JINDAL VICTORY: A STRATEGIC GOP MISSTEP?
By Christopher G. Adamo
Like much of the rest of its state government, Louisiana’s electoral process operates on a far different basis than the electoral systems in other states. In Louisiana, no primary elections are held. Instead, all candidates must face a general election “cattle call.” If no candidate receives a majority vote on the first round, the process is repeated among the top vote getters until somebody accrues greater than fifty percent of the vote.
In this melee of jockeying politicians, Jindal left his competition in the dust on the first round. But what bodes ill for establishment Republicans throughout the nation, and particularly in relation to the upcoming presidential race, is that Jindal did so by pursuing a political course that runs diametrically opposed to the Republican Party insiders' “conventional wisdom.”
Despite the fact that Jindal’s approach proved overwhelmingly effective, the party insiders refuse to be dissuaded from their unworkable “strategy,” which involves the perverted version of Reagan’s “Big Tent” that pretends to stand for everything, while hoping the base does not realize that it actually stands for nothing. And it promises to be every bit the guaranteed loser during this election cycle than it ever has been.
Consider Jindal’s position on the “controversial” issues of the day. He is as staunchly pro-life as he can possibly be, and is bold and unapologetic about it. On illegal immigration, he rejects any watered-down policy, aimed at finding “middle ground,” and steadfastly supports measures to restore the integrity and sovereignty of the United States of America and its borders.
Moreover, he ran on a platform that proactively confronted the corruption in Louisiana government, blaming it, and not President Bush and FEMA, for the unnecessary disasters, misery, and suffering related to Hurricane Katrina. Such a stance, if we are to believe the “conventional wisdom” of the day, should have been soundly rejected by the people of Louisiana, who ought, instead, to be basking in their ill fortune and the flood of federal pork it has provided.
Apparently, citizens of the Pelican State want something more. Perhaps they actually intend to correct the problems and better their lives, rather than continue accepting the tired Liberal/Leftist/Democratic Party mantras that predictably assert more good money after bad as the only workable fix. As a result, the people of Louisiana see Bobby Jindal as the person to address such issues with an eye towards actually improving life for themselves and their posterity.
His philosophically consistent and unapologetic Conservatism clearly did not prove to be a liability. On the contrary, in a field of eleven candidates, it was Jindal’s blunt and unwavering assertion of “traditional values” that decisively separated him from the rest of the field.
During his congressional race of three years ago, Jindal engaged the assistance of grassroots Christian and Conservative youth organizations such as Student Project and Generation Joshua. Ignoring fears of their “polarizing” effect on his campaign, he won handily, upholding their Judeo-Christian values as a hallmark of his terms in office.
In this, lies a stern lesson for the Republican Party, which faces the daunting possibility of a “third party” candidacy during next year’s presidential race. In the minds of most, such an event would spell doom for the Republican candidate. But, as Governor-elect Jindal proved, this need not be a foregone conclusion.
To begin with, Republicans need to ask themselves why they, and not the Democrats, should so stridently fear the emergence of a third party. In truth, the very nature of this concern is an indictment of their political posturing and flawed “strategizing” of recent years.
A believable and well-defined candidate will assemble a well-defined base. Whether the remaining voting populace is then divided among two remaining alternatives or eleven, such a candidate ought to retain the loyalties of that base. It is only when the “support” for a candidate is founded on the murky premise of ostensibly being the “lesser of two evils” that it can suddenly evaporate in the presence of any seemingly worthy alternative.
Thus, undaunted by the field of aspiring gubernatorial candidates, Jindal knew he did not need to try to appeal to the great “middle,” nor was it in his nature to do so. Instead, he ran on a Conservative platform only matched among the field of Presidential candidates by California Representative Duncan Hunter.
Of course, Hunter, strapped for funds and struggling among the “second tier” candidates during the primary season, is not considered a serious candidate by the party “insiders.” Yet, he handily won the Texas and Arizona straw polls, and proved a surprisingly strong contender in South Carolina.
The other “front runners” among the GOP continue to bob and weave in hopes of proving their connection to real America, just as frequently abandoning Conservative principle as trying to convince the electorate that, despite the evidence, it has always been the heart and soul of their political philosophy. Perhaps, before it is too late, a worthy lesson can be learned by following the courageous and stunningly successful example of the new Governor of Louisiana.
The American Political System:
Politics & Government in the U.S.A.
The American Political & Cultural Left:
Liberals, Statists, Socialists, & Other Leftists
Liberalism Versus Conservatism in American Politics
Traditional Conservatism: Questions & Answers
Conservatism: Attitudes, Types, & Present Status
Constitutional Conservatism: American & British
Classical Liberalism: Intellectual Foundations
Classical Liberalism: Conservative Liberalism
Manchester Liberalism & Social Darwinism
Modern Social "Liberalism": Statist "Liberalism"
Radical & Totalitarian Ideologies
Radicalism, Utopianism, & Totalitarianism
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer who lives in southeastern Wyoming and works in the field of industrial instrumentation.
He is actively involved in Wyoming's political process, serving as a delegate to successive Wyoming State Republican Conventions
and as a member of the Wyoming State Republican Central Committee. He has assisted Republican candidates for local and state
legislatures and for the United States Congress. His articles, which appear regularly in The Progressive Conservative, U.S.A.,
and on a number of other websites, reflect a major concern with the damage being done to Conservatism and Conservative causes by
the Liberal Leftist faction in the Republican Party as well as by the much larger and more powerful Liberal Leftist faction in the
Democratic Party. During the early and middle 1990s, Adamo was Editor of the Wyoming Christian Coalition's official news organ,
The Wyoming Christian.
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