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Conservatives must own their place in the GOP

Posted: December 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

As we look back on 2013, it will likely be remembered as the year the rubber began hitting the road with regards to Obamacare. The failure of the website was epic, but it is minutia compared to the flaws in the law.

This year we learned “whatever you had, you probably can’t keep it.” There is a resounding fear in the air that the worst is yet to come.

As the year drew to a close, the establishment in the GOP decided it was time to declare open warfare on the conservative wing of the party.

The establishment disdain for the grassroots is nothing new. In fact, I can’t remember a time when it didn’t exist.

So why would the conservative establishment choose now to openly say things its members have been saying in private for years? Ah, maybe it’s because those pesky primaries are right around the corner.
With voter outrage with Congress and the Senate at an all-time high, the sentiment to “throw the bums out” grows every day. In fact, this year was the first time in polling history that a majority of people said not only do they want to throw out the incumbents, but they also want to throw out their own incumbents.

In the GOP, the most active voters in the primary come from the conservative side of the aisle. These voters are also more prone to dropping out or switching to non-partisan candidates when they find themselves unhappy with the party line.

They see more value in standing for principles than for party. In 2014, we must do both.

In 2014, the conservative wing of the party must continue to stand for its principles and stay within the party framework.

The GOP is the party of Lincoln, the party of freedom, the party that believes in capitalism as an economic system, the party that believes every person has potential and no one should stand in the way of an individual’s right to reach his or her highest potential.

These are conservative principles we must ensure are not given away through those who believe in governing by appeasement.

Instead of allowing ourselves to be discouraged by feckless leaders who blame their woes on conservatives, we must vote in larger numbers than ever before for candidates who will represent our principles — not lobbyists and special interests.

House Speaker John Boehner’s now-famous rant regarding the tea party and conservative groups that have long supported him is a prime example. Even though the Speaker was pushing through a budget deal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans (even disabled veterans) and is full of “future” savings, he made time to call those who opposed it “ridiculous” and end with his signature “are you kidding me?”

Well, Speaker Boehner, we are not kidding. We are also not leaving the party or the election process, so get used to it.

The American people are sick of leaders who say one thing and do another. Their patience with lies, distortions, and being sold out has faded away.

Do not attempt to blame this bill on Harry Reid or the Democrats. Congressman Paul Ryan and Speaker John Boehner are accountable.

The establishment in the GOP pushed this budget deal through without properly vetting it, and now we will all pay the price for it once again.

Just as we hold the opposition accountable, so too, we must hold our own party accountable if we are to have a party worth joining.

Next year Republican primary voters will have an unprecedented number of choices for the United States Senate.

There are already primary challenges in Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kansas, and Wyoming.

Not all of them have been endorsed by conservative groups; not all of them necessarily will receive endorsements. But all of these states are represented by entrenched ruling class Republicans of yesteryear.

They are special-interest career politicians. When it suits their need to cast some conservative votes, they will do so. But when they need to placate the special interests, they will jump in head first.

I suspect that 2014 will be the year that conservatives answer the call for their country and their party. They will send a loud message that says: “We don’t care that the establishment hates us. We are here. We vote. We are not going away. We demand principled representation.”

If they do, it will be the year that conservatives decide to own their place in the party.

Alice Khosravy is a Stevenson Ranch resident.

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