The present-day American conservative movement appears to be growing up. And it just might realize success if they continue to progress strategically over tactically. In other words, rather than passionately working to win elections, they must determine to ruthlessly persist in defeating the domestic enemies of an endless war over the soul of America.
Tea Party triumph will require these three components:
1. Organize like the original Americans
The Colonists in 1776 worked out the differences among their members. And some of those differences were quite significant. But coming to terms with each other was easily preferable to living under the oppression of the Crown. The modern movement is also made up of many stripes on the same flag; tea party, liberty movement, constitutional conservatives, grassroots activists, and libertarians. They need look no further than the original rebellion to find a well-thought-out set of principles to agree upon. The Declaration of Independence, exactly as it was written 238 years ago, would serve ideally as their mission statement.
The Life group may not be the Liberty group. And the Pursuit of Happiness group may not be the Life group. But this is serious business once again. In order to triumph over the well-organized and entrenched statists, the Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness patriots (LLP Patriots) need to coalesce as the party majority under the Republican “big tent” banner. And for the support of the Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, the members of this movement must mutually pledge to each other their Lives, their Fortunes, and their sacred Honor.
In addition to religiously adhering to the wisdom of the ancients, the movement needs to build a farm team. Reliably predicting the future behavior of elected officials based on their campaign speeches has proven to be far from an exact science. The movement needs to eliminate as much guesswork as possible by changing the primary election paradigm. Rather than training skilled politicians in the principles of LLP Patriotism, they need to provide political training to philosophically committed LLP Patriots whom they have recruited to run for elected office.
2. Follow Robert Greene’s book The 33 Strategies of War
Defeating the Tea Party has been child’s play for the past several election cycles. Because the liberty movement is new to the game, the statists need only deploy a few proven techniques to remain in control. The most frequent fatal mistake by the movement is to run multiple conservative candidates against a single insider. The primary vote is split and the elite candidate keeps the seat for the establishment. It is mostly by the mere surge of activists that the movement has more currently overwhelmed many elections.
Encouragingly, that movement has been organically organizing, like stem cells who understand their design and know their purpose. Social media, local radio talk shows, breakfast clubs and weeknight gatherings have provided the bones for connective tissue to grow and strengthen. New liberty candidates are marching forward while traditional officeholders are looking over their shoulder.
Author Robert Greene has provided a smart handbook, written as advice to business professionals, that would elevate the LLP Patriot strategy to where it needs to be. The 33 Strategies of War is comprehensive and serious. And it goes further than what the statists have developed as their own routine like the perfected Strategy #17, Divide and Conquer.
Strategy #12, The Grand Strategy, should become the LLP Patriot cynosure, “It's the art of looking beyond the battle and calculating ahead. It requires that you focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it. Let others get caught up in the twists and turns of the battle, relishing their little victories. Grand strategy will bring you the ultimate reward: the last laugh.”
Following Greene’s instructions would also turn one of the movement’s weaknesses into a strength. Let’s face it; most people who are, shall we say outré, live on the right side of the political spectrum. Strategy #10, Deterrence, puts that to use, “Build up a reputation: You're a little crazy. Fighting you is not worth it. Uncertainty is sometimes better than overt threat: If your opponents are never sure what messing with you will cost, they will not want to find out.”
3. Seize every opportunity to advance
Until a strong bench of solid candidates has been developed, the movement will need to make intelligent choices that they usually dismiss as distasteful. The classic protest response of refusing to vote for the “establishment” Republican nominee always results in losing ground. The principled concern is whether electing the Republican establishment’s candidate is worse than electing the Democrat.
So, I propose this solution based on Greene’s book, Strategy #13, Intelligence, “Train yourself to read people, picking up the signals they unconsciously send about their innermost thoughts and intentions.” Categorize every candidate as a Marxist, RINO, Wayward Patriot, or Patriot. Consider for example, in clockwise order, the four elected officials pictured here.
In the upper left is US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont – Marxist. He even describes himself as a socialist. This is our nation’s domestic enemy and should be treated with merciless disdain in the battle of elections.
The upper right is US Senator Susan Collins of Maine – RINO. Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) associate with the GOP because Republicans are more interesting, more attractive, and they smell better. The election of a RINO is a step backward for liberty and drawing this distinction by not giving them your vote in the general election is justified.
The lower right is US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida – Wayward Patriot. Rubio has the makings of a champion for freedom as an articulate son of immigrants from Cuba. This young senator jeopardized his conservative reputation when trying to negotiate a solution to the sticky illegal immigration controversy. But he holds an admirable voting record as the 12th most conservative member of the United States Senate according to the Heritage Action Scoreboard. While frustrating, electing a Wayward Patriot over any Democrat does move the party closer to the goals of the LLP Patriots. LLP Patriots would then work with the Wayward Patriot during the ensuing term of that office to sensitize them in LLP principles or recruit their replacement for the next primary.
The lower left is Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona – Patriot. Franks is the most conservative member of the United States House of Representatives according to the Heritage Action Scoreboard. Champions like Congressman Franks should be elevated frequently and publicly as an encouraging example to their colleagues.
Understanding the difference between a democracy and a republic is critical here. A democracy does not have much of a conscience. It is shortsighted, never improves the quality of life, and is relatively easy to maintain through influencing majority opinion. But a republic, founded in the principles of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness, requires constant attention, education of the people, and a harsh guarding of access to elected authority.
As recorded by Maryland delegate Dr. James McHenry; On emerging from signing the final draft of the US Constitution, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a Pennsylvania woman, “Well Doctor, what have we got; a republic or a monarchy?”
Franklin famously replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
God, grant me the ingenuity to defeat liberty’s enemies,
The courage to enlighten wayward patriots,
And wisdom to know the difference.