All Politics is Local

The political landscape of recent years has been, by any fair reckoning, disastrous for America.  A liberal Democrat with an extreme leftist agenda and the willingness to exercise unilateral power without authority controls the presidency.  With the calamitous Obamacare program, the gross expansion of the welfare state began in earnest, and the President continues his trashing of the Constitution to implement, by executive fiat, his progressive vision for the nation.  Recent years have been disappointing for those of us who believe in traditional American values of personal liberty, property rights, and free enterprise.  The oppressive state has had a growth spurt in recent years.

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help

—Ronald Reagan

In the meantime, the Republican brand has been severely tarnished by silly infighting in the GOP and the continued march of the party leadership away from those classical American values that distinguished conservative Republicans from modern progressive Democrats.  Incredibly, the response of the Republican establishment to the leftward rush of Washington was to argue that the Republicans were out of touch and too conservative, arguing that the very values that represented the foundation of the GOP had to be weakened in order for the Party to succeed.  They have irrationally argued that we must become like the Democrats to beat them!  Why even bother with two parties that support the same fatal policies?

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought  for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same

—Ronald Reagan

The feckless Republican Party leadership has forgotten, or set aside, those classic values that made America great, apparently for the sole purpose of maintaining their already weakened grip on power at all costs.  Rather than fight Obama with every tool in their arsenal, they prefer to capitulate, not bothering to even fight in the few arenas where they actually have power.  They surrender on the budget, giving Obama a victory, because they aren’t brave enough to assert their authority, because the “polls” say that they might lose support, because they want to hold on to their power at all costs.  So instead, they exhibit weakness and lose support because they are, in effect, losers, leading to Trump’s rise under the mantra of winning.

The GOP leadership in Washington, and at home, betrays the Party that gave us Reagan, singing his praises while simultaneously destroying his legacy.  Of what good is power if it isn’t used to fight for the traditional American values that we believe in?  How is it that we have so tragically lost our way as a party?  What happened to idealism in our leaders?  How is it that they have so readily abandoned their principles?  Or were their claims of principles merely for show?  Where is their will to fight?  Where is their willingness to risk everything for a righteous cause?  It is no wonder that in such a vacuum, an opportunist like Trump arises.  Some Republicans are so desperate for a leader willing to fight, that they will support a man who does not even share many of their values, just to be able to claim victory on occasion.

America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves

—Abraham Lincoln

Reagan didn’t take positions or fight battles based on opinion polls, and he did not take advice from his political enemies.  Our national GOP leaders, in contrast, apparently know of nothing they are willing to fight for.  Fighting in war requires taking risks.  Not all battles will be won, but never engaging means never winning.  That is where we are today.  We have a party that far too often surrenders without taking up arms.

It is time for us to fight against this tragic capitulation of our GOP leadership to our political enemies.  As individuals, we have lost our ability to hold our leaders accountable.  Far too often we rely on the GOP establishment for identifying and promoting our next generation of leaders, finding out too late, again and again, that these rising leaders have been co-opted by the self-perpetuating establishment, which will not hesitate to trade principles for power.  We have let our party become promoters of the status-quo, rather than advocates of our values and principles.  It is time to take our party back.  We must be the ones to take up arms to fight the battles to preserve our nation.

When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat

—Ronald Reagan.

We must fight back by finding a better way to nurture and support new leaders who share our traditional American values.  We must find a more effective way to implement our conservative agenda.  We must choose our leaders more wisely,and we must hold them to account for their actions.  As Republicans, we have forgotten the truth that all politics is local.  For too long we have been enraptured by the powers of Washington DC, which is far too remote for the average citizen to exert any real influence, thereby leaving a vacuum to be filled by special interests, few of whom share our values.

Instead, we must take back control of our school districts, our cities, our counties, and our states, and ensure that our chosen leaders continue to share our conservative principles and lead by our traditional values.  We must bring the power back to the people.  No longer can we rely on the party establishment to select our leaders, as this has only led to stagnation and mediocrity.  As individuals with conservative values, we need a means to seek out, foster, and ensure the election of new generations of Republican leaders who will remain true to the traditional core values and principles of our once proud party, the party of Lincoln.

To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last—but eat you he will

—Ronald Reagan

It is time to bring political power back to our own neighborhoods.  The only way to reduce the influence of the special interests that control Washington is to take away the power that brings them there, and return that power to the people.   Laws and rules cannot work for the individual as long as the power remains with a remote few isolated among those who benefit from centralized power, as those with means that desire illicit influence will always find a way to exert it, in particular when those who wield power are isolated from the people they serve, as occurs in an over-centralized government.

We need to re-assert that most cherished principle of distributed government that was so well established in the original Constitution, and in particular in the adoption of the 9th and 10th amendments, those forgotten protectors of state independence.  The answer is a return to federalism.  Power closest to the people in their full view and under their direct influence is least likely to be abused.

This does not mean that we ignore what is going on in Washington DC.  But it is only in organizing with our like-minded friends and neighbors that our voices will be heard.  Standing alone, our voices are weak and lost in the din.  But as an organized group, our amplified voices will be heard.  We can influence our remote leaders only when we have the numbers to force them to respond to our demands.  Hence, our goal is to organize, so that our voices, in unison, are incapable of being ignored.

But in our own backyards, do we see local Republican Party organizations working to nurture new leadership, foster conservative values, or enforce conservative principles in our elected officials?  Are they giving us the platform to amplify our voices so that our remote leaders hear us?  Are they even listening to us, their direct constituency?  Far too often, the answer is no.  Too many local party organizations appear to be concerned only with gaining favor from those who are “above” them in the power hierarchy.   County party organizations look to gain influence at the state level and the national level, state party officials ignore local politics and focus only on their state capitals or on Washington DC.  They don’t do this to influence those above them, but to curry favor.  The local voter is ignored in this scenario.

