Big Tent ?

   There is an on going battle within the GOP for control of the GOP. And yes I know that this struggle has the potential to tear the party apart.

    That is why it is so important that the battle be settled as quickly as possible. With the special election coming up here in Delaware to fill the House seat for the 37th district that will be left vacant now that Joe Booth has become the next Senator for the 19th district, and with national elections and local elections coming next year that will determine the direction of the state and the nation we must find a way to unify and clarify the GOP message.

   The battle for the most part is between those who identify themselves as fiscal conservatives but socially moderate (translation, do what you want just don’t mess with my money), and those such as myself who identify themselves as straight line conservatives, both fiscal and socially conservative.

   These so called moderates will tell you that the only way to win elections is to be moderate (translation , liberal) on social issues such as abortion and immigration among any number of other social issues. They will tell you that the GOP must have a “BIG TENT” and welcome all comers to the tent.

  These liberal Republicans will tell you that it is in the best interest of the party to win elections at any cost, even at the cost of your core values. They say that to get anything done we must have “R’s” behind the names of the winning candidates.

  It may be in the best interest of the GOP to have those “R’s” behind those names, but is it in the best interest of the voters and the nation if those candidates are not conservative ?

  I give you Rep. Mike Castle as a prime example. Can he win elections ? Yes , but at what cost to conservatism ? He votes in favor of fetal stem cell research, he votes in favor of cap and trade, he votes against drilling for domestic oil, he veers off in so many directions  in a single congressional session that it is impossible to determine what exactly his ideology for running government truly is. That may be a good strategy for being a politician , but it is not for being a leader.

  Mike Castle is exactly the type of elected official you can expect to have when you are willing to allow the candidates to be able to cherry pick their ideology according to the audience that they happen to be speaking to.

  Now as for the so called big tent that these liberal Republicans are always speaking of , well it isn’t all that big really. What they really mean by big tent is fiscal conservative, socially  moderate or liberal . But if you happen to be also socially conservative please move to the back of the tent and keep your mouth shut. Don’t dare to speak your mind about abortion you might frighten the women voters. Don’t condemn illegal immigration, you might anger the Hispanic voters. And here in Delaware and especially here in Sussex don’t  speak up for protecting traditional marriage, we wouldn’t want to hurt the homosexual’s feelings. The only voter they don’t mind offending is the conservative voter.

  These big tenters are so concerned with winning elections that they have lost sight of the fact that once these people are elected they have the power to make laws . If we elect candidates that are wishy washy on issues during the election , what else can we expect once they are elected.

   These so called big tenters  believe that social conservatives should be seen at the polls but not heard in the discussions. This attitude actually alienates more people I believe than does a straight line conservative message.

  The way I see it is that the fiscal conservative, socially moderate message is a house divided, and as we all know , a house divided can not stand.

  I say that my straight line conservatism is actually more inclusive and is a much bigger tent.

  If the GOP message is conservatism then the only people who are offended are the liberals and just for those in the GOP that either have forgotten or who never knew , the liberals are the ones we want to take out of power.


24 Responses to “Big Tent ?”

  1. Kingcrab Says:

    You’ve described the kind of leader I am waiting/looking for nationally. Unfortunately I can’t find one–even in my church.

  2. frankknotts Says:

    Well Kingcrab, not to be too personal , maybe you should be looking for a new church as well.
    Let me start with the fact that I include myself in this next statement. We as human beings have a tendency to become comfortable with anything that seems to be working, or better desribed anything that doesn’t directly effect ourselves in a negative manner.
    We will stay at jobs for years because they pay the bills and we are comfortable in them. We will use the same products over and over again and never wonder if their might be something out there that would clean the toilet better.
    This can be applied also to your statement about your church as well. But more importantly it is , I believe the major reason we so often see career politicians being sent back over and over again , even when so many people who vote for them are not happy with the results.
    Why does this happen ? Well name recognition is a large part of it. And why does name recognition matter so much ? Well because the majority of voters do not take the time to be involved enough to learn anything about candidates who are challenging incumbents , so the incumbents name can carry them over the hump.
    The other problem is the short memory of voters. Oh they remember if a candidate brought pork money into the state that benefitted them directly, they may even remember if the official did somehting that negatively effected them directly. But the voters, the ones who are marginally involved , who don’t take the time to read and learn will soon forget that Mike Castle voted for cap and trade. And that is if they even understand the importance of the bill.
    If the GOP is ever to regain its place as the truly conservative party then it must begin by enlightening the voters. The candidates must resist the urge to talk down to voters , and must be willing to speak the truth to the voters even when it will be unpopular.
    But to get that type of candidate we the voters must make the effort to learn and to know and to exercise our rights.
    Voting is our right , but exercising it in a responsible , intelligent and informed manner is our civic duty.


