[Editor:  Posted from one of our emails, edited.]

"Other than early successes in elections of candidates who turned on us immediately, what did the tea party accomplish and why are a few hanging on?"

Well, [that] sentence asks the question that has been at the core of our lives, since our movement began, doesn't it? And it's a question that remains, even in the new era that we are all aware has finally arrived. Let's call it "perception space," for lack of a better term. For most of the time, we conservatives/constitutionalists have lived in a false perception space. We've felt like we've been shouting down a well. No one wanted to hear what we had to say, and this stymied us completely. We had no ideas after that, but have spent much of our time agonizing over it. In fact, the vast majority of conservative articles one finds on line STILL devote themselves to yet another litany of what the Progressives are doing to us and how contradictory and illogical it is and how awful that no one seems to be able to DO anything about it.  

All of that, really, is a waste of our efforts. We are just spinning in a circle, I've felt. Even about [...] thorougly noble enterprise, don't get me wrong--have struck me as aiming at the wrong target. I say this in all humility, for I, myself, have done nothing to change the trajectory. But, having admitted that, I think I am right in the point of view that I've been holding for quite some time--that we are actually avoiding the moves that work. We are fighting with a losing hand on Progressive-owned turf. And, if we keep on in this vein, many of us are going to die, over the next decade, knowing only that we tried. 
Let's take  a few examples to prove my point: 
Trump stands as the unique exemplar of what I am trying to get at, and struggling to explain. Despite the fact he is running a presidential campaign--which couldn't be more in the bailiwick of the Progressives, who now own both sides of that process--he is somehow not playing at all by their rules. He is sailing above them, and they can't seem to touch him. That is what the Tea Party did in its wildly successful early days, when it was disorganized and direct.  But that didn't last long, did it, and I think the reason for that is that such activity does not come naturally to conservatives/patriots. We are not natural rule breakers. We gravitate to organization. Oddly, it's the only way many of us independent thinkers--are conformists! We believe deeply in the cooperative mentality, the live-and-let-live atmosphere of mind. Direct action is just too messy for our minds. Personally, it felt unseemly to me, when I stood outside the mayoral debate, holding a huge sign demanding that Jennifer Wright be let in. It took me a whole week, or more, to get over it, during which I didn't even attend any TP meetings. So what I'm speaking of I see as a very strong ethic that governs most of us. It's not a small thing, and I think it has hampered us in being strategic in a situation that demands that we be realistic in strategy.
My second example: You can even point to our instant acquiescence to the efforts of the AFP people to commandeer and direct our activities. It dawned on no one to question their motives! Ditto the Heritage Foundation and its Heritage Action effort, which is doing the very same thing as AFP--maintaining close contact with a lot of us and directing us to activities that are basically busy work that makes us feel we are contributing, but which does not require us to stick ourselves "out there" and do any real activism (which is the only thing that works!). 
Third example: On what have we spent the vast majority of our time? Working within the electoral system, helping candidates who ended up screwing us, always believing that the next one would be the one who would change everything. Accepting disappointment after disappointment and allowing each disappointment to make us feel all the more powerless to make a difference. Allowing Benedict Arnolds like Constantin Querard to fold themselves into our ranks and more and more to direct us and--more dangerously for many in our movement--our thinking.  Even now, look at the good people like Jay Lawrence--who means so well--giving over his mind to a Cassius like Querard. My God! 
What would work, it seems to me, is the stupidly simple action of doing the opposite of what we have been doing. Working outside the system. Direct activism. Speaking out. But think of it: The problem is that the American people were not awake, PLUS, they did not know the truth. Now, they ARE awake, and I think far readier to hear the truth--possibly even hungry for it, if the crowds of Democrats and Independents who are joining conservatives at Trump rallies are any indication. 
I was at [...], yesterday. I know the manager there, and she plopped herself down at my table, before leaving, after her shift. Another regular, a latino conservative in his sixties, had also plopped down there, before leaving for the day. Both of them wanted to talk about Paris. Both of them have been telling me they are for Cruz. Both of them have yet to read the treehouse website, although we've had the same conversation over and over and I've told them that inside information is in there on Cruz, Rubio, etc., and that none of those candidates are on our side. Strangely, BOTH of them are huge Trump fans! Go figure! But yesterday, when they both reiterated that they think Cruz would make a great president, I gently scolded them, adding a bit more of a sense of impatience than usual, and said, "Neither of you has yet gone and read the treehouse website, have you?" They both said no they hadn't. "If you had read it, you would know that Cruz is definitely not on our side, and why." This time, they both had real conviction in their voices, when they said, "Okay. I'll go there." But I am going to print the goods on Cruz, which I have saved from the Treehouse, and give it to them on paper. 
My point is that personal communication is one of the most powerful devices that the Progressives used to install political correctness and all the rest. It is literally the convictions of so many people on the left that got communicated through daily communication that has given the movement the staying power it has had. Combined, that is, with the other crucial ingredient: Our own reticence, sense of privacy, not wanting to rock the boat, and all the rest of the descriptives that apply to most conservatives. We have allowed them to own all levels of communication by not communicating back. But [sic] not standing our ground in the face of what can only be described as multi-level bullying. But the other part of that is that we always feel that we must persuade. We always assume the other person will not agree with us. We always see ourselves as climbing out of a hole of some kind. Instead, what we need to do is act according to the truth we know. In other words, bring that truth into concrete form, via our own responses in social situations. Assert the truth. No need to explain it. BE it, even when it's uncomfortable to do so. 
In the end, I feel, it's as simple as that. Look at how Trump does it, and the success he's having, because he is doing it at precisely the right moment. He stands firm and calls them what they are. What he did with Jorge Ramos is what we should collectively be doing with everything that is going on, right now. He simply does not recognize that he is powerless in any situation, and we mustn't, either. That last sentence describes how we all should be acting, right now. To act that way IS to embody the power of the people that is underscored by the Constitution. But the Constitution can only underscore. It cannot wield. 

