What Now?

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As the polls continue to show Republicans gaining support amongst the voting public and the TEA party making surprising strides in many primaries the question arises – Where does the GOP go from here?

With many conservative TEA party backed candidates poised to hold seats in Congress is it possible for the establishment Republicans to welcome them and work as a cohesive unit to promote the shared agenda of less taxes, less spending and less government? If there is one thing the old guard and the new lions have in common it is the platform of less, less, less. The dividing point however is the confidence that the voters have in the old guard to stick to the task of doing so. It is that lack of confidence, brought on by the deficit and debt spending of the GOP controlled congress during the Bush administration, that has brought on the meteoric rise of the TEA party candidates and the ouster of established GOP candidates in primary elections.

With that lack of confidence leading a new group of conservatives into the GOP power grid, the Grand Ol’ Party must now fight to instill confidence in the independents that they are moving in that direction in order to be successful in the general elections not only in 2010, but to ensure it continues into 2012. The TEA party conservatives have found success with one simple message: Less taxes, less spending and less government. The GOP establishment must embrace this message and show that they are serious about these issues and cohesive with the TEA party candidates before the voters will have confidence enough to continue to give them their votes into 2012. But any relationship is a 2 way street and the GOP/TEA party relationship can be no different.

As the Democrats go into attack mode, unwilling and unable to run on their votes for the highly unpopular stimulus and health care bills, the TEA party must instill confidence that they are not the far right fringe that the Democrats and the media are trying so hard and spending millions of dollars to paint them as. Taking a page from the Glenn Beck rally’s strategy book, the signs and idealistic t-shirts must go. Whether it be a few far right supporters that take advantage of the situation to get out their message of hate or whether it be plants by the left put in the crowd to give the appearance of radicalism, if they remove the opportunity all together then there will be nothing to debate but the issues. The first amendment is the backbone of our society and I am not suggesting that anyone’s rights be infringed. What I am suggesting is that the main message of less taxes, less spending and less government must be the only message if they expect to compete in a general election forum. In a general election the voting audience is different. They can go either way. The TEA party activists must realize that any opening for the other side or the media to push their message that the GOP is being taken over by far right radicals needs to be eliminated. Their message can win. If it is the message that the public sees.

So what now? Although they have been battling each other in the primary races, the GOP and the TEA party must now embrace each other in order to win in the big show. The GOP must embrace the TEA party to instill confidence in potential voters that they are serious about cutting taxes, spending and the size of government. A confidence that they have lost. The TEA party must embrace the GOP to instill confidence that they are not the far right radical fringe that many believe them to be.

What is known is that the voting public is disillusioned and disappointed in the policies of the Democrats and the White House. Will the Republican establishment work with the new conservative influx of TEA party backed candidates and embrace their ideas? Will the TEA party tone down it’s non-platform rhetoric as it did at the Glenn Beck rally and remove the radical public appearance?

It is yet to be seen but it must be done if they both expect to gain the confidence of the American voter.

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