The party hierarchy seems not to care about the important functions in our own backyards that influence all of our daily lives.  They don’t care to help us raise our voices so that we are heard across the land.   As a result, more and more power continuously flows further and further from our local control, and the power brokers gain ever more influence on our daily lives as we individuals lose our liberties a little bit at a time.  This must stop.

We must fight this outflow of power and this dilution of our conservative principles and core values by getting more involved in local organizations that foster local control and that support the development and election of local leaders that share our values.  We must use the power of numbers to hold our leaders to account for their actions.  The WestShore Republicans (WSR) is one such organization, one that was formed to empower the Republican voter of the West Shore region of Cuyahoga County.  This very Blog site is being deployed to give local voices a platform to be heard.  A number of local GOP city clubs are also involved.  Local PACs, such as the Citizens League for Regional Resurgence (CLeaRR) can be instrumental in educating voters and helping new leaders maneuver the minefield that is our campaign process.

Through such organizations we hope to accept the responsibility of finding and nurturing future conservative leaders from our own communities, and to return political power to our own neighborhoods.  These organizations focus on fostering conservative values in regional governments, from local school boards, to city councils and mayorships, to county races, and at the state level.

CLeaRR and the WSR have been organized to raise the profile of local races and local politics to receive the attention that they deserve.  These organizations will fight to end the abdication of our local politics to the special interest groups and big business that control our schools and local governments from remote Washington DC.  And these local organizations will enforce the demands of our members so that they cannot be ignored.

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution

—Abraham Lincoln

As a first order of business, we will focus on Cuyahoga County, and initially on the WestShore area of the county.  For far too long, too many of our local Republican leaders have abandoned Cuyahoga County to the Democrats, failing to effectively challenge the crooked status-quo, even in light of the massive county corruption scandal that should have opened the door to Republican challenges and victories not that long ago.  If the Republican leadership couldn’t capitalize on that massive Democrat scandal when the time was ripe, what hope do they have now that its memory has faded?

We must ensure that we are ready to take back our county and local leadership positions from the corrupt Democrats by preparing a new generation of conservative Republican leaders to lead the charge.  We cannot win if we do not fight, and fight we must.  The alternative is unfathomable.  We must appeal to the young and the old, people of all races, and individuals of both sexes.  We must take up what arms we have and engage our enemies.  Otherwise, they win, and we lose.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today

Abraham Lincoln

Please help us cultivate this next generation of conservative leaders by participating in these organizations.  Attend WSR meetings, and get involved.  Cash contributions and volunteers are always needed to implement this vision of local control.  Support local PACs like CLeaRR which will help spread conservative principles and nurture new leaders.  Don’t wait for the GOP establishment to continue its decline until it is too late to recover.

Please get involved today to help take back our party, our county, our state, and our nation.  Together, we can take back the power that has been stolen from us without our consent, and thereby preserve the American dream for future generations.

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Reflections on Kasich from Florida

The March 15 presidential primary demonstrated huge differences between Ohio and Florida voters, at least through the eyes of this Cleveland area snowbird temporarily living in the Sunshine State.

While Governor John Kasich handily won the Ohio primary, Senator Marco Rubio suffered a humiliating loss in Florida, finishing almost 20 percentage points behind Donald Trump, and was forced to drop out of the race. I had always considered Rubio an attractive candidate. He was articulate, energetic, and seemed to have a grasp of the issues, particularly foreign policy. True, he made a few gaffes and had one disastrous debate performance, but I thought he had a lot going for him.

But after I arrived in Florida in early February, I’ve seen only lukewarm support for Rubio. Informal conversations with permanent Florida residents as well as fellow snowbirds indicated that a lot of people feel Rubio is not ready for prime time. He’s too young, some say. He might be ready in four more years. Others point to his poor voting record, and say, “What’s he done?”

I was stunned when the Palm Beach Post endorsed Kasich over favorite son Rubio and “part time Palm Beacher” Donald Trump. After the election, the Post published an editorial headed “Rubio’s own (in)actions hurt him in Fla. Primary.” Many of the Floridians I’ve talked to look favorably on Kasich, even though no one thinks he has a chance of winning the nomination.

Some anti-Trump Republicans wanted both Rubio and Kasich to get out of the race, arguing that Ted Cruz would have a better chance in a two-man contest. But I see it differently. Kasich carried the important state of Ohio, denying Trump 66 delegates in the winner-take-all race. If the Governor hadn’t been a candidate, it’s probable that Trump would have won Ohio, as he did Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and (narrowly) Missouri.

It’s questionable how far Kasich will go in the presidential sweepstakes. But whatever happens he can take satisfaction in the fact that he outlasted several better-known governors.

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Welcome to the WSR Blog Site!

Welcome to the  NEW  WestShore Republicans Blog, an important new resource to post opinions & commentary, endorse candidates or issues, discuss national, state, and/or local politics,  and to list current activities and events in the communities of the WestShore area of Cuyahoga County or across the entire county.

The WestShore Republicans serve the communities of Lakewood, Rocky River, Bay Village, Westlake, the Olmsteds, and Fairview Park, along with other nearby regions such as the cities of Avon, Avon Lake, Sheffield, North Ridgeville, Berea, and some of the western portions of Cleveland.

Contact us to participate on this Blog as a contributor, or register to comment on the material posted on this site.  And stay tuned to this site for the exciting commentary and discussions soon to come!

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