    Any registered Republican who does not fit Frank’s definition of a Conservative is not welcome in the GOP. Get out–you are not welcome!!!! Please join the Democrat party immediately and do not ever vote Republican, because you are not worthy. Even though you are a fiscal conservative, opposed to more taxes, are for smaller government, pro defense, support the 2nd amendment, and opposed to illegal aliens, you are not welcome and are just a phony Republican. IF YOU ARE NOT EXACTLY LIKE FRANK—- YOU ARE AN INCOMPLETE HUMAN BEING AND WE DON”T WANT YOU IN OUR PARTY !!! WINNING ELECTIONS IS NOT IMPORTANT FOR TRUE CONSERVATIVES!

    Make’s sense, right ???????

  4. Kingcrab Says:

    Principles do matter. There is no freedom of speech for conservatives; we make people uncomfortable.

    I know what I believe and I won’t change.



    I’m not running for anything, but I do know the issues. Personally, I am Pro life and a Christian. However, I am tolerant, which is what moderate really means in the context used here. If someone is a social moderate they are tolerant of other ideas, not liberal. All I’m saying is you will never get everybody to agree on every subject or issue. If you say to someone who agrees with you on every other issue, but happens to be Pro Choice, “you are not welcome in the GOP”, then they go to the Dems. Perhaps you do that? I don’t know you. It seems that is what Frank is advocating?

    Frankly, I feel sorry for any woman who has wilfully had an abortion. God help her. It’s between her and God and ultimately she has to live with that sin. However, even though I don’t approve, her right to do it is the law of the land, as determined by Roe v Wade. The only way you are ever going to change it is through the Supreme Court . The only way you are going to change the Supreme Court is by electing a Republican President and a Republican Senate for many many years. Considering the fact that these are life time appointments, the chances of changing the Court in order to affect a reversal of Roe V. Wade in your life time is unlikely. Unfortunately, those obsessed with this single issue, as so many Social Conservatives are, although important, seem to forget many other issues that affect American citizens.

    As to Mike Castle, I’ve always voted for him and held my breath when I pulled the lever in the voting booth. The democrat opposing him has always been worse, and Castle would hopefully be part of the majority that called the shots. Frankly, I doubt if he will run again–so using him as an example will soon be moot.

    Back to the point of the debate, I sure as hell am not going to discourage anybody from becoming a Republican and voting Republican, just because they might have a different belief system than I do on certain social issues. What is the criteria to be a true conservative? It’s just a word, just symantics. The law according to Frank? The one thing he is right about is that the GOP is being torn apart and is in chaos as a result of this issue. If we can’t be tolerant of each other, we won’t win elections. That is the only reason for having a political party. Right now, folks are leaving the GOP in droves. Principles do matter and indeed are important, but tolerance that helps to create coalitions is what wins elections. That was the strategy of Ronald Reagan and it worked for 8 glorious years.

  6. Evan Queitsch Says:

    The truth is that the fight for control of the Delaware GOP isn’t even a fair fight anymore. Conservatives are running away with it. I know it doesn’t seem like it given the events in Sussex County but there are enough people pissed about the lack of planning in that election to question the current do nothing leadership.

