Is it possible to pinpoint when winning elections and supporting one’s principles became mutually exclusive enterprises for the GOP? Sometimes I think that’s been the de facto organizing principle of the Republican party for so long that we’ve lost track of how we got here.
What I clearly remember is why I became a Republican after (proudly) growing up as a working-class heartland Democrat: With the ascent of Goldwater and Reagan, the GOP embraced merit-based equal opportunity for every individual, while the party of my immigrant ancestors evolved into a vehicle for promoting equal outcomes for unequal and/or arbitrary inputs as determined by some always-changing (and never quite sensible) group-think process.
My recent “woman-of-a-certain-age” shift from the GOP to the Libertarian party produced an uncomfortable flashback to an eager younger woman’s shift from the “People’s Party” (inhabited by all my besties) to the “Country Club Party” (populated with activists from another world). Same dynamic; same sad emotions.
Frustration, fear, and impatience with the GOP’s evolution away from the provably productive principles that attracted so many Baby Boomers is quantifiable across the conservative spectrum. Equally un-amused are mainstream Democrats whose party has fundamentally transformed into a failing, anachronistic, divisive throwback to a Wilsonian Utopian Technocracy.
Those left behind by their respective political parties have, to date, only been able to manifest their protest to this betrayal in the hardly impactful act of re-registering as independents.
Not since the ratification of the Constitution and the tumult culminating in the epic campaign of 1800 between Jefferson and Adams has there been such a fertile landscape for a new majority political party to rise. For many Americans — as is evidenced by its exponential recent growth — that common-sense alternative is the Libertarian party. And the man who can lead independents, Libertarians, and disaffected members of the two major parties to victory is Austin Petersen.
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The opportunity is ripe for a grass-roots political revolt that can overturn the two-party system. The allegiance of mainstream conservatives to the GOP, particularly the Goldwater/Reagan Republicans outside the East Coast, was never to a party or person (including Goldwater and Reagan), but always to the constitutional principles of limited government, enumerated and separated powers, checks and balances, and — most importantly — the unassailability of individual rights owing to their origin in the Creator.
The Democratic party is in even worse shape than the GOP. The Democrats’ leadership have the collective brain power of Jurassic Park creatures — and their extinction is just as certain given the catastrophic decimation of their ranks in the last two midterm elections.And make no mistake: Young people — including many Democrats — would be open to someone who is pro-life and a constitutionalist, despite the fact that Millennials voted for Barack Obama twice. No cohort’s dreams, ambitions, and natural proclivities have been more thwarted than that which came of age in the Obama era. Hopelessly indebted from birth by profligate government spending (which strangled economic growth and job options), saddled with astoundingly high education costs (which left them with close to worthless degrees), and put upon by group-think-invented microaggressions stifling their natural innovative spirit, the Millennial generation (which now outnumbers their Baby Boom predecessors) quickly and completely soured on “hope and change.” It seems inconceivable (and would be unprecedented in American history) that their permanent fallback position would be for a Soviet-era redistributionist or a Kardashian-esque political whirling dervish.
Young people are pragmatic liberty lovers. To them, “choice” means they get to choose to value life or discard it; Millennial feminists don’t see voting for a woman as their raison d’être.
Americans of all political stripes should join Austin Petersen and the Libertarian party in reclaiming our country. The two-party system has been in place for quite a long time; Americans should elect Petersen to smash it — and replace it with something better.
— Mary Matalin is a political consultant and a former member of the Republican party.