I’m a self-proclaimed Tea Party member. It is my understanding the Tea Party movement consists of an ever-growing group of concerned citizens who protest rampant spending in Washington, and the misuse of federal power over individual liberties. I’m happy to be a part of that group.
No doubt, the Tea Party is a force to be reckoned with — evidence of this is witnessed everyday as more and more Tea Party-backed candidates rise to victory in their primary battles. Long-time GOP veterans are ousted (a la Bob Bennett) from their cozy seats while young blood Republicans fervently step in to fill their shoes. For the most part, its a beautiful thing to behold.
My Brother Luke at a SLC Tea Party Rally
I’ve gone to local Tea Party protests; I listen to an occasional Glenn Beck episode; I’ve gone door-to-door as an advocate for conservative principles, I’ve wished I had the money to hit up a National rally; heck, I’ve even listened to and liked some Mama Grizzly speeches. I know, I know, I could certainly do more …but I figure that’s a pretty decent level of activism for a twenty-something, newly married, full-time employee.
I can attest that many of those who write for this site (Team MRC), are gun toting, Bible carrying, freedom loving patriots. We’ve constructed the protest banners; we’ve worn the goofy colonial hats; we’ve marched the marches of the conservative crusade. We’ve been there, done that.
I bring up my/our involvement with the Tea Party movement not to boast, but to illustrate a strange phenomena that is happing to many fellow Mitt Romney backers within the Tea Party: Estrangement.
Somewhere along the line, the notion was adopted, mostly among liberal media but more recently among fellow conservatives, that Mitt Romney represents solely the moderate, ‘establishment’ core of the Republican party: the Bush loyalists; the staunch GOPers. I won’t deny that Gov. Romney’s appeal is wide, and it certainly may spread to the more moderate branch of our party, but I refudiate the absurd conception that his base of support exists only in that branch. I see obnoxious headlines all the time now that predict Romney’s demise, tracing it all back to how he’s the GOP’s supposed ‘next in line’, but the Tea Party backlash will impede him from gaining wide Republican support. Just today, an article from NPR calls Mitt Romney ‘the Hillary Clinton of 2012‘ - destined to fail due an uprising in the party’s fringe…
Baloney. Mitt will never be the ‘man’ that Hillary Clinton is.
As conservatives, we’ve gotten so caught up in the day-to-day mud slinging that we’ve lost site of our principal goal: to take our country back! My concern is that the primary benefactor of all this may be the very thing we all wish to deter: the advancement of Obama’s liberal agenda.
Somewhere amidst the dust up of GOP in-fighting, the Democrats are grinning. They watch- entertained - as we are preoccupied with assigning destructive labels to our own party leaders, and dividing ourselves into far too many factions of Republicanism. “My candidate endorsed the eventual primary winner WAY before yours did!” — “Why is your guy/gal silent on this hot-button issue?” — “Why wasn’t your candidate a speaker at THIS convention?!” — “RINO this, RINO, that!”
I recognize the need for purification [giving the boot to those whose ideas are stale, whose interests are no longer with their constituents], but everyone’s vision of perfection is different - and in the end, rather than coming out of the refiner’s fire without blemish, our party instead suffers a serious case of dirty dissension.
Now, it isn’t my intention to have everyone unite around my choice for the Republican nomination (assuming that he decides to run). I do, however, offer up a suggestion that we come together under the umbrella of conservatism, and reject none that seek shelter from the tempest of progressivism. For what it’s worth, the contributors of this site have tried to maintain respectful discourse with other camps, applauding our guy when he represents us well, and keeping our target on the opposition.
Mitt Romney Not a Rino
So in exchange for the respect we’ve given you, before you go labeling ‘Mittens’ as a ‘RINO’ and speculating his downfall, remember this: Mitt Romney is a true conservative. He has a record of success in family, education, career, and government. He is an honorable husband, father, and grandpa. He is not a lifetime politician. He owes no favors. He has profound concern for the future of our Republic. He is devout in his service to God and fellow man. He is money savvy and charitable with his self-earned wealth. He is visionary and innovative. He is an economical wizard; a turnaround expert in a country that needs a turnaround.
Flip through a copy of Romney’s ‘No Apology: the Case for American Greatness’. You’ll quickly see that the man has a deep love for our country and his plan for a greater America mirrors the ideals that most Americans hold dear.
-Aaron Gundy- Follow @AaronGundy on Twitter