For a lot of conservatives, 2010 was a year of almost unbridled hope. Thanks to the Tea Party and groups like GOOOH and American Majority it appeared as if the will and desire of the people, in regards to representative government, could be achieved. Men and women from across the country set aside their successful careers, privacy, and their anonymity and jumped into the political ring of fire.
The Founding Fathers believed that political representation should not be the domain of wealth or legacy. Having come from a country where you had to vote for the landlord’s son or the factory owner’s son if you wanted to keep your home or job, those patriots wrote tirelessly about the evils and dangers of electing the child of privilege who had no real life experience or goals outside of a career at the Capital. Similarly, they decried electing generation after generation of politicians who seemed to be only “of the people” when it came time to give a speech, pass the collection hat, or beg for a vote.
It’s not the Founding Fathers were against wealth. In fact, many of them were wealthy men. But after witnessing first hand the treacheries of politics in England, dominated by empty suits with deep pockets and well spoken dandies without life experience outside of court, the Founding Fathers wanted the fledgling United States to be operated by successful members of the general public, who would temporarily lend their skills and experiences to the governance of the country and then return to their careers after a few years.
The nature of success wasn’t so important, the original signers included tradesmen, farmers, doctors, lawyers, and merchants. It was that they had created something tangible, had vested interest in seeing their community and state prosper, and were passionately involved in their community. There was a real sense that if the representative didn’t adhere to the wishes of his constituents while at the Capital, he would have to live with the repercussions for his entire life. Whether it was out of honor or fear of shame, this kept politicians tied to voters in a real and immediate way.
Of course we are all aware that many local, state, and national GOP organizations long ago strayed from the Founding Father’s original intent of actual citizen representation and have instead promoted nepotism, cronyism, and decade after decade of entertainers who see career politics and their new stage and purse.
We had high hopes that with the Tea Party, the GOP would stop funding the “good ol boy system,” the RINOs, and the DeeDee Scozzafavs and Alan Spectors and start listening to the will of the people. But they haven’t. Across the country, we have the same ol’ candidates, the same ol’ smiling masks whose only experience is in delivering clever, speeches, and hosting high dollar fund raising dinners.
Thanks to my radio show, books, and columns, I am included in the email mailings of nearly a hundred local and state GOP groups as well as the national party. It has been, disheartening. Time and time again, the emails suggest “we can’t support any candidate officially, be we are saving our group money for candidate A” or “well we have to give candidate B and C something, but we are giving the majority of the money to candidate A.” And whom you may ask is candidate A? Time and time again it is the son or daughter of a politician. Time and Time again it is the son or daughter of the local elite. Time and Time again it is an empty suit with no actually experience aside from giving speeches and grabbing donations for wealthy friends, bolstered by political favors, a wink and a nudge.
America is facing the most difficult challenge perhaps since the civil war. The GOP should be rallying soldiers, people with real experience in getting things done, actual trench workers who understand balancing a budget, inspiring workers, facing payroll and regulations and getting their hands dirty in their own communities. Instead, the GOP keeps promoting the flag wavers and bugle players.
There has been a great deal of comparison between modern America and the fall of Rome. Social issues, immigration problems, and a top heavy welfare state crushed the country. They say that Nero played fiddle while Rome burned. I guess in hundreds of years, when people look back on the fall of this country, they can say the GOP played piano and sang.