The term "Big Tent" has been used for some time now, but recently the meaning has taken on new life. In the good ole days of the conservative movement, the big tent idea meant that the hawks found room for the isolationist and the free market gurus scooted over for the hands on fed types. These days it seems that some want the tent so big that there would be no need for the dang thing because we include everyone.
Case in point, Colin Powell. General Powell is an intelligent man with a distinguished background, but he is not a Republican. Sure, he calls himself one, but true conservatives know that he simply is not. We have known it for a while with no skin off the knee, but now Mr. Powell wants control of this party. He wants to move it to the warmed over middle and beyond. He wants a huge tent. A look at the history of General Powell will show you that he voted for JFK, Carter and Obama. Conservatives raise your hand if you did the same. Anyone? Aren't you supposed to support the candidate of the party that you belong to? Apparently not. I believe his idea of moving the party to the left is a ploy to cripple it beyond repair.
Second case, Tom Ridge. The pro-choice former governor of Pennsylvania has ruled out a run against another lifetime politician Arlen Specter. But, what he has done is to publicly disagree with the voice of the Republican party, Dick Cheney. Ridge said two weeks ago that waterboarding is no longer an issue and that release of memos on interrogation techniques by Obama have not made the country less safe. One other Republican agrees with that (see above). Reports have Ridge positioning himself for a possible White House run in 2012. The only problem with that is he is mirroring Obama on many issues. So in a battle between Obama and Obama Lite, who do you choose?
I of course have strong feelings when it comes to the conservative movement, mainly because I am a strong conservative. This tent we are under is pretty darn big and when it comes to what we stand for, can only get bigger with like minded folks. We cannot allow it to be stretched and distorted into something that we don't recognize or believe in for the sake of winning elections. For goodness sake, we nominated the most left of all Republicans for president and it didn't work. Now let's get back to what we know best. I am talking a real shift to the roots of conservatism. The roots that William F. Buckley wrote and spoke so eloquently about. The roots that set our modern movement on its path. We don't need more moderates or more liberals in the Republican party to make it successful again. We need more conservatives.
"Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.There are, thank Heaven, the exceptions. There are those of generous impulse and a sincere desire to encourage a responsible dissent from the Liberal orthodoxy. And there are those who recognize that when all is said and done, the market place depends for a license to operate freely on the men who issue licenses — on the politicians. They recognize, therefore, that efficient getting and spending is itself impossible except in an atmosphere that encourages efficient getting and spending. And back of all political institutions there are moral and philosophical concepts, implicit or defined. Our political economy and our high-energy industry run on large, general principles, on ideas — not by day-to-day guess work, expedients and improvisations. Ideas have to go into exchange to become or remain operative; and the medium of such exchange is the printed word."
William F. Buckley in the first issue of National Review (19 November 1955)