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The Future of the Conservative Movement
Republican Party must stand for something to thrive

By Scott Gillette
sgillette@politicalusa.com

3/9/2001

 

There's an organization that is dedicated to uniting the conservative movement and cementing the GOP majority for the generation to come: the National Council for a Republican Congress, or the NCRC.

The NCRC follows in the Reagan tradition, as a visit to their site will demonstrate. (Indeed, Reagan’s legacy serves as a reminder that politics can be the noblest of causes, as history will prove one day.)  I could discuss the specific activities of the NCRC in greater detail, but that and other information would be best examined by going to http://www.nationalcrc.org (Please bookmark the site.) Instead, I would like to describe the ethos and spirit that guides the NCRC, which is what makes the group so important in the first place.   

The NCRC was founded in 1993 by a group of Texans who
had the immediate goal of returning the GOP to conservative hands. The NCRC played a role in doing just that in 1994; however, the beliefs that guided the organization from its inception speak to our nation’s history and destiny far more than immediate political gains. The founding members of the group agreed that the country’s move to the right was not
merely a consequence of liberal excesses, but also the result of a renewed appreciation of the principles that guided our Founding Fathers more than 200 years ago. In short, the NCRC saw America’s highest and most enduring aspirations also embedded in the best impulses of the conservative movement: a belief in freedom tempered by responsibility, and a faith in a monotheistic God and the human condition that makes all progress possible and tyranny impossible.

From this perspective, it is easy to see why the NCRC has worked to unite the conservative movement with the “grassroots” of this country, and making them active participants in the political process. When this happens with sufficient force, there is no way that the liberal establishment can hope to compete, because the will of the overall electorate is stronger than any other political force combined.

I use the term “liberal establishment” for a very specific reason. Liberals tend to see themselves as a champion of the underdog and the downtrodden in our society, but the track record of liberal policies in aiding those who are in need is so counter-productive that I consider the previous assertion axiomatic. Go to almost any public housing project in the country, and you’ll see the consequences of a worldview that
views other human beings as objects to be molded instead of spiritual, moral beings that require the freedom and opportunity to succeed on their own terms. The liberal establishment, even when guided with the best of intentions, is guilty of the former worldview. I am disappointed, even angry, at what liberalism has become in America: not so much because of its ideological premises, but because it has become smug and complacent in its worldview and message even as its failures become clearer every day.

Liberalism is becoming less and less a set core of beliefs and more and more an attitudinal stance, often directed against conservatives. Liberals are increasingly defined less by what they are for, and more by what they are against; they are guided less by shared values than by mere self-interest. It is up to the liberals to clean up their own house and return to
their better days, but I am convinced that won’t happen until they are out of power for a long time. In the meantime, the Republican Party, which is the only organization that can put conservative principles in to action, must stand for certain things in order to thrive. Indeed, if Republicans don’t do certain things at this point in our nation’s history, nobody else
will.

This is where the NCRC comes into play. At the organization’s National General Meeting last month in Dallas, I saw the potential of what can be done in the years to come because of the enormous talent within the organization. The meeting also reaffirmed many of the points I have referred to earlier in the column.

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Kerri Houston, the Leadership Committee Chairman and a renowned public policy analyst for the American
Conservative Union, pointed out a major obstacle that exists from creating an opportunity society. “The poor in this country have no way to save for their own retirement, and they don’t have the ability to pass on any of their lifetime earnings to their children, and the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way.” Bingo! The current status quo for Social Security and taxes, or in many other issues, hurts the poor the most, because it deprives them of the chance to make significant economic advancements. This must change, and only the Republicans will do so at this time.

The importance of reaching out to different communities not traditionally represented by the Republican Party was also a major theme discussed during the entire weekend. It is true that many minority communities believe that the promise of
America has passed them by. Yet it is up to Republicans to heal the breach, and not only for the good of Republicans at the ballot box. At the present time, only one party represents minority interests, and it does not have to do a good job in order to maintain the status quo, which is an arrangement that
may prevent the bottom from falling out, but also chains entire communities to their existing conditions. Republicans can become a viable alternative, primarily by charging ahead and winning this vote in minority communities one voter at a time,
by finding out what these voters want, and by giving it to them in a way consistent with the core values of the party. By having both major parties compete for their vote, the concerns of minority voters will be far, far better represented as a consequence.

This point was articulated eloquently by Susan Weddington, the Republican Party Chairman of Texas. She outlined how the Republican Party was the only party that represented the black population in the aftermath of slavery, especially in her home state, and how the party of freedom must recapture its
original zeal and devotion to the advancement of all men. “You need to know the legacy that you have stepped into, and the obligation to our past to grow this party…We need to go into their communities and ask, ‘what can we do’? You will be blessed and enriched by the experience.”

The intellectual diversity of the Republican is vast, and many readers may have other aspirations tied to the Republican Party as well. However, it is the party’s timeless values that make its future’s success so important for our country. I urge any sympathetic people to join the NCRC. As with everything else in life, your experience in the NCRC will be what you make it, but I believe your involvement will be
something you treasure. The NCRC will be expanding enormously in the months and years to come, as will the opportunities for those who give themselves to it.

To join the NCRC on a yearly basis, please go to http://www.nationalcrc.org/join.html. The membership cost is $35.

To offer your services as a volunteer for our organization, please contact William Metzger at metzawar@airmail.net

If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail

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© Scott Gillette, 2001

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