Fox’s presidential debate was one of the best I have seen. Questions were precise and relevant. The format was controlled yet allowed candidates to showcase their passion and position on the issues. Despite this success, there has been a backlash on social media and among many of my friends over the tenor of many questions and outright anger over overt RNC party politics.
While much of this anger has been directed toward Fox, the real culprit is the stodgy, old RNC, which is out of touch with its constituents. The primary reason the Donald’s numbers are surging is that he speaks for the vast majority of silent Americans who are tired of party politics.
Americans are tired with both Democrat and Republican sects placing party before values or policy. We are tired of the good ‘ole boy system that resembles Chicago’s lost and failed labor unions, where loyalty to party and party bosses trump values or sound economic or foreign policy. Both parties have become pariah, feeding off the very communities they claim to support. Americans are frustrated when an elected representative is pressured to represent party instead of citizens. When was the constitution rewritten to mandate a candidate to support party over people or values? Is this Russia or America? The Democrat’s penalizing of Chuck Schumer over the Iran deal is outright abuse of party power. Since when does an elected representative, who votes based on the values of his constituency and his own conscience need to be disciplined by party? This is not only Orwellian, it is—as Ted Cruz points out—a mob and union type mentality where those who go against the political machine are ousted. Regardless of party, Americans are demanding an end to the madness of party politics.
When the Fox panel questioned Ted Cruz over his audacity to question Mitch McConnell’s party leadership, Cruz’s response that values, not party, must guide policy and leadership resonated with the silent American majority. Ratings and positive responses to Cruz’s answer on the Fox app skyrocketed as one of the highest ranked questions of the night. His answer, like Trump’s, resonated with the silent majority who are sick of lies and party politics.
Americans do not want tenured, career politicians any more than we want ineffective teachers educating our children. Loyalty and the ability to bring in big donors are rewarded. Support for party line (influenced by lobbyists, special interests, and contributors) have displaced and replaced values and integrity. Americans are not only voicing their frustration with American politics, they are demanding change. We want a party that rewards effective policy, not party loyalty. We want a party that will stick to its promises and vote according to values. We want a party that does not give ear to lobbies or special interests. A party not swayed by the donations it receives. In short, we want a party whose values cannot be influence or bought. We will demand with our vote a party that adheres to constitutional values.
Conservative Americans are silent no more. Too much is at stake for our children’s future. Many of us no longer call ourselves Patriots or Tea Partiers; we will, however, work as long as it takes to elect officials who will vote according to our values. We will hold them accountable and we will continue this process until a candidate finally represents the American people who voted for him instead of the political party that endorsed him.
The path for the GOP to reconnect with its constitutions is an easy one. Place values before loyalty or consensus. Rather than outing those that oppose politics as usual, listen to them. Learn from their objections and you will have a constituency that will follow the Republican party to the White House.