On September 16, Eli Yokley reported for PoliticMo.com on the Republican meetings being held in Kansas City. The title of the piece is “In Kansas City, Republicans mull dueling approaches to victory.” He introduced his discussion in the following manner:
On one floor at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference over the weekend was a group raising $15 a person to oust the so-called “flimsy 15,” a group of Republicans who earlier in the week had voted against their party on controversial tax cut legislation.
On the floor below, Kansas City-area donors heard a message from a member of the Republican establishment calling for unity and a broadening of the GOP base. The rift between ideological purists and the party establishment was an undercurrent over the weekend as Republicans mulled paths to victory after losing statewide races in Missouri and the presidential race nationally in 2012.
What does the GOP mean when it calls for unity and broadening the base? Don’t they mean to ignore principle? Such soft censorship should not stand. It is indeed ironic that it is those who want unity and broadening of the GOP base want silence. Unity and broadening of the base would appear to be mutually exclusive principles if you want a free and open debate on ideas. That is true unless you are wanting politics to be a spectator sport.
People, politics is not a spectator sport. It is not our team against their team. We do not get a trophy or a medal when our team wins the Presidential election although many of our campaign victory parties appear otherwise. We don’t have the right to treat our opponents any differently if we win than if we lose. Government is not about winning and losing; it is about governing. Just because we have political parties, don’t think that this changes. Our government still exists to fulfill those covenantal principles set forth in the United States and Missouri Constitutions. Once elected, our officials must vow to uphold the constitution and not the party platform.
This “our team, their team” mentality is destroying this country. In the spectator sport paradigm of politics, there must be one man or group at the top of the organization, someone we might call “the head coach.” In the spectator sport paradigm of politics, that one man or group must call the shots and have all the power. He must have the commitment of the team. He wins by obtaining the greatest number of followers to his cause, but followers that may not challenge his authority. While he claims to be inclusive, the only opinion he respects is his own. For, although he needs people, he cannot permit diversity with his strategy. If he produces wins for us, we are at his behest, and we submit. We give him our homage.
But power corrupts. Broadening the base diminishes a commitment to principle and make the masses complacent. With principle and commitment gone, all that is left is corruption. We vote our pocketbooks because we think we deserve something from the victory. We persuade others to vote their pocketbooks because we want more people in the group. But this is corruption. Soon those on the team are more devoted to the cause of the team than the cause of the nation. Those who are committed to principle must be silenced to assure the victory of the team. The soft censorship of those controlling the team should not stand.
We need statesmen, not politicians. We need men and women who will stand on principle, the principle of the constitution and the traditions of our state and nation. We need men and women who will defend the industry and labor of those who produce in this country. This requires debate. It does not require silence dictated by the head coach. We don’t need social engineers; those who confiscate our labor for their projects should not be allowed to remain. We need justice.
We should all applaud those who champion statesmanship. Applaud them when they point out the political inconsistencies in those who vote to keep your taxes high. Applaud them when they seek to remove those who want your property for their own, to play with your hard earned property for their social engineering purposes. Applaud them when they compare the voting records of Republicans and Democrats to the principles of the constitution and do not accept political expediency. Speaker Jones gave the state the voting record for this debate and judgment by calling the tax cut legislation to a veto override vote. We should use it to make our leaders faithful to their vow to support the constitution and not be silenced by the head coach.