There she goes again, upsetting the apple cart. This time Sarah Palin is "advocating the dreadful continuation of the Republican debates and the mud slinging between Republicans."

'For the Good of the Party'

In an open society with democratic institutions, political support should come from an informed and continually evaluated decision. This means as a responsible citizen living in a free society, it is your duty to be cynical about the people claiming to represent you; not to provide them with blind loyalty - like a dog to man.

Personally, I've found the "debates" tiresome. Chock full of stupid questions and scripted answers, it seems to me that our political process has been transformed into a bad form of "reality TV." It's better than nothing, I suppose. But regardless, the last thing we need to worry about is "the bloodshed and ravages these [debates] are causing," and/or that "the Republican candidate – whomever it finally arrives to the election – [will become] so weak that President Obama will get easily elected."

This sends the wrong message.

Fear over the debate process weakening your favorite candidate tells us more about said candidate than it does about the process. If you firmly believe in the philosophical underpinnings of conservatism, that the rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are inalienable, and forthrightly reject collectivism … What do you have to fear?

Your candidate feels the same way, no?

"Hip-Pocket" Conservatives

If you're a GOP cheerleader declaring "Anybody But​ Obama," you're in the hip-pocket of the Republican Establishment. They own you.

By worrying about "electability" and/or "winning," you've marginalized yourself and diminished your vote. How so? In doing so, you've sent the Establishment a clear message: Your wants and desires don't matter; you choose the party over principle; and you simply aren't willing to fight for Traditional American Philosophy.

Oh, I've heard all the rationalizations before - "purity", "enemy of the good", etc. - even from myself. But the fact of the matter remains that, when push comes to shove, the excuses do not alter the underlying truth: movement conservatism cowers whenever it comes to actively seeking victory over the federal leviathan, choosing resignation instead.

Though many attempt to shame folks like me for saying so, realize that conservatives can't point to any significant successes in policy that have actually rescinded the New Deal/Great Society bureaucratic welfare state, thus returning the federal government to the (very limited) size authorized by the Constitution. Instead, GOP cheerleading has resulted in each new expansion of the welfare/warfare/security state being viewed as irreversible, and each new department sacrosanct.

Why give your vote away for that?

There are Only 10 Commandments, not 11

You may think the Democrats are evil and that, right or wrong, you must defend the Republicans come hell or high water. But that's not the truth. The Republican Party, and by extension Republican politicians, have no loyalty towards you whatsoever. They don't even consider themselves as your representatives. They see themselves as your rulers. Sure, they pay you some lip service here and there, but they don't take your wants or desires seriously. In most cases, quite frankly, they hold you in absolute contempt.

You've been invited to the dinner party, but the question remains … Are you seated at the table? Or are you being served on a plate?

That's right! What you want doesn't matter. And as long as you remain loyal to the party, it never will.

The "Winning" Team

American politics has devolved into a simple game of "Us vs. Them," in which ideological issues have been trumped by the self-esteem of declaring: "I'm on the winning team!" Expanded welfare? No problem. Violated the Constitution? A mere technicality. Bailed out wealthy bankers at taxpayer expense? No big deal. "We beat the Democrats!"

[B]y proclaiming from the start that he offered "a choice not an echo," Goldwater made his supporters understand who their enemy was. That enemy was the liberal, eastern Rockefeller Republicans who, every four years from 1936 through 1960, had inflicted the Republican Party with a presidential candidate who "me-too-ed" the Democrats on the fundamental issues of big federal spending and an interventionist foreign policy. -- Phyllis Schlafly

Read that again, I'll wait.

The fact that your real enemy isn't simply "The Democrats," but the entire Washington Establishment, is something republican Mother works tirelessly trying to teach. As she notes, "The Reality of the Situation" is that:

[W]e have two factions in America, both being played by the same planners in different ways. But like in a sick game of Mother May I, both are used to march us toward complete tyranny.

Left, right, left, right … Leviathan continues to grow. Eroding our liberties (at an ever increasing pace) along the way.

'For the Good of America'

If you want to understand how government and politics really work, stop listening to the rhetoric of politicians and radio jock rants, and read "The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom" by James Burnham instead. This should dispel any illusions you may have about how power really works. Then follow that up by reading Albert Jay Nock's classic, "Our Enemy, The State."

All political institutions are oligarchical in character. All governments are composed of elites. All states exist through exploitation, theft, and violence. All actively engage in propaganda and indoctrination. The rule of the elite is based on force and fraud, and the primary objective of the ruling elite (both individually and collectively) is to maintain their power and privilege. There are no exceptions. Not even in the good old, U.S. of A.

If you want to understand electoral politics, learn from long-time conservative activist, Gary North.

Any time a politician begins to think you are in his hip pocket, make sure he knows you are a tack. -- Gary North

The most important power "We the People" have in politics is the power to impose pain on politicians.

