By George Hewes
For many years now grassroots conservatives have grumbled that the Republican establishment in Washington views them with contempt. Rarely has that contempt been displayed as brazenly as it was on this week’s episode of Fox News Sunday.
During the show’s panel discussion, columnist George Will and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute in particular showed how GOP bigwigs view their base.
Will started the banter by suggesting that the popularity of insurgent GOP candidates was tantamount to “primal scream” psychotherapy where voters are venting their frustrations by backing political newcomers over their more traditional rivals. Brooks seconded Will’s thesis and said,
“This is a low information, high entertainment, high protest moment…Republican voters always aggregate up towards this kind of mainstream person…Republicans always come back. They came back to Mitt Romney.”
Show moderator Chris Wallace, playing devil’s advocate, sounded like the only conservative in the room when he said that voters “aggregating” back to Romney and McCain was precisely the problem, that they were not the right candidates to support.
The message coming from these movers and shakers in Republican politics was quite clear: Go ahead, you unsophisticated rubes. Have your temper tantrum and spend your summer getting excited about these non-politicians. When the rubber meets the road and primary season starts for real, you’ll come to your senses and support a pragmatic, country club Republican who values compromise and “reaching across the aisle” to our esteemed Democrat colleagues. The result will be the continued growth of Big Government and furthering our once-great nation on the glide path to oblivion.
Perhaps there is a more accurate way to analyze the GOP’s Summer of Discontent. Namely, that the conservative base has seen their party’s presidential nominees offer up weak, centrist campaigns that only served to propel Bill Clinton and Barack Obama into the White House.
The GOP base took matters into their own hands during the last two mid-term elections by sending Democrats packing and replacing them with Republicans who promised to fight Obama’s transformational change. A few of these people refused to join the Beltway cabal in Washington, most notably Ted Cruz with his challenge to McConnell, but far too many succumbed, then gave endless excuses why they couldn’t keep their campaign promises.
The party elders who share the views on display on Fox News Sunday will not just give up control of the party to the fed-up masses in flyover country. Control must be taken by refusing to elect the same tired party apparatchiks.
One thing is certain: abandoning non-career politician outsiders and “aggregating” to the media-approved candidates is the surest way to keep America in decline. Voters should ignore the advice of the conventional wisdom that has led us directly to this point. Based on the poll numbers of the non-DC-insiders, the public is sending a stern message.