Strange juxtapositions, you say? Especially when talking about the the race for NH GOP chairman between Jennifer Horn, the “establishment” choice, and Andrew Hemingway, the “Movement Conservative” choice? No, I say, not at all. Levin/Hemingway on the one hand, and Horn/Romney on the other are emblematic of the state of the Republican Party today…both in New Hampshire and in the United States. It is separated—note that I did not say
“divided,” “fractured,” or “split”; the word is chosen carefully—into two divergent “points of view.” On the two sides there are what might be called “the hard-corps, committed, Constitutionalist, activist, movement conservatives” on the one hand, and the…
…”moderately conservative, Main Street, country club/yacht club members” (I hope that last doesn’t make the moderate Republicans feel too put upon, because political victory requires that both groups fight the common enemy of today’s destructively unhinged, over-expanding, over-taxing, over-spending government).
We all know who Mitt Romney is, so let me start off this essay by saying a little about Mark Levin, quoting from an inauguration-day interview on Breitbart.com (well worth reading in its entirety). Levin is a lawyer, best-selling author, radio talk show host, broadcaster, and former chief of staff for Attorney General Ed Meese under President Reagan. He is also one of the most powerful spokesmen for “Movement Conservatism” in America today. On Obama’s inauguration day he said this:
“Obama will look for opportunities to exploit as events unfold in his second term. I am sure they’ve drawn up a partial a list, including…gun control; attacks on the First Amendment such as religious liberty; amnesty for illegal aliens; union expansion; institutionalizing Obamacare; institutionalizing voter corruption; de-industrialization via the EPA; destroying the capitalist-based economy via tax increases, smothering regulations, massive deficit spending, and endless borrowing; hollowing out our military; etc. This will effect all of us. It will do extreme damage to the nation in many respects.”
That means that we are facing a very tough, very bad battle to save our country. In the Republican ranks we have the movement conservatives, typified by Mark Levin, above. On the other hand, we have the Republican moderate conservatives—typified by Mitt Romney and Jennifer Horn. I want to make clear that I do not believe that these are bad people. Their instincts are basically decent. The problem is, they confuse “making appearances” (at the annual country club ball, at various fund-raising dinners, etc.) and “being members” (of the Chamber of Commerce, of the best church in town, of the yacht club) with effectively confronting our political enemies.
These people are what might be called “non-ideological Republicans.” Their ideas and allegiances are wrapped up in what we might call traditional tactics, strategies, values, and actions. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, except…they do not and cannot provide effect resistance to the surging political classes (those who live off of and seek always to expand the reach, power, and wealth of government) with their wholly destructive ideas. Being rich, socially prominent, or well-thought-of in your community is no match for the hateful, powerful, down-and-dirty gut-fighting tactics of the Democrats. Those otherwise laudable characteristics just don’t get the job done, as the sorrow of Mitt Romney’s loss showed us. You don’t fight political evil with restrained tactics, proper behavior, and social niceness!
That’s where the other side of the Republican coalition comes in. I broadly call them “the movement conservatives” (by which term I include free marketeers, Constitutionalists, 9/12ers, social conservatives, libertarians, and every other anti-statist sub-group). They, in contrast to the the non-ideological Republicans, don’t confuse “acceptable behavior” with effective tactics in confronting the enemy. This group—which is quite a bit more diverse than the non-ideological Republicans—has crucial weapons that must be deployed against the Democrats and their political class enablers; that is, better ideas. Ideology, if you will.
We always hear the Democrats and their supporters attacking “those ideological Republicans” (speaking of the movement conservatives), as if the Democrat Party doesn’t have its own extremely powerful ideology driving every move it makes. The plain truth is that Statism is the ideology that empowers and informs Democrats—the incessant, all-consuming effort to expand the power of government at every turn and opportunity. Why do they strive for that? For two reasons: First, so that “people can be helped (they say; the result, despite the faux “good intentions,” is misery and poverty). Second, the desire for “the best, smartest people” to “rise to the top” of government so that they can benevolently exercise the unlimited government power that Statism brings…but “for everyone’s benefit” (they say; the result is always ultimately tyranny and injustice).
So, unlike the non-ideological Republicans, movement conservatives know that a philosophy of Statism drives the Democrat Party, and they know that Statism is a snare, a trap, an illusion, and ultimately the road to serfdom. The remedy for Statism is the ideas of movement conservatives: That set of ideas underlain by knowledge of and belief in the founding ideals of America as laid out by the Founding Fathers, including in the Constitution itself. That is why Democrats and other Statists are so eager to say “those Republicans are just ideologues.” They’re scared! Democrats are terrified of the movement conservative ideology of freedom and individual rights and responsibility, because it is strong, effective, and utterly opposed to their own unsubtle, irrational, and ultimately dangerous ideology. Democrats are ideologues, but their ideology is harmful and punitive, whereas the Republican movement conservative ideology of freedom and individual empowerment is based upon the Constitution and American exceptionalism. When it is brought to the fore by movement conservatives, it acts like garlic thrown in the face of the Vampire of government tyranny and dependency.
