There is an epic battle headed our way. It will pit former allies, one against the other. It may well have the potential to tear apart one of the oldest organizations in the nation.
This battle has been in the making for many years now. Some have tried time and time again to be the peace makers, to no avail. Recently the battle lines have been drawn more clearly than they had been in the past. In the past the factions had been seen as having little differences. Today they are seen as being worlds apart.
Here in the state of Delaware we have seen the opening skirmishes. I am proud to say that the “Concord and Lexington” of this war may well have been fought right here in my home county of Sussex.
The war I speak of, is a fight for the control of the GOP. The idea that some within the party wish to radically change the direction of the GOP, back towards a more conservative message, scares the hell out of the current ruling establishment and leadership of the GOP.
The two main factions within the party seem to be made up of those who would self describe as being fiscally conservative. This faction contends that it is wrong to include any talk or policy that relates to any social issues. When the phrase social issue is even uttered, they immediately resort to the tactics of the left by screaming about abortion and other liberal ideas.
The other faction within the party is made up of what can only be described as a more traditional conservative message. These people wish to return to a message of smaller government and lower taxes, but are not afraid to speak out about issues that effect our society. Such as drugs, crime , teen pregnancy,unemployment, divorce and many others.
So now the GOP faces a fight from within. It is a war of their choosing. For many years now the fiscal only faction of the GOP has told the more conservative faction to just vote for the candidate that the party leadership chooses and to be quiet about their concerns over issues affecting society. In other words, sit down,shut up and vote for who we tell you to.
This has now ended due to the GOP primary of 2010. In this primary the rank and file members rejected the candidates chosen by the establishment. No longer will we accept the party line of,”we know best”, how to win elections.
I was not in attendance due to my job, but at the last Sussex County GOP meeting the shot heard round the state was fired. The battle was waged. From the reports that I have heard it was not pretty. I am saddened by the behavior of committee chairman Ron Sams. First let me say that I respect the work that Mr. Sams has done. This does not change the fact that his handling of this meeting was out of line. In attempting to squash the uprising, he has added fuel to the fire.
Those like myself within the GOP, who see ourselves as being conservative first and Republican second, have been told to go along to get along for far too long. No longer! We will either wrest control of the party from the establishment elite, or we will tear it down and start over.
For many years we worked with and for the party. We accepted candidates that did not meet all of our concerns on some very important issues to us. Yet we voted for them anyway. Why? Because we were told that it was best for the party. Well now, as for myself, I will no longer put party first. I will choose my candidates based on my own principles, and if the GOP candidate happens to meet those, then I will support them. If not then I will oppose them.
Those on the left within the GOP will tell you that those of us on the right within the GOP are going to destroy the party by waging this war. Well that may well be true. But in its current state, I would rather destroy it then allow it to continue to erode slowly away, into little more than a whipping boy for the Democrats.
So when you hear some party wonk tell you that Frank Knotts and his like are destroying the GOP, remember that this is a war of their choosing. Also remember that our goal is not to destroy the GOP, but to rebuild it back to its once great level of values and principles.