Friday, 04 September 2015 13:14
GOP needs to show loyalty to conservatives, Tea Party, not just Trump
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Tempest in a teapotAfter weeks of pressuring from the Republican National Committee (RNC) to sign a “loyalty pledge,” GOP frontrunner Donald Trump finally acquiesced and signed the document on Thursday. Trump announced the decision at a press conference at Trump Tower in New York City after meeting with RNC Chairman Reince Preibus.   


The “loyalty” issue had been extremely important to GOP leadership. Party leaders were terrified that Trump would run as a third party candidate in the 2016 election and doom their chances of victory.

Until signing the pledge, Trump had maintained his interest in exploring a third party bid if the RNC treated him poorly. He said that it gave him “leverage” in the upcoming race. Obviously, at this point, Trump must feel that he does not need the leverage and is confident of victory. The latest polls now show Trump at 30% support, with a double digit lead over second place challenger, Dr. Ben Carson.

Now that Trump has signed this pledge, it is time that the RNC finally show some loyalty to the base of their party, the conservatives. It is quite ironic that a group that has been incredibly unfaithful and disloyal to conservatives would demand a loyalty pledge from the leading candidate.

In recent years, the Republican establishment vigorously opposed the goals of the Tea Party, while happily receiving donations and volunteer support from grassroots conservatives. Clearly, conservatives are the backbone of the Republican Party, yet the RNC treats them as the enemy, with more hostility than they treat liberal Democrats.

This is very poor treatment of those who are dedicated party supporters. Conservatives are the ones who volunteer, donate and turnout to vote in huge numbers. Conservatives delivered the House of Representatives to the Republican Party in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. In return, conservatives were given no legislative action as many political promises were not fulfilled. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to stop the Obama agenda, approved the President’s extreme appointments and literally funded his liberal programs.                                                                                                           

In essence, conservatives have not been treated with respect; they have been given the proverbial shaft. The main vehicle of conservative political involvement, the Tea Party, has been treated with contempt by Republican leaders and their candidates have been targeted for defeat by the establishment.  

Along with stopping a true conservative agenda, the RNC uses the financial support from mostly conservative donors to support moderate congressional and presidential candidates. This is why no true conservative has received the Republican Party presidential nomination since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Ever since Reagan, it has been only moderate, establishment supported candidates who have been nominated for President.

Since the RNC has shown no loyalty to their most faithful supporters, Donald Trump should not have been forced to sign any sort of ridiculous pledge. It is reminiscent of Communist Party tactics, forcing members to support the leadership and, if not, face the consequences.

Trump’s decision means that conservatives may be left out once again in 2016. If the Republicans nominate a moderate candidate like Jeb Bush and the Democrats nominate a typical liberal like Hillary Clinton, conservatives will be faced with their familiar paradox, choosing the lesser of two evils.

Conservatives have been loyal to the RNC for too long. The party establishment no longer deserves the loyalty of candidates or voters. In this election, conservatives should vote for the Republican nominee only if the candidate espouses their values and shares their positions on important issues. The era of holding your nose and voting Republican needs to end, otherwise, it will be another frustrating presidential election season.  

Let’s hope that Donald Trump or another conservative wins the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and can start to demolish the destructive GOP establishment. If not, it is time conservatives found another party more deserving of their loyalty.    

Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at Ringside Politics.

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