This is why when you speak to a movement conservative, he or she will know what you’re talking about when you refer to Hayek, Von Mises, Friedman, Rand, Heinlein, and many other purveyors of very powerful ideas—all of which are designed to advance individual and social freedom, as opposed to advancing government power. The non-ideological Republican, while good in impulse, spirit, and heart, isn’t really steeped in the ideology of freedom, and thus finds it difficult to squarely meet and defeat the sirens of statism who now control most of the federal and New Hampshire state governments. And that is why Mitt Romney found himself utterly incapable of effectively confronting and destroying the fraud that Obama was selling, the socialist nirvana being purveyed like a modern-day Pied Piper for America. It is why he lost the Presidential election to a man who is utterly contemptuous of American history, American exceptionalism (denies it, in fact), the Founding Fathers, and the United States Constitution.
And that, my Republican friends and compatriots throughout New Hampshire, is why Jennifer Horn as the NH GOP chairman would be little more than a placeholder for the non-ideological Republicans who are capable only of presiding over a genteel but declining Republican Party in our state. We have to fight. Now, more than ever. Jennifer Horn, like Mitt Romney, is a good and decent person, and doubtless a good parent and spouse. But she is wholly unsuited to carrying on what must become a running ideological street battle against the Alinsky-inspired activists of the Democrat Party in New Hampshire. This is war, after all…political war. And those who attempt to confront and beat the wholly ideology-driven forces of the statist Democrats without an equally powerful, countervailing ideology of individual empowerment and freedom will find themselves outclassed and outfought.
Just like Mitt Romney in the Presidential election.
Does Hemingway, by contrast, have the brass, the chutzpah, the ideological drive to direct an army of freedom-fighters against Democrat party statism in New Hampshire? Yes. You see, Mr. Hemingway has a very powerful set of ideas. They are coupled with a very savvy, very youthful understanding of the emerging power of social media and the driving force of the computer revolution on electoral politics.
Why does he have these advantages? First, because Hemingway heads up a company specializing in social media.
Second, Hemingway is an expert in the use of computers in electoral politics himself.
Third, Hemingway is young and dynamic. And being so, he has grown up steeped in the world and use of computers and social media.
Fourth, he is smart. He sees and knows what has to be done. He was hired by Newt Gingrich to run a primary campaign in New Hampshire just 70 days before the election. He had to put together a statewide campaign and organization on short notice and very little money. Yet Gingrich came in #4. The very next week Gingrich won the South Carolina primary. Only thereafter did the Romney Republican (non-ideological) smear machine kick into high gear and sink Gingrich’s chances (is there anyone who believes that Gingrich could not and would not have done a better job of aggressively confronting Obama and the socialist ideology he ran on in the campaign?).
How do I know all this? Because I’ve worked closely with Hemingway in the past. For two years he was the chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire (RLCNH) which I founded in 2004. He did an excellent job—not by doing all the work himself, but by directing and leading the activists within the organization, which resulted in the RLCNH becoming a formidable political power in NH (over 100 of our endorsed state house representatives prevailed in their races; with Hemingway leading the NH GOP, I believe they will prevail again). Those kinds of skills are exactly what are needed in the office of the chairman of the NH GOP. I have also seen Hemingway generate and lead a protest against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter that urged every clear-headed New Hampshire citizen to “run her out of town on a rail” (it got front-page coverage in the Union Leader, and Shea-Porter lost the subsequent election to a Republican). I have also seen him “out on the street” in various local elections, including in the tiny town of Grafton where I reside when in NH (as a matter of fact, I was introduced to him by the incomparable activist Omer Ahern, later a Grafton County Commissioner).
All of the above is why I urge every New Hampshire Republican—from no matter what group or faction or set of beliefs—to unite on Saturday and vote in favor of Andrew Hemingway for NH GOP state party chairman. We are faced with a huge problem at present. Here’s the way Mark Levin put it in the interview noted above:
“I think the Republican Party, its apparatus, its so-called leadership, the parasitic consultants, represent an institution that is tired, old, almost decrepit, full of cowardice and vision-less…The GOP today stands for capitulation, timidity, delusion—so mostly nothing. Republicans may speak of the Constitution, limited government, low taxes, etc., but what have they done about them? Next to nothing if not nothing….Right now we have a government with so much power, a government so ubiquitous, a government so cancerous in its growth and so exponential in its expanse, that I cannot conceal my great fear for the future of this country….We need to roll back the size of the federal Leviathan or it will surely be our undoing. Republicans have been allergic to this….The way to start is by cleaning out the old guard in the GOP and installing fresh, bold, articulate, knowledgeable, confident, courageous conservatives.”
THIS, in the end, is why the members of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee—of which I am one—should elect Andrew Hemingway to become state party chairman this coming Saturday. Let’s put younger, newer, more forward-looking generation into the cockpit of the NH GOP to propel us forward. He is a fresh face, and he is bold, articulate, knowledgeable, confident, and courageous. He is a movement conservative.
I urge you all to Vote for Andrew Hemingway for chairman at the party convention on Saturday.