennsylvania in the “Red” state column in the ensuing presidential election.
Specter did manage to deflect Toomey’s primary challenge by a razor thin margin, no doubt bolstered in part by the intensity of Bush’s support. However, on election night in 2004, Pennsylvania remained in the “blue” column, supporting Democrat challenger John Kerry by a comfortable margin. And in April of 2009, Specter committed what was possibly the only honest act of his political career when he switched his party affiliation to the Democrats. In summation, Bush had sold out the conservative base in a vain effort to bolster his own political fortunes in the Keystone state, and to serve the interests of the GOP Establishment. In the end he accomplished neither.
For several decades, the “black vote” has been taken for granted by the Democrat party, which makes lavish promises of implementing utopia, but only continues to deliver meager subsistence in the form of government handouts. At the same time, Democrats venomously oppose any real efforts to improve life for America’s urban minorities, such as voucher programs that would free children from the educational wastelands of the government schools. Educated children are likely to become independent and self-sufficient adults, which could weaken their reliance on the empty promises of the “nanny state.” So the cycle continues. Democrats cruelly consign minorities to a fate of subsisting at the bidding of the state, which degrades their lives while ensuring their subordination and compliance to the whims of the party with no real fixes or improvements ever intended.
Grassroots conservatives are right to decry this vicious cycle, since it clearly exploits vulnerable individuals, destroying their hopes and aspirations for the sake of the political class. However, in the aftermath of the Cochran/McDaniel situation, it is high time for conservatives to engage in some serious soul searching. If the blind loyalties of minorities to the Democrat political machine are to be disparaged because they have nothing of worth to show for it, should conservatives likewise be considering what their loyalty to the GOP has ever gotten them? What wrongheaded federal program has ever been rolled back? Which onerous department has been shut down? When has the liberal agenda and all of its damaging repercussions ever been truly reversed?
No doubt, between now and November, the GOP Establishment will be doing its best to assuage the anger of Mississippi conservatives. It is absolutely predictable that the insiders will once again engage in their sanctimonious exhortations of “party unity” in hopes of bringing the disenfranchised back into the fold, just in time to go to the polls and vote for Republican “business as usual.” Yet if their efforts are successful and conservatives rally in support of Cochran, the only enduring result will be the sanctioning of this week’s traitorous collaboration with the Democrats, by which such chicanery is validated and enshrined as a worthwhile political “strategy.” Thus the party elites can ensure that future Chris McDaniels and Ted Cruz types are stifled, silenced and ultimately expunged from the Republican Party. It is high time for true grassroots conservatives to send the self-serving political insiders of the GOP a starkly different message.