Election demonstrates conservatives still have power

The dust from Tuesday’s election has settled but the rubble has not been cleared away and a mighty pile it has become. Not since the Watergate scandal have we seen a political party and president take such a screaming roller coaster ride from the top to the bottom of public opinion and result.

The rightness of our observation and its dark portends for the political future of the Democratic Party in 2010 and the president’s agenda in general, can be seen by the mainstream media’s analysis of what is happening. The most telling portion is what they have been telling conservatives, which is to not act like conservatives.

This seems odd, as recent polling demonstrates that twice as many people in the country identify themselves as conservatives as liberals, and the conservative outlook is the No. 1 identifying principle of surveyed voters. It is however, completely in character for our national media friends as they hope to apply a tourniquet to next year’s potential election losses.

Most telling are the “think” pieces that have been appearing in numerous print and online locations that bill themselves as either moderate (fairly liberal) or liberal (too far out to be seen with the naked eye). They have been worrying about what seems to be happening with the Republican party and conservative movement.

This is the political equivalent of one football team telling the opposing team it should stop throwing so many touchdowns because it’s going to confuse the offensive line.

It’s so thoughtful of these commentators to be concerned about the conservative advancement and what damage it probably is doing to the Republican Party, by helping it move in the right philosophical direction and win elections.

What’s especially instructive is such advice coming from proponents of a political party that moved so far to the left in the last 20 years that many prominent leaders of the ‘70s and early ‘80s would be considered to the right of Otto von Bismarck by today‘s leadership.  Someone might want to ask Sen. Joe Lieberman about that big tent Democratic Party that he was part of for so long.

The question really becomes: Does the rise of the conservative, tea party movement bode harm for local Republican organizations? The answer, as usual with such questions, is “Yes and no.”

In Mesa County, for instance, most conservatives are fairly happy with much of our representation but sorely vexed with the state and regional level. I am not including the City Council here as it needs to be dealt with separately, frequently and firmly.

In a fairly conservative area like western Colorado, the full weight of the far left agenda, starting in Washington, then on to Denver and eventually on us, seems unduly oppressive but like a crucible, it tends to cook out accumulated corrosion. Just as cleaning the terminals of a battery permits a more powerful and cleaner transmission of power, the pressure of unfriendly and irrational policies causes self-examination and refinement of vision among local activists and politicians.

Tonight, the Western Slope Conservative Alliance will have its monthly meeting, which will undoubtedly be well attended. Between the in-person contact and growing electronic participation, the alliance is on its way to becoming a political power to be reckoned with for any policymaker.

What’s interesting about these meetings has been the simplicity of purpose sought by most of the attendees. The major requirement to be embraced by these folks is that policymakers follow and identify with the traditional role of government as outlined by the framers of the Constitution.  Most would also like to see a healthy respect for private property, free enterprise and a commitment to policies that increase choice for citizens, not narrow it.

Not quite the wildly radical bunch that many on the left would hope as they seek to goad the Republican Party into constant infighting between warring wings — more concerned with winning internal debates over small policy issues than elections.

Would-be office holders who keep these values in mind will fare well with this growing movement. Those who do not will find party affiliation means little, especially in an area where Republican is supposed to mean conservative.


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