by Dr. Ed Berry
Ryan Zinke won the Montana GOP primary election for US Congress. Ryan is very motivated to listen to all conservative voters so he can do the best job for us in Congress. Let’s work with him and help him win the final election against the Democrat.
We had good candidates, yet as the battle ensued the top three contenders were demonized beyond recognition. The truth is they are all good men. The battle is over and all conservatives will back the winner.
Well, at least most conservatives will back the winner. Some tea party voters are upset. In this letter and future letters, you will have an inside view of the thinking of Montana tea party voters and you will read my replies and comments on their conclusions and proposals.
Today, we review the public letter by Mark Agather who does an excellent job organizing the fragmented Montana tea parties and expressing their concerns.
Here are the last 2 paragraphs of Mark’s letter:
“Yes, once again the majority of the conservatives will have to hold their nose and support a man who has no real plan, no real goals and no true leadership in these very desperate times–but only as the lesser of two evils. However just warning-this is last time. Either minority Republican moderates finally embrace the conservative message or the split in the Republican Party will become total and irrevocable.”
“Yes, the progressives and their ilk have taken over the Democratic Party. But that doesn’t mean conservatives have to be shunted aside by the Republicans. If the Republican Party continues to push us out the only option will be the formation of a new party. We will be heard one way or another.”
In my reply to Mark’s letter, I conclude these tea party voters have only themselves to blame for the outcome of the election, and I suggest for their future action:
“The only viable solution for the future is for “tea party” conservatives to vote for the more conservative R candidate who can win. This solution is cheap and it can work. It would have worked in this election. The only cost might be some egos.”
Here’s my full reply to Mark’s letter:
Here are the reasons I think your article “The Fight for the Heart and Soul of the Republican Party” is not valid. To make this discussion simple, we will assume Ryan, Matt, and Corey had a total of 100% of the votes.
First, you assume the conservative Rs consist of the sum of voters for Corey and Matt. In reality, the conservative Rs consist of two parts: the mainstream Rs who voted for Corey and the “tea party” Rs who voted for Matt.
Second, the voting results are as much a rejection of Matt’s 1/3 candidacy as they are of Ryan’s 1/3 candidacy.
Third, before we blame the liberal Rs for our defeat, we need to ask ourselves this question: If the 2/3 of Rs who voted for Corey and Matt clearly outnumber the 1/3 who voted for Ryan, then how can we blame the 1/3 for the loss when we outnumber them?
According to your argument, we who are in the 2/3 lost because of the 1/3 in a 3-way race. If so, then we are dumber than lamp posts.
So rather than blame the liberal Rs, we should blame ourselves for not voting strategically. The election outcome was as I predicted and I won my $1000 bet, admittedly close, that Corey would beat Matt.
To summarize what I wrote about before the election, Corey had about 30 percent of his vote locked up among mainstream Rs. Matt was in an uphill battle as a newcomer and could not exceed 30 percent no matter how hard he campaigned. He could capture the tea party and a little beyond but he could never capture the dedicated Rs who would vote only for Ryan or Corey.
Therefore, the only hope the tea party voters had to nominate a conservative was to vote for Corey. Only a few percent added to Corey’s assured votes would have made him beat Ryan.
This is really simple strategy if we view the total spectrum of conservative votes realistically. Corey had his votes locked up even if he did not campaign and his voters would not vote for Matt. Matt as a newcomer to a statewide race could not beat Ryan.
Matt’s voters, not Corey’s voters are your audience and were fully capable of voting for Corey simply to nominate a conservative. The tea party is the tail and the tail cannot wag the dog.
Your article considers future alternatives, like starting a third party. A third party won’t get your audience anywhere even if your group had as much money as Ross Perot. That is not a viable solution.
The bottom line is Ryan won because Matt voters refused to vote for Corey. They unrealistically believed Matt could beat Ryan, which was like throwing a Hail Mary pass in a football game, or betting on a lottery.
The only viable solution for the future is for “tea party” conservatives to vote for the more conservative R candidate who can win. This solution is cheap and it can work. It would have worked in this election. The only cost might be some egos.
The Fight for the Heart and Soul of the Republican Party
by Mark Agather
I seldom find myself agreeing with Bruce Tutvedt but I do concur with his observation that there is a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. The question is: will the Republican Party be pulled to the left by the “Reasonable Republicans” or maintain its traditional values. The starting point of this discussion should be the realization that the traditional Democratic Party has been taken over.
Over the last three decades the “Progressives” have completed their invasion and conquest of the Democratic Party. With them they brought their new left wing agenda which embraces the following: anti-capitalism, anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-family, anti-Constitution, anti-Christian, anti-America, anti-marriage, anti-states’ rights, anti-individual rights, anti-morals and decency, anti-life of babies, anti-morality, pro-federal government control, pro-gay rights, pro global warming and favoring a “worldview”.
The stench of this intoxicating brew has become so overpowering that traditional Democrats have begun looking for a new home sensing such an agenda could never win an election in our state where the majority of people still understand common sense. As is the same with any displaced group the traditional Democrats are now spilling over into the Republican Party desperately trying to establish a home there. However, while not full-fledged progressives, they still support the same left-wing infrastructure of big government and increased governmental regulation. Such is the case with people like Bruce Tutvedt.
It is now apparent the most conservatives understand this development. The last two elections dramatically emphasize this point. Both times, in 2012 and in this election, conservatives overwhelmingly voted for conservatives by about a two to one margin. Ryan Zinke is claiming victory and is now the candidate for the Republican Party. In fact, the election was a resounding defeat and rejection of his message as he only received one third of the vote and this one-third minority are the only people that he truly represents. Now, the moderate minority of the Republican Party is adamantly saying the conservatives must support Zinke with his muddle to the middle approach.
In reality, the split in the Republican Party has been caused by the this minority faction of moderates residing in the midst of Montana’s sea of conservatives. I don’t think this group realizes that they are the problem, not the true conservative base. I don’t think they realize that it is them, the moderates, who are out of step and must change. For we will never unify the Republican Party with a moderate message. True conservatives know that the philosophy they embrace is the best cure for the ills of our society. We have seen the failed results of the left-wing approach for the last 40 years and we will not be enticed to embrace them any longer in any form whatsoever.
Yes, once again the majority of the conservatives will have to hold their nose and support a man who has no real plan, no real goals and no true leadership in these very desperate times–but only as the lesser of two evils. However just warning-this is last time. Either minority Republican moderates finally embrace the conservative message or the split in the Republican Party will become total and irrevocable.
Yes, the progressives and their ilk have taken over the Democratic Party. But that doesn’t mean conservatives have to be shunted aside by the Republicans. If the Republican Party continues to push us out the only option will be the formation of a new party. We will be heard one way or another.