Policing The Movement

I am a big tent Republican.  I want a Republican party that has room for social conservatives, libertarians, moderates, populists, hawks, doves, and anyone else who wants to join the fight for limited government. For me, winning converts is a much higher priority than hunting heretics. That being said, even in a big tent, there are still times when you have to call on a bouncer to kick folks who go too far out of the tent.

In his acceptance speech at the 1996 Republican convention, Presidential nominee Bob Dole declared “But if there’s anyone who has mistakenly attached themselves to our party in the belief that we are not open to citizens of every race and religion, then let me remind you, tonight this hall belongs to the Party of Lincoln. And the exits which are clearly marked are for you to walk out of as I stand this ground without compromise.”  In the 1960s William F. Buckley the founder of National Review took the John Birch Society to task for their conspiracies alleging communists were deeply embedded at every level of government, including the secret communist President Dwight D. Eisenhower. At some point, every political movement reaches a point where they have to take action and police their own, and as conservatives and Republicans, today may be another one of those time.

The political left has been so quick to hurl the terms “Alt-Right” “Nazi” “White Supremacist” at even the most mainstream of conservatives that when I initially heard about the events in Charlottesville, prior to the news Heather Heyer’s death, my reaction was to think that it was just the media exaggerating the nature of another conservative rally. But when the clips came in of people carrying torches, of people wearing helmets and wielding shields, and people chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” I knew that this wasn’t just another case of the left crying “Nazi”.

I was proud to see many Republican leaders step up to condemn the actions of the people in Charlottesville.  While I wish President Trump would have condemned the participants sooner and stronger, the political left would have used this event as a club to bludgeon President Trump with regardless of what he said.  Maybe not every person at the UniteTheRight rally was a white supremacist or a neo-Nazi, but at some point, you reach a critical mass of white supremacists or neo-Nazis, and at that point, people of good faith are compelled to take action or disassociate themselves. Whether we like it or not, these people are in our “house” and it is our responsibility to do something about it.  Whataboutism and pivoting to legitimate criticisms of leftist groups such as Antifa does not relieve us of our responsibility to police our own movement when some factions take things too far.

The left’s claim that a large chunk of the Republican base is motivated by racial animus is a lie.  After years of working with the Oregon Republican Party at the state and county level, I know those people to be some of the best I have ever met. That being said I have always known that there is an ugly part of our society that is driven by that racial animus, but I always thought it was a negligible minority of loons.  I do not know how large that section of our society is, and maybe it is larger than I would care to admit, but regardless of how large that population is, I do not want them in my political movement, and if you care about limited government, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, and individual liberty then neither should you.

As former Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee Jack Kemp once said: “our goal is not just to win, but to be worthy of winning”. White Supremacy, racism, and bigotry are incompatible with Republicanism, and if we want to be a party that is truly worthy of winning, we need to make that as clear as possible.

Jacob Vandever is political activist, lifelong Oregonian, and proud Oregon State graduate. Jacob is the Editor of the Oregon Upstart Blog.

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Posted by at 12:15 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Granola girl

    Well said, thank you!

  • Oregon Engineer

    Did you know that the KKK was made up of hard core democrats? The democrat party ruled the south. They were not Republican. not even sure that they are to day other than they have been labeled such. They are more like the marxists, communists and socialists of the Hitler Stalin Lenin era. There is no difference in the policies. Antifa or what ever they call themselves are just as bad as the so called white supremacists. just as bigoted and racist. just the other side of the same coin.
    Do you know what the initial protest was about? It started peacefully. The city of Charlotte has much blame to bear. the police force has much to bear. the individuals on both sides have to live with their own lack of strength, self worth.
    Who threw the first insult? Punch? Mobs are very predictable especially such radical mobs/gangs. Does not take a genius to figure that out. consider the lynch mobs of the old western movies.
    Have you seen the beginning of the DaVinci Code where Tom hanks is lecturing on symbols? and the audiences reactions. if not watch at least the first 15 to 20 minutes. You mention “winning converts”. to what? a new religion? those rioters in Charlotte were converts to whatever belief system they adhere to. Eric Sherman linked a short video about a white supremacist who “got out”. his getting out is no different than getting out of any violent street gang. Eric’s point seemed to be that white supremacists are the only evil gang. What ever happened to free speech? Antifa doe not adhere to the first amendment. I agree with not associating with them or the Nazi party. I do not associate with the Republicans that adhere to the line of thinking similar to John McCain. I choose to associate with people who can carry on political conversations without going hair on fire crazy and getting extremely agitated. This is sinning out of control
    https://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONFEDERATE_MONUMENTS_GETTYSBURG?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-08-17-17-50-13 “Four protesters have been arrested in
    connection with the toppling of a Confederate statue in Durham, North
    Carolina, and Baltimore dismantled four monuments under the cover of
    darkness late Tuesday night and early Wednesday.”

    “But when the clips came in of people
    carrying torches, of people wearing helmets and wielding shields, and
    people chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” I knew
    that this wasn’t just another case of the left crying “Nazi”.” if this came from the mainstream media, ABC,NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and even Fox Then you saw and heard exactly what they wanted you to see and hear. the primary purpose to steer you away from what really happened and set a mind set that the alt right is evil. and it worked.

  • john fairplay

    Agreed. Actual White Supremacists are in fact a tiny minority (I have roots in the South and I’ve never even met one), but one is too many. There’s no place in American Society or the Republican Party for white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis or anyone who’s agenda depends on identity politics or hating some other group of people or setting one group against another to gain electoral benefit.

    The Republican Party is open to all those who desire freedom – but they have to want freedom for everyone, not just those of their own race or those who think as they do. The Republican Party is already the most diverse political party America has to offer – let’s keep it that way.

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