Many who faithfully read Illinois Review every day most likely refer to themselves as "conservative Republicans." I have been concerned for a number of years regarding the future of self-proclaimed conservatives and their waning influence in the Republican Party.
In Lake County there is a functioning and active conservative group that dates back to 2001, the Republican Assembly of Lake County.
Years ago it was mandatory for RALC members to be pro-life, to ascribe to marriage between one man and one woman, to uphold gun rights via the Second Amendment, etc. Its Platform is closely aligned with the Platform of the Republican Party in Illinois. With a relaxation of membership qualifications, no longer is it necessary for a candidate to check "yes" beside all questions asked of prospective members on the RALC membership application form to qualify for membership.
The relaxation of standards by the RALC has resulted in diminishing the impact its members can have in advancing conservatism in Lake County.
Even when a conservative Republican candidate does attempt to run for office in Illinois, an attempt is made to derail that candidate in favor of a Republican Establishment candidate, as was the situation in Illinois House District 58 when Minority House Leader Tom Cross -- who has garnered far too much power and influence here in Illinois -- funneled thousands of dollars to the establishment candidate after promising the Republican challenger that he never became involved in Primary elections.
The same disregard for conservatives happened at the federal level when in the 8th Congressional District no financial help was directed toward Joe Walsh by the U.S. House Republican Party in his campaign to retain his House seat against challenger Democrat Tammy Duckworth.
If the Republican tactics employed to eliminate conservative candidates seem underhanded and unfair, there is much more more to fear in the near future.
In the aftermath of the Nov. 7th elections conservatives are being told by the top brass of the Republican Party in Illinois and at the Federal level, that the Republican party must change its stripes or it will forever lose elections.
It has been decided that we, as conservatives, are out-of-step with society by clinging to our pro-life and anti-gay marriage messages. But it is on the issue of illegal immigration where a Republican compromise would bring about lasting and disastrous implications that could torpedo the Republican Party out of existence.
It is regretful that a prominent conservative senator, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), is suggesting that Republicans be more accepting and tolerant of illegal immigrants to win elections.
Do Republican (and conservatives in sync with Sen Rubio) really believe that by going Democrat-lite the Republican Party will win predictably Democratic voters over to the Republican side? Will the Democratic Party gleefully hand over some of its voter base to Republicans-- Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote in November -- just because Republicans are finally saying "pretty please, vote for me" to Hispanic voters? I don't think so!
Instead, granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens would infuse the Democratic voter base with millions of potential new voters. Meanwhile, all the Republican Party would gain from any amnesty plan is the element of hope that their largess toward Hispanics would be rewarded at the polls.
In an outstanding video featuring conservative David Horowitz , Horowitz laments how many conservatives don't accept their own philosophy to the extent that they are able to stand up to the pressures of pop culture, either too ashamed to declare and fight for what they believe, or not equipped to explain their conservative principles which far outshine the failed policies of the liberal Left.
Michelle Bachmann was cited by Horowitz as a conservative who unabashedly stands up and fights for what she believes (and she was reelected!). Establishment GOP leaders instead consider conservatives and Tea Party candidates and legislators their greatest threat.
It was through information shared by conservative radio host, Mark Levin, during his Monday, November 20 radio show aired on WLS-890 AM, that I heard about House Majority leader John Boehner's recent power grabs and scorched-earth maneuvering in order to crush conservative opposition in the House.
On November 20 Levin read to his radio listeners a commentary by Daniel Horowitz, Boehner's Irony, that disputes the claim that Boehner is weak and flaccid in the face of adversity. On the contrary, Boehner has reorganized the House so conservatives will be relegated to the back burner without a voice.
In light of Boehner's scorched earth tactics and aggressiveness against House conservatives, it is not unreasonable to expect that Boehner, in future negotiation with Democrats, will reach across the aisle, even when promising otherwise, in order to win the mantle of bi-partisanship which Republican leaders seem to crave when in power. For Boehner, not unlike other powerful establishment Republican leaders, folds like cheap a accordion when faced with Democrat masters.
Conveniently forgotten by Republicans is that Democrats in power crush all opposition that impedes them from attaining their Statist goals. Boehner, nevertheless, has created what appears to be a free rein for himself in capitulating to Democrats on a laundry list of policy items.
Why? Because both parties want big government as it offers them more spoils to split between them. Boehner's dictatorial action in the House therefore seems to signal Republican Establishment desperation. Action had to be taken in the House to relegate Republican conservative legislators to the back burner. Beware of Boehner's recent announcement that Obamacare is on the table for fiscal cliff talks, or that raising taxes is out of the question.
Republican pundits -- Karl Rove captures the prize in demonizing conservatives -- and Republican leaders in the Illinois General Assembly and the U.S. House and Senate foolishly believe Republicans need to offer amnesty to illegal aliens and compromise on issues of morality in order to win elections. Instead, they would be wise to heed the words of Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly in an article published on November 21, Political Parties Need Rebranding.
According the Phyllis Schlafly, the Republican Party needs to change its marketing and its economic message so the Party "can be rebranded as the party of family, good jobs, and superior weaponry that keeps America safe without war. Safe without war and Reagan-style peace through strength can help to win back the Millennial generation."
To Schlafly, the basic Romney-Republican economic message of cutting taxes and regulations to enable people to prosper as entrepreneurs, innovators, and employers was fine, but it didn't relate to the millions of men who lost $50,000 jobs and then had to take minimum-wage of part-time jobs that don't pay enough to support a family.
Schlafly had this to say about how Republicans should define the Democratic Party: "The Democratic Party should be rebranded as the Party of atheism, amnesty, abortion, and debt."
Lastly, Phyllis Schlafly believes there is plenty of hope for the Republican Party because 30 of the 50 governors are now Republican. At the same time Schlafly urges grassroots Republicans, with the help of Tea Party allies, to take back control of their Party at the local level and set the Republican Party on a winning path!
But what are conservatives in Illinois to do when well known Republicans like John Porter, Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson support and back Democrats, as they did in the recent November General Elections, while at the same time Republicans are being urged to vote the Party line.
John Porter endorsed Democrat Julie Morrison over Republican Dr. Arie Friedman in the IL District 29 race; Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson endorsed Democrat Scott Drury over Republican Mark Shaw in the IL 58th House race. What blatant dichotomy!
After all, elections are many times won by small margins. Furthermore, while Illinois may run out of money, it will never run out of corruption.