Since the GOP brain trust in D.C., led by California Republican and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (God help us all), hasn’t figured this out yet, I’d like to state something for the record: the GOP will never, under any circumstance in this millennium or the next or the one after that, out-liberal the Left.
Last weekend, McCarthy spent some time sucking up to his political rivals with a tweet celebrating America’s latest holiday, Juneteenth.
How’d that work out for him? He was immediately bashed for not supporting critical race theory in American schools.
When eventually McCarthy gives in and begins to support critical race theory, which, sure as death and the GOP giving tax cuts to the wealthy he will, the liberal Left will immediately demand his compliance with some other absurd anti-white humiliation ritual. And on and on we’ll go until McCarthy eventually forces his Republican caucus to vote for a bill stripping white Americans, himself included, of their citizenship as a form of reparations.
All we ever hear about from the establishment hacks of the world is “The Conservative Case for Something Liberal.”
This approach is called the “big tent” theory.
The next time you see something like “The Conservative Case for Chemically Castrating Boys,” or “The Conservative Case for Submitting to Jeff Bezos as Your Supreme Leader and Letting Him Launch You into the Sun on His New Rocket,” remember, that the “big tent” theory is what they are practicing.
This theory posits that if Republicans simply take more left-leaning positions on hot-button issues like creating federal holidays to celebrate the emancipation of slaves that nobody alive ever owned, liberals will flock to our bigger tent, thus making our voting base larger.
But here’s the thing about the “big tent” theory that is critical to understand: it is foolish, and it does not work.
I suspect that even Kevin McCarthy and his idiot colleagues understand this. They choose the “Big Tent” theory because they believe it is the path of least resistance, or at least the path to avoiding mean pieces being written about them from dumb bloggers at impotent websites like the Daily Beast.
Of course, the mean pieces will never cease. Nor will the name-calling. Nor will the blind rage and hatred from the Left. That’s what makes the “big tent” theory foolish.
More importantly, here’s why it doesn’t work.
What McCarthy and his friends don’t understand is that the proverbial tent has a back door.
Hanging out near the back of the tent are the hardcore conservatives—people who believe in old-school Republican priorities like preserving America’s Christian fundamentals, and social conservatism, and fighting back against the radical Left instead of rolling over to it, and not making Juneteenth a federal freaking holiday.
Every single time Republicans open the tent’s front flap to newly minted “Republicans” who believe that Christianity is bogus, that social conservatism is unimportant, or that the Right should try to compromise with the Left (because those Democrats are just so darn reasonable) an equal or greater number of hardcore conservatives look at the new crowd inside the tent, shake their heads in disgust, and slip out the tent’s backdoor.
In other words, attempting to expand the tent results in the opposite—the tent’s contraction. It alienates the actual conservatives and depresses their vote. It makes them less likely to turn out on Election Day for the Republican Party. Why would they bother? Their tent is filled with people whose ideas and beliefs do not even remotely represent theirs, so they give up on the political process completely.
The effect is obvious.
The “big tent” theory makes the GOP, and the country as a whole, more liberal over time.
While the Left wages political jihad, pushing everyone further leftward (see the “For the People Act” as an example) the GOP confusedly walks in circles, tripping over itself and drooling on the floor. It doesn’t even know there’s a war on.
The conservative case for conservatism is simple: stick to your guns and you’ll fire up your base so they’re actually interested in coming out to vote for you on Election Day.
Donald Trump was hardly the most conservative Republican ever to run for president. But he had one of those qualities that the Republicans at the back of the tent had been craving for such a long time. He gave the impression that he was willing to do battle with the political Left on their behalf.
“So what if he’s a New York socialite and a buffoon?” they thought to themselves. “This guy is going to take the fight to our political enemies, instead of rolling over and dying at the first sign of pushback.”
Donald Trump wasn’t even very successful at implementing a hardcore conservative agenda while he was president. His results were not terribly different from those of the “Big Tent” GOP of old. But still he garnered more votes than any Republican president in history during his 2020 reelection bid, because the mere impression that he would fight for his conservative constituents was that powerful.
Just imagine what the Republican Party could be if its candidates would unabashedly stand for conservative policies, and then implement those policies once elected. Imagine what would happen if, instead of the Republican Party moving leftward to placate Democrats, it moved rightward to placate Republicans. Imagine Republicans having to fervently believe in the most basic conservative values in order to be accepted into the tent, instead of opening the door to anyone who believes in the dubious concept of “free markets” and ignoring social issues completely. It would resemble a functioning political party.
And that is the conservative case for conservatism.