I received an email blast from Laura Ingraham today. She addresses some reasons why we shouldn’t be to despondent:
What Next for Conservatives?
Now that Mitt Romney has stepped aside in the GOP presidential race, many conservatives are trying to figure out where to go from here. John McCain will be the Republican presidential nominee. Conservatives are dispirited because on many issues they don’t consider him one of them. And it’s true — he is a moderate who considered leaving the GOP in 2001 … he did think about joining John Kerry’s ticket in 2004 … and he did side with liberals over conservatives on everything from immigration to closing Gitmo. But we have no time to be dejected and have to keep things in perspective. Remember, between 1932 and 1980, there weren’t any conservative presidents. Even when they were in the wilderness, conservatives were hard at work. In 1951, William F. Buckley wrote “God & Man at Yale” and later started National Review magazine. We saw the rise of Barry Goldwater. Phyllis Schlafley and others defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. Ronald Reagan challenged the Republican establishment from the right and eventually became the party’s standard-bearer.
So despite the wishful thinking on the part of liberals everywhere, conservatives are not about to give up and go away. In fact, this could be a moment of liberation. Many prominent conservatives think that the movement has become too closely aligned with the GOP anyway.
Whether a year from now we have President Clinton, Obama or McCain in the White House, the challenges facing America are going to be huge. Beyond the war and the economy, there will be a push for new climate change and immigration laws that conservatives are not going to like. And traditional marriage and our successful anti-terror policies will face renewed attacks in federal courts. So this is no time for conservatives to sit on the sidelines.
On the state and local level, we can recruit and support solid, traditional conservatives for everything from the school board to the state house. We can be active conservatives in our neighborhoods and churches by working with others to highlight what is good — and defeat what is bad about today’s popular culture. We can join organizations that do great grassroots work on the issues we care about. We can show how much we support the troops and their mission by helping returning vets and their families.
We are a movement that believes in personal responsibility, so it’s time to take some. There are consequences to losing. Now is the time to rebuild and re-group, not whine or complain or sulk. Reagan lost many political battles along the way but never lost hope in the enduring nature of basic conservative principles. Neither should we.