Erick Erickson is the Editor of RedState.com and the author Red State Uprising, the best treatise I’ve read on reclaiming the Republican Party for conservatism.
Erickson argues that a conservative candidate can no longer be defined by his/her rhetoric on abortion, support for the military, and tax cuts (rhetoric which often has no results), but rather by a commitment to limited goverment. He argues further than conservatives must work within the Republican Party, often against establishment Republicans, if they hope to actually win elections and be in positions of influence for real change.
Some notable quotes from the first chapter…
Conservatives must be willing to accept that being pro-life and pro-tax cuts does not a conservative make. In most every way, Republicans, particularly the leadership of the Republican Party, have behaved as pro-life statists – big government guys who are socially conservative and fiscally reckless.
…too few Republicans were willing to stand up for conservatism against statism when the Republicans were in charge.
Time and again, when given the opportunity, the Republican establishment endorsed liberals and moderates, while impugning or opposing conservatives who ran with the Spirit of ’94 [The Contract with America] in their campaigns.
Republican actions during the beginning of the twwenty-first century did not just increase spending. Their actions took away freedom and betrayed the very real sense of the GOP being for entrepreneurs and individuals. In effect, the GOP decided to run as Democrat-Lite.
For self-described conservatives, it is easy to be pro-life, pro-troops, and pro-tax cuts. In most races, that is not how you separate the wheat from the chaff. You separate them on their belief in limited government.
Erickson’s prescription for renewing a conservative agenda by working within the Republican Party is alone worth the price of the book.
Erick Erickson is my guest on Monday, October 11 at 4:20 pm ET. Stream the interview live at http://www.godandculture.com.