OPINION: Preserving the RINO

| April 25, 2016
photo by Steven Heddon

photo by Steven Heddon

By Gary Wisenbaker | Valdosta Today Contributor

GARY WISENBAKERConshohocken, PA—“We may have to remake our party.”

Thus spoke Jeff Roe recently, campaign manager for Sen. Ted Cruz, a contender for the Republican nomination for president.

Roe’s lamentation was in response to a question about what happens with the Republican Party in the event Donald Trump, a Cruz rival, wins the nomination as the party’s standard bearer in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes.

Mr. Trump, after his 61 percent New York primary victory last Tuesday, is about as close as one can possibly get to becoming the “presumptive nominee” of the GOP as it heads into its national convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in July.

“We may have to remake our party.” Indeed.

And that’s what this contest is all about: an insurgency that seeks not the destruction but rather the restoration of a party that has represented, in varying degrees, the values of everyday, working, rank and file Americans.

More than that, the GOP has also managed to speak to those who by their hard work, ingenuity, and industriousness moved up the socio-economic ladder.

That particular Republican Party, however, peaked during the Reagan presidency.

Reagan reinvigorated the idea that government was the problem, not the solution, to everyday American concerns. His first priority was to protect the citizenry on three fronts: life, liberty and freedom. And these are Mr. Trump’s priorities.

Foreign and domestic enemies learned quickly not to taunt or test Reagan.

He championed the idea that Americans ought to be able to work and keep the fruit of those efforts without government continually picking their pockets.

And Reagan insisted that government ought to “get out of the way” and let folks live their lives as free from government intrusion as possible, including a right to live without fear of harm to life or limb.

The Socialist-Democratic party has always opposed these notions.

Through multiple auspices of the federal government, they, with the help of post-Reagan Republican leadership, tell Americans what they can do with their land (EPA), how to run their businesses (NLRB), and even how to care for their own health (ACA).

The opposition mounted by the GOP leadership since Reagan amounts to nothing more than a mere susurrus. They’ve reverted to the early 1960’s when the GOP rallying cry was “Us, too, but less!” Total capitulation.

And a silent majority, just as they did with Richard Nixon in 1968, Ronald Reagan in 1980, and as they are doing today, are saying, “Enough.”

Rather than listen to those voices, the RNC (Republican National Committee), would rather rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic.

Their preference is the status quo, for that is the safe haven needed to preserve the various comfort zones of the tripartite establishment: the media, the lobbyists and the incumbents, both GOP and Socialist-Democrats.

It’s a cozy spot, you see.

The RNC has figured an ingenious way to preserve this status quo.

On the one hand they allow party members to vote in primaries to express a popular sentiment on whom the nominee should be.

But on the other hand, just in case those voters go crazy and color outside the lines, they erect arcane rules (“Everybody knows them!”) to reign in those results by allowing the selection of actual delegates in a caucus, or closed door, procedure.

It’s a clever, albeit legal, ploy.

And Sen. Cruz, the choice of the Establishment since the demise of Governor Jeb! Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, is the chief beneficiary of it.

Whether it works or not is soon to be tested as Mr. Trump rolls through Pennsylvania and the Northeast and on out West in the coming days and weeks

adding to his 2.3 million vote total over his closest rival, Sen. Cruz, and increases his delegate lead.

“We may have to remake our party.”

For the love of Pete, please do.

Gary Wisenbaker is a corporate communications and political consultant. He can be contacted at gary@blackstonestrategy.com.

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