  7. frankknotts Says:

    Well since Mr. Bennett has seen fit to visit my insignifigant little site and to go on at length in response to my article let me now respond to his posting.
    In his first response he does his usual trick of putting words into someone elses mouth. So we will ignore that posting for now.
    Now in his second posting he attempts to make several points while not actually saying anything new for him.
    First of all he mentions the word tolerant or tolerance four times, yet the main thrust of his post is intolerance for social conservatives within the GOP. Wow ! That reminds me of the Democrats.
    On the pro-choice issue he falls back to the argument that we need not talk of it within the GOP because it is the “LAW OF THE LAND”, well Mr. Bennett how do we change the law of the land ? If not by electing leaders that feel the way we do? Oh wait he then tells us how to change it , but says it’s just too hard for him , so don’t even bother.
    Now let me put Mr. Bennett’s tolerance to lie and also his claim to being a fiscal conservative. I use Mr. Bennett as an example because he is willing to come here and demonstrate exactly the type of “MODERATE” I am speaking of.
    Mr. Bennett says, “As to Mike Castle , I’ve always voted for him and held my breath when I pulled the lever in the voting booth.”
    So Mr. Bennett , does Mr. Castle’s vote on cap and trade meet your criteria for what is a fiscal conservative?
    Now as to Mr. Bennett’s tolerance , he says that , “I sure as hell am not going to discourage anybody from becoming a Republican and voting Republican, just because they might have a different belief system than I do on certain social issues.”
    Okay I have asked Mr. Bennett this question before , this is where his life usually becomes extremely busy and he can’t find the time to respond, but let me try again.
    Mr. Bennett , you say you will welcome those who are socially moderate or liberal to the GOP if they are fiscally conservative , but lety us suppose that there were to be a movement of people who were conservative on all of the big social issues, they were against abortion , they were against the attack on traditional marriage, they wanted stronger enforcement of immigration, but they were tax and spend liberals who thought that the best way to spread there ideas on social issues would be to grow the size and power of government and to do this they wanted to raise taxes and give the money to no one but churches of their choice ? Would you welcome them into the GOP? If not your tent just got smaller.
    In your first post you accuse me of being intolerant of those I don’t agree with, well you know what ? You damn right I am , because I believe that I am correct and why should I tolerate those I feel to be wrong . That sir is what is known as standing up for what you believe in and I have no problem in doing that , though far too many of our candidates and leaders do. You will never hear me say ” Personally, I am pro life and a Christian “, and then in the next breath or line say “However”. Either you are or you aren’t .
    People who always try to stay the middle course are either confused or attempting to confuse someone else so as to win an election.
    I personally would rather elect an honest person who sometimes offends me , than to elect a grinning jackanapes who will tell you what it is that you want to hear whether it be the truth or not.

  8. Kingcrab Says:

    Frank, take it easy. I don’t want you having a heart attack on the road.

    I have followed Jed Bennet’s illustrious career since coming to DE when he was a frequent visitor on Randy’s show. I was not surprised to see him switch to the Dems.

    Unfortunately his actions and the last couple of elections proved to me that many of the DE Republicans and Democrats are interchangeable. So much for principles.

    Hocker is one who has principles but isn’t known well enough state-wide==meaning: in New Castle. Nationally my favorite would be former UN Amb John Bolton. As you can see I have a long wait for the leader who has the qualities I look for; but I pray for my country every day.

  9. frankknotts Says:

    Kingcrab , Mr. Bennett never actually swithed to the Dems officially, though he did endorse the Democrat in the county council race in his district . That of course was because he identified with her ideology more than that of the Republican because Ms. Deaver is such a fiscal conservative I guess.

  10. Kingcrab Says:

    Thanks for setting me straight.


    Frank, et al. I am a Republican, always have been a Republican.–I never switched parties and I do not intend to. I did endorce Deaver because I agree with her position on land use. I’m for managed growth and protecting the environment–a true conservative issue by the way for those who know what the word means.

    Frank, you take things out of context and operate your argument accordingly. Regardless, I would love to find a compromise to preserve the Grand Ole Party, without you leaving or me leaving or being in a devisive situation that causes us both to lose? If you don’t want moderate Republicans to leave, What do you mean? What is the answer to solving the issue that we are both concerned about? I’m open?

  12. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennet , if you read my previous post I said that you never left the party officially. Now if you will also go back to my post above and answer the question of who “you” are willing to accept into the GOP then I will work on answering yours.
    Would you be willing to accept and vote for candidates who are strictly social conservative , but who are fiscal liberals ? Would you support these people based souly on them being Republicans if they held the belief that the best way to run the government was to tax and spend? What if they wanted to develope every inch of the coast line with churches and revival camps ?
    You already stated above in your last post that you supported Ms. Deaver because she more closely represented your views on land use , which means that you were unwilling to support Mr. Baker as the Republican based on a single issue.
    So tell me Mr. Bennett why are your single issues any more valid a reason to not support a Republican than mine or anyone elses?
    My theory is to build a party based on conservatism and to address all issues with the intention of solving them through conservative ideals.



