As far as I am concerned, the Republican Party no longer deserves my support. For years, I have fought against "RINOs" as hard as I've fought against Democrats because at the end of the day, they're the same thing. They're The Swamp. They're the Uniparty Establishment that pretends to bicker among themselves but invariably agrees to the same failed policies that got us into the various messes we've been in since Ronald Reagan left office.
We enjoyed a partial reprieve during President Trump's first term in the White House. He was not able to drain The Swamp, but he kept The Swamp at bay and took out chunks of their power, if only temporarily. Now that Joe Biden is in office, The Swamp is resurging to its previous form. But things are actually worse than a simple return to the status quo. After four years of Trump, The Swamp is no longer complacent. They've seen that their power can be affected if the right person is in the White House so they're trying to prevent that from happening again. And Mitch McConnell is leading the charge.
I'm not one who gives up easily. Since 2010, I've fought to bring about changes in the GOP. I started the American Conservative Movement in hopes that it would fight the onslaught of the Establishment within the GOP, but I quickly shelved it because the Tea Party formed at the same time with more momentum. It was never about personal glory; as long as someone was fighting the good fight, I had no problem being a member of another group rather than a leader in my own group. As the line goes in Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, "did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage"?
It's time to face the facts. The GOP may be too far gone to be salvaged. They were able to easily crush the Tea Party in the aftermath of the 2016 election, but most conservatives weren't too worried because MAGA had essentially replaced it. Two things allowed this to happen: MAGA complacency and the flaws found in disparate Tea Party factions. Now, we have to decide whether to try to fix the GOP or leave it to McConnell and his cronies for now as we play the long game.
To me, it seems apparent that the GOP will not be fixed as long as Mitch McConnell is leading it. The problem lawmakers face is that McConnell may be destroying his own reputation among the conservative base, but he still wields tremendous power over the electoral futures of Republican candidates. His control over various PACs and localized kingmakers means crossing him can be career suicide for both current and future GOP candidates. Some estimates I've seen put his fingers in nearly a quarter of the GOP megadonors' pockets. As long as he controls the GOP purse strings, he controls the electoral narrative.
We are going to relaunch the American Conservative Movement in the coming weeks. We had made the decision last summer to suspend it temporarily so we could focus our efforts on reelecting President Trump and other conservative Republicans. Because its initial revival last year was so close to the election, it could not yield results in time. We need this organization to be playing the long game, but the 2020 election was too crucial for us to spend our efforts building for the years to come. We were needed in the here and now, so we put the ACM on hold.
The GOP has to make a choice. If the greater party structure is going to fall in line with McConnell's false brand of conservatism, then there's nothing the Tea Party or the ACM or anyone else can do to fix it from within. And as much as we'd love to look at a new party, the only way that can be successful is if Donald Trump puts all of his weight behind it. If he's going to try to fix the GOP, as seems to be the case, then the best way we can support him is to leave the GOP altogether until he fixes it. That may sound counterintuitive, but stay with me on it...
Assuming Donald Trump is forming a new faction within the GOP, our support must come in the form of embracing his efforts from the outside. The Republican Establishment will not feel the pressure from us as long as we're still registered as Republicans. They definitely will not feel the heat as long as our dollars are still flowing to the party and its affiliated PACs. If Donald Trump puts together an official organization, then that will deserve our support. In the meantime, we need to put our time and treasure into outside conservative efforts.
We need to make our voices heard on this issue. That means we need to actively oppose whoever and whatever McConnell supports. Even though the election is just over three months behind us, primary season is already getting started. McConnell will embrace the Establishment Republican candidates he can control, which means we must put all of our support behind conservative candidates who oppose his efforts. As Todd Starnes Tweeted:
There is no longer a single GOP. There are McConnellite Establishment Republicans and there are conservatives. The two must remain separate until one of them is abolished. I will not be a Republican under Mitch McConnell.