The following is a transcript of an audioblog that was supposed to be released tonight, but encountered technical problems. More about the content of the speech will be released soon.
I’m going to start tonight by stating the simple truth. Sen. John McCain has won the Florida Primary, and with it the 57 delegates allotted to that state, as well as the delegate lead, and the position of media-appointed frontrunner. There is no changing it, and the best thing to do is to accept it as fact and move on. This does not mean that John McCain will win the nomination, though it does give him an edge, it simply means that John McCain has won Florida. The rest of the race could very well change things. And, with what appears to be the imminent withdrawal of Giuliani, we are certainly going to be looking at a much different race in the coming days.
But I did not come on tonight to talk about the 2008 race, instead, my plan tonight is to address the future of Conservatism, the direction of the party, and what needs to be done by Conservatives in the coming days, weeks, and months.
There is no question in my mind that the Republican Party is locked in an internal struggle between two opposing sides. With Reagan dead, Bush unpopular, and no Newt Gingrich-style figure in Congress, we are very much a party without a leader and without a clear direction. The 2008 race is the first fight in this battle, but it is not the last fight, and it certainly does not have to be the deciding one. Its true that the nomination of John McCain would give the first victory to the centrists within the party – those are the moderate and liberal Republicans – but it does not have to mean the death of Reagan Conservatism.
The future of this party will not be decided in one election cycle, nor will it be decided by one person. If Conservative Republicans band together, organize, and dedicate ourselves to our cause and those who support it, we can triumph over the centrists. The future of our party does not and should not belong to the Ted Kennedys and the Russ Feingolds of the Right, nor does the future of the GOP have to belong to populism, compassionate conservatism, or environmentalism. Instead, through the dedication of Conservatives, it can belong to social, fiscal, and defense-style Reaganism that helped us win back the White House and the congress more than a decade ago.
Even tonight, as we watch John McCain and his friends dance to victory in Florida, I have hope for the GOP. When you look at the moderates of the party, the John McCains, the Arlen Specters, and the John Warners, you realize that these are men with half a foot in the grave, the 70 and 80 year-olds who still cling to their moderate, and in many cases, liberal, policies. These are the old breed Republicans, and, to be completely honest, I think we can beat them. The future of Conservatism within the GOP is much brighter than the future of centrism, the Reaganites of the party, the John Thunes, the Sarah Palins, the John Ensigns, and even the Sam Brownbacks, you realize that they are young, energetic, and idealistic. They are the future of the GOP.
With all that said, no movement is self-sustaining, and Conservatism is no different. Without support, Conservatism cannot survive – but conservatism has support, and it has followers, and the only thing I believe we are lacking is organization. So, over the next few days and weeks, I will be releasing plans to organize and energize conservative bloggers, as well as other who want to protect and preserve the movement started by Ronald Reagan.
That’s all for tonight, but stay tuned, because this battle is just beginning – and I’m not even close to waving the white flag.
Like it says, keep checking in regularly, I’ve had enough of McCain and his moderate and liberal allies, and I think its time Conservatives stood up and started doing something about them.
P.S. – if you want to be a part of what I’m working on, send an email (it doesn’t have to include an actual message) to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m trying to get together a contact list for when the wheels really start turning.
I’ll have more tomorrow.