    I heard your call to Shaun Fink on WGMD the other day. I spoke with him yesterday on another matter. He absolutely is in favor of a Conservative Movement, as am I. However there is a huge difference between a movement and a winning political party. Shaun understands that and is for the Big Tent. Nothing wrong with being a full blown Conservative, Social and fiscal–however these are just labels and symantics? Our difference is that I get the impression that you openly don’t want certain people in our party. I’m not talking about candidates–I’m talking about registerd Republicans. I concede to you that my single issues are indeed no more valid than are yours.

    However, Let me try this approach: You’ve been slamming Mike Castle quite frequently—justifyably I might add. You have 3 hypothetical choices: 1) Vote for Mike Castle, who is no doubt a moderate Republican who rarely votes the straight Party line, but does more than he does not. (2) Vote for his Democrat opponent who FOR ARGUMENT SAKE, let’s say is an extreme liberal, pro choice, anti –traditional marrige, weak on defense, for increased gun control, and wants to open our borders. (3) Not vote at all. WHAT WOULD FRANK KNOTTS DO IN THIS CASE? Your answer will be very telling.

    That being said, Frank I really don’t want to be your advisary. I don’t want hard feelings. I’m too old and tired and beat up to fight any more. There is common ground–perhaps we should have lunch and talk.

  14. frankknotts Says:

    Mr.Bennett, you really didn’t answer my question about welcoming fiscal liberals into the GOP.
    But let me answer you. You say I have only three options in regards to Rep. Castle, for or against or not at all. I say I have a fourth option and that is the one I choose to exercise. I can speak out against him and hopefully convince other people within the GOP that he is a negative influence on the party and the nation and should not be supported and if that means I have to not vote for him because party leadership is more concerned with “Rs” than the betterment of this country then that is what I will do in this case. This man voted for a bill that will double the cost of energy for the poorest of this country, not so fiscal conservative in my view and on the social side has pushed stem cell research. How can I support such a man with a clear conscience?
    As for who I want in the party on a voter level , well I want people who have conservative values in all aspects of their lives. I would like people who would not help elect people like Mike Castle.
    I am interested in moving this nation forward in a positive way and I believe that the best way to do that is conservatism. And if you believe that that is just a labels and symantics then we are worlds apart.
    Again I will ask a question that I have asked before and gotten no answer, in your big tent world you and others feel that you can’t win elections without grovelling before social liberals ,oh I’m sorry social moderates, so tell me how many elections can you win without social conservatives ? Because if the GOP doesn’t read the writing on the wall it will alienate those of us who are being told to back burner issues that are extremely important.
    Now if you want my easy answer it is this, ” COUNTRY FIRST “,not the GOP or the Democrats , but the nation . I put the interest of this nation first and formost and anything that I feel is counter to the nations best interest is worth fighting against and if that happens to be Mike Castle so be it. I make my decisions based on my life experiences and common sence and my limited intellect and not on party affiliation. I choose to work for the GOP , (though I admit that some times it’s hard see it that way) because that is the party that most closely represents my views, so I speak out to try and move others to my view point. Whether I am successful or not depends on other people’s individual choices.


    Answer to questions: 1)I don’t want to lose social conservatives in the GOP. 2) I ‘ve met very few Republicans who were fiscal liberals (although Castle has concerned me). 3) I don’t grovel before anybody nor do I expect anybody else to do so. That statement is absurd Frank, does nothing for the discussion, and you know it.

    Like you Frank, I am a Republican because, “that is the party that most closely represents my views”.

    The only issue we disagree on is how to revitalize the GOP which is in deep trouble, especially in Delaware. I’ve done a lot of work over the years for the Republican Party and I’ve never seen it so divided.

  16. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennett , what we seem to disagree on is whether we want a GOP that is 180 degrees from the Democrats or a party that in my opinion too closely mirrors them. I believe we as Republicans must ask ourselves do we think that conservatism is the answer to our nations troubles and whether or not it is being exercised properly.


