A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I may be a bit premature with this, well, I don't like calling it a prediction, because it isn't. So, let's just refer to it as a, uh, "future-probing observation."
So, here's what I THINK I see as I probe the future:
First, though, we need to consider what is happening within the GOP as I write.
There is an early stage revolution in full bloom amongst the leadership of the Republican Party. The so-called "establishment" republicans are having their collective lunches eaten by the young lions from the conservative corner of the party. Not used to being challenged, the blue bloods and the country club republicans (sometimes referred to as the "establishment" republicans) are having a great deal of trouble holding their own. In fact, they are losing ground as the passionate young conservatives, tired of the pats on the head, the condescension, ... all the treatment they have received as the red-headed step child of the GOP, are "kicking against the pricks" of the party with a vengeance.
Currently, the GOP has no national leader, at all! None! But that may be changing. In fact, I believe it is changing -- and if early movement is any indicator, the new leader of the GOP will be younger and far more conservative than any before him.
There is obviously a transformation taking place within the roots of Republican Party out here in the heartland. Young Americans are becoming more and more involved in politics and many are finding they are conservative. Their energy, their vigor, their passion, their zeal has been frightening to the old gray beards of the party.
These "young Turks" are not the least bit threatened by the gravitas, the weight, of the establishment republicans. They simply don't care. Going along to get along is NOT AN OPTION for these youthful political gladiators. They won't "go along" with their own party -- let alone the opposition.
The infusion of young, HOT, blood into the GOP could not have come at a more auspicious time. Without leadership, the party was/is adrift and has become something of an after thought in Washington. While controlling only one house of the Congress, the GOP has been relegated to fighting a holding action, in a defensive posture.
The young conservatives, however, aren't interested in defending anything. They have scaled the walls of the trenches, gone over the top, and are taking the fight directly to the opposition in "no quarter" battle.
Consider this: In 2010, the Kentucky and Utah elected two U.S. Senators that would one day become top GOP grassroot leaders. U.S. Senator Rand Paul (KY-R) and U.S. Senator Mike Lee (UH-R). In the House of Representatives, Justin Amash (MI-3) also won his Congressional race as a liberty candidate. This was a victory for all liberty activists all around the nation. With Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Justin Amash winning their Federal elections, it sent a clear message to the Republican Party. A message that rings loud today is the message that liberty is taking over the GOP.
The liberty movement did not stop there, and after two years the message still held strong. In 2012, Texas held a tough primary election, but resulted in another win for the liberty movement. Now U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX-R), has been fighting to put liberty on the platform of the Republican Party. With a string of election victories over the years, one can start to see the Republican Party take a turn in platform." SOURCE: http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/danherrera1/the-republican-revolution-a-future-for-liberty-and
There can be no doubt that the Libertarian branch of the GOP has grown in influence and power in recent years within the national party and more so, it would seem, at the grass roots level.
There can also be no doubt that the Tea Party Movement has contributed greatly to the revolution within the republican party.
Look. Conservatives have begged and pleaded with the GOP to take the fight to the democrats and the party has simply refused. Interpreting the hunkered-down position as a position of submission, conservatives have decided that if they must go down they will go down swinging -- in defiance of their own party, if necessary.
Look for even more changes n the 2014 election. More and more moderate and liberal republicans will be challenged in primaries by young conservatives across the country.
While we may not be seeing the birth of a NEW political party we may be observing the death of an old party -- and a rebirth of the SAME party under new management.
As I noted at the beginning of this piece, this is NOT a prediction. I am only attempting to follow the line of natural progression into the future of the GOP, only -- as I see it.
The pale curtain that drapes between the present and future prevents us from great accuracy in reading events, which have not yet happened. But projecting end results of current struggles and events would surely lead a reasonable person to conclude that, once again, the Republican Party is about to undergo a tremendous change. One might say it is going "the way of the Whigs."