The following Op-Ed was submitted by Greg Pruett, State Vice Chairman for the Constitution Party of Idaho.
In a state like Idaho, the GOP rules the roost and has for decades.
The Democrat Party is essentially useless in Idaho when it comes to making policy, just as the GOP is useless in states like California or New York. So the real fight in Idaho has been between the moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans.
For years, we have watched as principled conservatives did their best to take over legislative and county central committees within the Republican Party. They have done everything possible to break the moderates’ stranglehold, but have been largely unsuccessful.
In several counties in Idaho, real conservatives have successfully gained power. Still, in most counties, the fake conservatives have maintained the power they have had for many years.
Recently, I watched as conservatives had started to gain some ground in Canyon County, but it was all wiped away in one central committee election. Good friends of mine worked hard (and still do) to get Canyon County going in the right direction. But the deceit and backstabbing by moderates were enough to undo the conservative’s hard work.
The major problem is that these moderate Republicans (or Democrats in many cases) have convinced GOP voters that they are real conservatives who believe in the GOP platform. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but as long as they keep saying one thing publicly, they can continue to do the opposite behind the scenes.
In reality, many of these establishment GOP insiders are only interested in maintaining power and the status quo. They aren’t interested in the actual fight to save our country from the growing progressive movement.
If you get an opportunity, go to one of the Idaho GOP winter or summer meetings and watch which resolutions get passed. You would think solid conservative ideas would pass overwhelmingly, but they don’t.
Good conservatives have been fighting for years to push through solid resolutions which make a firm stand for liberty, and it’s a bloody fight every single time. But, unfortunately, the moderates don’t want to pass good resolutions or ensure that candidates getting into office represent the party, and they fight tooth and nail against real conservatism.
Once these moderate GOP candidates get in office, they have an unlimited supply of money from special interest groups like the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. Big corporations like Blue Cross and liberal Political Action Committees like “Take Back Idaho PAC” fund the liberal wing of the GOP in droves. The real conservatives in the GOP can’t compete monetarily because they are typically grassroots funded, not special-interest funded.
But more important perhaps than any of the above elements on why the GOP cannot be saved from within is the movement within the GOP to bring in more moderate Democrats to the Republican Party.
Do you know about the “walk away” campaign, which is still underway? Moderate Democrats are fleeing their party in droves and coming to the Republican Party.
As more Democrats join the Republican Party, the GOP platform will be eroded, moved further to the left, and moderate Republicans won’t care.
Again, the moderates are in it for power, not for the principle of saving our Republic. The GOP establishment wants the biggest “tent” possible for people joining the party. This means that as long as their numbers grow, the GOP doesn’t care who is joining.
What good is your political party if you don’t ensure that the people joining it have the same principles you do? How do you maintain the principles of your party if you are constantly bringing people in who are dragging it to the left? Do these moderate GOP individuals believe that the Democrats joining the party are all becoming staunch conservatives?
In reality, as Democrats join the GOP, maybe some of them have turned into staunch conservatives, but many of them are likely to have moderate conservative beliefs at best. Perhaps they are just tired of the non-stop culture war being pushed on Americans by the Democrat Party. However, they still believe in some abortions, redistribution of wealth, gun control, or other Democrat ideas that they feel the Republican Party can embrace.
While no political party will have 100% unanimity, and no one will necessarily embrace a platform 100%, you have to draw the line somewhere as a party.
The Constitution Party of Idaho would rather have a smaller number of registered members, in my opinion, with people who believe in the platform, rather than a large number of people in the party who have no principles.
The real question is, do you want to spend massive amounts of time and energy trying to battle with the moderates in the GOP every single day, or try something different?
The GOP and CP-Idaho are relatively similar in their platforms, but we propose being a party that sticks to its conservative principles, and doesn’t cave to the liberals who might want to change the party. So while CP-Idaho will have its challenges as a third party, I would rather be fighting the liberals in the statehouse and not wasting my time embroiled in a centuries-long battle within the GOP.
I believe that being in CP-Idaho allows me to focus on the fight against progressives on a broader scale here in Idaho, rather than constantly fighting against liberal Republicans in my local county and trying to convince them to stick to the platform.
Idaho is under attack from liberals who are trying to do what they have successfully done in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. But, unfortunately, the liberal Republicans who control the GOP don’t recognize that threat or don’t care.
The Constitution Party of Idaho cares about this fight, and we intend to do everything we can to save this state.
So, even if you are going to remain a Republican and try to save it “from within,” we encourage you to vote your principles in the general election and vote for the most conservative candidate, no matter which party label they have.