Any definition of political victory that ignores getting your agenda enacted into law, enforced by the Executive, and upheld by the courts, is a complete sham. Because otherwise, you're only getting people elected for the sake of their personal careers', not your agenda. This means that to advance your agenda, you must be willing to impose severe penalties on disobedient politicians, regardless of party affiliation.

The Establishment understands this. They respect it. But they exploit it against you.

Here's how you can exploit them instead.

The Rules of Engagement

The political system was summed up a generation ago by the man I regard as the elder statesman of the hard-core wing of the American conservative movement, M. Stanton Evans: "Evans's Law of Political Perfidy."

When our friends get into power, they aren't our friends any more.

To this, I add North's Law of Partisan Politics:

When a movement is in either political party's hip pocket, it will be sat on.

If you do not believe this, then you are a sheep for the shearing -- and then, after several shearings, the roasting. You are on some politician's menu.


These are eight basic rules of engagement. There may be others, but these are fundamental. If you do not believe these, you are headed for disappointment.

  1. Vote for a hard-core challenger on the other side against a squishy incumbent. This rule separates the hard core members from the soft core members … Why is this so important? Incumbents must become deathly afraid of your movement.
  2. Hold your newly elected politician's feet to the fire the first time he breaks ranks on a key vote. He is like a puppy. When he leaves a mess on the carpet, get out the switch. "Bad dog! Bad dog!" Let him remember that switch. Let him fear that switch. The second time he does it, warm up the car. You and he will be taking a trip to the pound. You are his voter only for as long as he is your representative.
  3. Get him to sign a resignation letter. Before you work for him, make sure he has signed a resignation letter … This is a political suicide letter. You will see who is serious about your #1 issue and who is not …
  4. Track all of his votes on your #1 issue, and post them online. The Congress deliberately seeks to conceal voting results. Your committee must keep track of every vote related to your interest.
  5. Find out who his largest campaign donors are. This will tell you who will have the most clout when he takes office. Investigate the PACs. Investigate the donors who send in the maximum donation allowed. Are they members of one group? Post this information on the site that you set up to monitor his votes.
  6. Instill fear. This is your #1 task, once he takes office.
  7. Inflict pain. This is the basis of #6.
  8. Trust, but verify. If your group refuses to verify, it should not trust.

Politics is not based on love, because civil government is based on coercion. Do not impose "tough love" on a politician. He is not to love you. He is to obey you. You are not to love him. You are to monitor him. Impose negative sanctions and positive sanctions wisely.

We are dealing with dedicated people. We are dealing with power-seeking, often ruthless people. Don't try to buy them off. Don't try to sweet-talk them. If they don't vote the way you want them to vote, defeat them. This, they understand. This, they fear.

Either they are on your menu, or you are on theirs. I suggest the former.

What's that you say? Doesn't sound "respectable?"

Reflexively falling lockstep behind the party doesn't sound "respectable," that is, if you ask me.


If you want to change Washington, if you want to change the Republican Party, you have to be willing to inflict pain. "Bad dog! Bad dog!" Yes, this means Republicans will sometimes "lose." With your help too! Because you purposely voted against them.

But, but, but … If Romney is the nominee and I vote for Ron Paul, I'll "split the vote." Nonsense. That assumes your vote belonged to (was the property of) Romney to begin with - an idea that any freeman should find repulsive.

But, but, but … A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Obama. Nonsense. A vote for Johnson is a vote for Johnson. Sure, it may be one less vote for Romney, but that's Romney's fault for not representing you and the principles you believe in. It is the job of candidate to consolidate support. If they're having trouble it's a reflection on them, not you.

But, but, but … Every excuse for not voting for principle boils down to the "horse race" theory of politics. Accoring to this view, one should vote, not for what he believes in, but simply for the candidate perceived to have the best chance of "winning." In other words, putting Republican Party victory over your own desires and beliefs. But why give in to that which you believe to be wrong?

Seriously. Why give your vote away so cheaply?

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. -- John Quincy Adams, 6th President of these United States

As long as you're willing to accept whatever candidate they give you, even if you think the alternative (Obama) is worse, you've surrendered your power, thus accepting that the (career) interests of Establishment figures are of greater importantance than your own principles, and furthermore absolving them of all wrong-doing. You've given them no incentive to change whatsoever. Even worse, you've put them in charge!

"Government of the Establishment, by the Establishment, for the Establishment."

Is that what you want?

Because that's what you'll get, that is, until you're willing to scorn Republicans with the same vengeance usually reserved for Democrats, actively work against politicians who don't obey, and inflict a serious amount of pain.

Every candidate must know that he will lose if he waffles on his promises. This is the language of politics. Republicans will "see the light" only if they feel the pain.

"For the Good of the Party" by theCL was originally published on February 3, 2012 at Political Realities.