    Mr Knotts (since you seem to want to remain very formal) ,

    Now we’re getting close. I agree that conservatism is the answer to our nation’s troubles—-whether or not it is being exercised properly is another question? I’m not sure how that would work? Social Issues and fiscal issues together? Please advise and I will be happy to respond..

  18. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennett, Christ said I should forgive , he didn’t say anything about forgetting. You have attacked me on more than one occasion in a persoanl manner when all I have done is to speak my political mind, Christ also said to turn the other cheek but that doesn’t mean I can’t duck if I see it coming.
    As to your question of “social issues and fiscal issues together? ” I refer you to the article I posted last night ” All Issues Are Relative” also I will be posting articles in the future that demonstrate that all issues are both fiscal and social and that that is why we must apply conservative ideals to solve them.


    Mr. Knotts,

    Yes, the forgiveness and forgetting thing works both ways. I clearly recall, after I had extended you the hand of friendship (more than once), a 15 minute diatribe by you against me on WGMD right before the election. It seemed like an eternity. It was indeed political, but was also personal. I had just gotton some really bad news about my wife. We were in our car on the way home from the doctor’s office. I remember when you finished, her quiet sobbing . Yep,I doubt if I’ll ever forget that day. Not that it really made the difference in the outcome–most likely not, but your, personal, public eviseration of me that day was so unnecessary. I never saw it coming. It hurt me and it hurt my wife. There I’ve said it for all the world to see. So now you know. Enough said by me for awhile.

  20. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennett, if anything I said in the past hurt your wife I apologize. That being said , of course I had no way of knowing you were in the car on your way back from anywhere or for what reason. The fact that you took anything I said about your political views as being personal speaks more about you than it does myself. I cannot remember word for word what I might have said that day , but I am confident that I didn’t infer that you were un-intelligent based on the job you held. I’am also sure I didn’t call you a Bible thumping prick. I don’t believe that I brought up anything personal in anyway. I don’t believe that I stated that you had no right to speak about GOP policies because you had not served the party long enough.
    Mr. Bennett you may have selective memory but when others were bringing up your past financial problems I was one of the people who spoke out that that was in the past and should not effect the election. My problem was with the fact that though you identify yourself as fiscal conservative you wanted to , if elected, to grow the size and cost of the county government with the implimentation of a full time county law office and that was what I spoke out against.
    You have a tendency to lose your temper when challenged and to resort to name calling and personal attacks , this in my opinion hurts your chances of being elected almost as much as your political views.
    While I don’t agree with your political views many times , I don’t believe you to be unintelligent, just wrong , and yes there is a difference, I also believe we all have the right to speak our minds as long as we do it in a respectful manner. I have had many heated arguments about politics with “LIFE LONG ” friends without resorting to the kind of attacks that you sir launched against myself.


    Glad we’re clearing the air Mr.Knotts. You missed the point, My insults towards you were my reaction to things you said in your radio diatribe that I took personally. You started the rift and you blind sided me. I admit that I held a grudge and I was wrong in doing so. That being said, I should have been tougher and sucked it up. At this point I am truly sorry for everything that I said. I feel like I have been to confession, except in the public forum.

    Politicians/candidates are human just like the voters who judge them pro or con. It can be a nasty, rough business with incredible highs and lows. We hurt, we feel, just like the rest of the world. Yet, we all try–right or wrong–winners and losers. To further make my point: Please read the quote below by my favorite US President, Teddy Roosevelt.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

    Perhaps someday you will move from pundit/critic to candidate, then you will truly understand the whole deal.

  22. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennett , I accept your apology. You have every right to take anyhting I said in any manor that you choose. I can only tell you again that my views were never ment as personal attacks but merely observations and expressions of my views on political issues.
    Now I will give you a couple of quotes from a great American and also a President.
    ” A man has a property in his opinion and the free communication of them” ” As long as the reason of man continues fallible , and he is at Liberty to exercise it , different opinions will be formed” James Madison.

  23. Pat Fish Says:

    I would love to see Frank as a candidate some day. Count on me to help you out although some would say I might be a liability.


    AMEN Time to go fishin!

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