Conservatives Still Lack a True Political Vehicle
By Dr. Richard Moss
A year ago, I was locked in a political race for the Republican nomination for Congress from Indiana’s 8th district. I was running against then four-term incumbent, Larry Bucshon. I had also run in the prior election cycle in 2016. And I had run in 2014 against Mike Braun (now U.S. Senator for Indiana) for state representative (HR 63).
Among issues popular among conservatives, I also had what I thought was a compelling matter regarding the incumbent: Bucshon and his family had moved to Washington, D.C. That combined with his generally weak voting record could, I hoped, propel me to an upset victory, never easy against an incumbent. I started early and ran hard. I had raised money and traveled extensively throughout the 18 counties of Indiana’s 8th district, meeting and interacting with voters.
Despite a vigorous, hard-hitting campaign, we came up short — actually worse than the prior election. I had dropped from 35% to 26%. I also observed that many in the 8th district county level GOP establishment were upset over my criticism of Bucshon for moving to D.C. I contended, however, that a representative and his family must live, work, and attend schools in the area he represented especially In this era of an increasingly centralized federal government, far removed from its constituents,
Bucshon’s decision to move to Washington exemplified a DC-centric mentality that defined perfectly what was wrong with our political system — and why I had run.
Having lost in three political campaigns, I can report that it is wonderful not to run for office. I return home at night. I have more time with my family. I no longer have to suffer the slings and arrows of detractors. I can observe the political machinations and comment from afar.
The reasons for running in three separate campaigns, however, have not disappeared. Our “one-party” system in Washington remains profoundly corrupt and self-serving. It consists of career politicians from both parties, special interests, donors and lobbyists, all of whom agree on one thing: growing the size of government.
The Republican Party, in its budgeting and voting, is a left of center party; it is, as I often referred to it as, the Republican wing of the Democrat Party. With an increasingly Marxist Democrat Party, and no serious conservative opposition from “soft-progressive” Republicans, the trajectory of the nation is all to the left: more spending, more programs, more socialism, and ultimately, more tyranny.
Rather than promote a constitutional, limited government agenda that would actually expand liberty and shrink the power of the federal government, the GOP, in effect, embraces the tenets and policies of the Democrats (other than occasional, meaningless rhetorical flourishes to the contrary). Thus, there is no active force to thwart the mortgaging of the nation and future generations by politicians seeking short-term political gain.
Thanks to our federal government, for example, we have annual trillion-dollar deficits, a national debt approaching $22 trillion (larger than our GDP), and $200 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. The actuaries of Medicare and Social Security indicate both programs will be bankrupt in 2026 and 2035 respectively. The Republican Party, allegedly a stronghold of fiscal prudence, is, in fact, handmaiden to profligacy and insolvency. The GOP remains hapless on the issue of immigration. It has done nothing to curtail and reform legal immigration to reflect the national interest (i.e., to make it meritocratic, limited and diverse; to end chain migration, the “diversity” visa, birthright citizenship, and lawless “sanctuary cities,” among many critical issues); it has not secured the southern border nor prevented the influx of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, virtually all of whom are impoverished, uneducated and unskilled, and who will burden our schools, hospitals, courts and public systems. Many of them are disease carriers, drug dealers, criminals and terrorists.
Thanks to feckless Republicans, our immigration system has become a giant welfare magnet for the world, a threat to our sovereignty, the rule of law and national security. The GOP has failed abysmally on the cultural front; it has feebly accepted the cultural Marxism of the left rather than pushing back against the nihilism and degradation of our popular and politically correct culture. It has failed to promulgate a conservative “narrative” to confront the anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-American narrative foisted upon us by our liberal cultural overlords. Today’s Democrat Party, overtaken by the radical French Revolutionary Left, is not the Democrat party of your grandfather or father, of Truman or Kennedy, or even Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. This bunch, should they come to power, is preparing the ground for future gulags not unlike their Marxist predecessors of the 20th century. In effect, the conservative movement lacks a political vehicle in which to enact its agenda, policies and narrative, hence the nation is at the mercy of liberaldom. Absent effective and principled resistance from a fighting Republican Party, the leftward tilt of the nation, its decline into socialism and bankruptcy, its fragmentation into tribalized, warring identity groups, and the continued breakdown of its culture, is unavoidable. The Trump years, like the Reagan era, will represent temporary but minor respites in the downward spiral of the country.
We live in treacherous times and the fault lines dividing us may be insurmountable. But conservatives and, hopefully, Republicans, must continue to uphold our priorities that the nation may return to its foundational principles and beliefs. We must reassert the religious and cultural underpinnings of the country, the central role of the two-parent family, faith and the Judeo-Christian tradition; we should foster an appreciation of our unique history and heritage, of liberty, individual rights, the rule of law, free markets and the principles of our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We, the believers, must remain the vanguard defending Western and American civilization — with or without the Republican Party.
Dr. Richard Moss is a practicing ear nose and throat surgeon, author, and columnist residing in Jasper. He has written “A Surgeon’s Odyssey” and “Matilda’s Triumph” available on amazon.com. Find more of his essays at richardmossmd.com. Visit Richard Moss, M.D. on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.