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Tea Party Winning

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The inside the Beltway establishment news media will be quick to take the nomination of Thom Tillis, the Republican establishment’s favored candidate in the North Carolina senate primary, as proof that this time the Tea Party really is dead.

But as Dan Balz of The Washington Post wrote in the May 5 edition of the paper, “Another big reason the establishment-vs.-tea-party theme may be overdrawn is the degree to which the establishment has adapted to the new world by embracing tea party ideas and sometimes the movement’s confrontational posture. Slate’s David Weigel noted this in a piece about North Carolina recently. He observed that the establishment candidate in the GOP primary, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, has one of the most conservative legislative records in the country.”

So, is it a big disappointment that our CHQ endorsed candidate, Dr. Greg Brannon, came in second in the North Carolina senate primary, and Tillis made it past the 40 percent threshold to avoid a runoff?

Of course it is, but it should not be taken as a sign that the Tea Party is dead, far from it.

The AP’s David Espo reports that “Tillis ran as a conservative with the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Right to Life Committee and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. American Crossroads, a group founded by Karl Rove, aired television commercials supporting him.” Rove’s group put over $1.6 million into ads in the closing phase of the campaign.

So does this mean that to win all Washington’s GOP establishment has to do is drown insurgent Tea Party and limited government constitutional conservative candidates in a sea of money?

Not at all.

Former New York Times election guru Nate Silver showed that in 2012 insurgent candidates running grassroots campaigns can, and did win. Silver analyzed Republican insurgent campaigns in 2012 and found that the grassroots challengers were able to win nearly half of the primary races against the GOP establishment candidates despite being massively outspent five to one or even ten to one.

What’s more, our issues are winning.

There is “gridlock” in Washington not because Big Government establishment Republicans and Big Government establishment Democrats can’t agree; there is gridlock because the GOP has been pushed to the right by limited government constitutional conservative members of Congress on practically every issue from spending to appointing a Select Committee to investigate Benghazi.

As Dan Balz of The Washington Post noted, “On the basis of substance, the Republican establishment has drawn few boundaries between itself and the tea party. They may differ on tactics and procedures at times, and party leaders have disparaged some of the outside groups that have backed tea party challengers in primaries. But on the issues, the GOP is quite united and more conservative than it was a decade ago. The real test of the movement’s influence is likely to come in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.”

As I set out in my new book TAKEOVER, what made the New Right different from the Old Right was not ideology; what distinguished the New Right from the Old Right was that we were operationally different, and this applies to the Tea Party today.

The Old Right had become defeatist; they were used to showing up and getting beat two to one and then retiring from the fight until the next vote.

However, in the same situation, those in the New Right (and the Tea Party) would cinch up their belts, organize, call meetings, develop plans, and send out a couple million letters explaining why the way to win the next battle was to defeat those who voted wrong—be they Democrats or Republicans—and keep pushing forward toward our goal of having conservatives govern America.

The late Margaret Thatcher allegedly said, “First win the argument and then win the vote.”

As I point out in TAKEOVER, for over twenty years polls have shown that Americans, by a two-to-one margin, self-identify as conservatives. Today, a record number of Americans—60 percent according to the Gallup Organization’s governance poll—say that the federal government has too much power. This follows on an earlier Gallup poll in which 64 percent of those responding said the greatest threat to freedom is Big Government—and the biggest jump in that fear is among Democrats – we conservatives can fairly take that as a sign we are winning the argument.

In TAKEOVER I outline a plan of how conservatives can take over the Republican Party and govern America according to conservative principles by 2017. The results in North Carolina show that our issues are driving the agenda, now we must cinch up our belts, organize, call meetings and use the plan I outline in TAKEOVER to win the vote.

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Tea Party doesn't have to win to be successful

Supporting serious challenges should be the political goal of every patriotic American at election time. The Tea party is no different. We will be far better organized in 2016 and the years afterwards. But far more importantly, we will still be there after each election in every congressional district...and growing.