By Robert Schlesinger |
A Pew Research Center survey found that a majority of Americans (53 percent) views the federal government as a threat to their personal rights and freedoms. Yet only a third of Americans (33 percent) holds a favorable opinion of the Republican Party.
In short, Republicans have a 20 percent opportunity. But they need all the help they can get.
And if the Conservative Victory Project is going to pony up millions to help good candidates prevail in the 2014 primary elections, then the "anti-establishment" conservatives should stop kicking this gift horse in the mouth. They should realize that this effort isn't about conservative ideology, but electoral credibility. It's about polishing the party's brand and making it more welcoming for Americans who already lean towards the party's philosophy.
For as Woodrow Wilson once explained, "If you want to win in party action, I take it for granted you want to lure the majority to your side. I never heard of any man in his senses who was fishing for a minority."
The Club for Growth, the Tea Party Express, and FreedomWorks activists are responsible for energizing conservatives and helping Republicans revitalize conservative principles. Devoted conservatives fill the ranks of those Republicans in elective office. What the GOP needs now are more people to align with these new party leaders. They need to realize that the only Republican "civil war" brewing is the one the media are making.
Simply put, it's time for conservative activists to put down the bayonets (the revolution has been won), make peace with the "establishment," and get on with the party's business of winning elections.
About Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College