AFA POLICY: THE COMMENTS BOX IS FOR ABBREVIATED ONE OR TWO SHORT PARAGRAPH RESPONSES.  IF YOU HAVE A LONGER RESPONSE, PLEASE START A NEW DISCUSSION.

 

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what Treehouse?

Web Site - Conservative Treehouse...will give you tons of good information.

AFA has put out numerous articles on the GOPe taken from the conservative treehouse.  If you have missed those, go to the search box in the upper right corner of this page and put in GOPe and search.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Just looked over the Treehouse site and was awed by all the information so I immediately signed up to receive their email posts. Anything from Breitbart is good enough for me. Am now wondering about Cruz after reading some of the information given. I hope other AFA followers will contact the information provided by jfreden as how to access the site of Treehouse. I for one am going to spread the word to my like minded friends and relatives.

Just to be really clear, AFA has posted and blasted many of the more important articles from the conservative treehouse over the past few months on our Watching the Elections tab.  The current Breitbart is NOT a part of the conservative treehouse site.  It's our understanding that these guys are from the original Breitbart team from before Breitbart was taken down.  We believe that to be true because the Breitbart style is all over that site, more so, in our opinion, than the current Breitbart that now accepts some questionable (again, our opinion) contributors to be published there.

With due respect, you should not think that you are the only thinking people.

By the way, what is the right question ?   If you cannot tell us that, your comments are pretty meaningless.

The link is: theconservativetreehouse.com

So you went into districts that were unfriendly ?  Kudos to you.  Did you really do that or are you just criticizing others ?

You should get educated about Ted.   He is a good second choice and no doubt a warrior, but you need to understand that he is funded by people you probably don't like very much.

People say Trump is not conservative.  I say, so your candidate is ?   Cruz I'll give you a pass on.  He just said he'll vote against TPP, but that was not his original stance, nor was his original stance on amnesty a good one, nor several more.  

We'll probably not find out if he really means it, because Trump is going to be the next president.


Bill Baxter

Bill, I see that you are trying to do your own "vetting" in the case of Presidential candidates, I to follow your critical thinking, but to come to a conclusion, that candidates cannot change their viewpoints isn't doing the Republican brand any favors.  For if that was the case, that they could NOT change, would mean we have a party that is unbending and intolerant of a changing political landscape. That is what the Democrats say all the time .. that we are stubborn hypocrites ... So are we?  In the same vein we are not, and should not be an "all inclusive tent" for that would be like following the winds of change, never knowing where it will take you.  We need principled leaders, who may have some failings, but are strong in the ideals that founded our nation and those that have a PASSION for our cherished Federalism and limited Republic.  Patrick Henry was just one of those Men !!!  This election year it appears that Trump is the leader in that category, but don't let his theater distort us from the facts that we might not see eye-to-eye on everything, he doesn't.  

But let us understand that the GOPe infers that "we must all just get along" to be inclusive, yet they are the ones that throw us under the busloads of progressive MSM pundits. Republicans have lost many to that category of Independents because of our lack of Conservatism, these independents didn't run to the Democrats, they went to the side that said "your not listening to us".  Just as Ronald Reagan told the Democrat party is response to why he left them ... "you changed I didn't".

The question should be "What are you going to do to regain the Reagan Principles of Conservatism by  controlling the House, the Senate, and the Presidency?  Throw that dart of understanding at the RINO's, the RNC leadership, and those "representatives" who shake hands across the isle with those who want Conservatism destroyed.

"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent." - General Douglas MacArthur (1880 - 1964)

John,

I don't see anything to disagree with in your comments.   Don't think I said anythinig contrary to them, particularly all of them after you discuss chandidates changing viewpoint.

As I said, I give Cruz a pass on the part about being conservative, as I am convinced he is.  I like him a lot and he would be my 2nd choice among a lot of poor choices.  However, the things about which he has changed his mind (immigration/amnesty, TPP, others) happen to be my hot button issues, so that is very troubling to me.  Particularly because of my personal exposure to it, having seen many colleagues lives disrupted or ruined because of it, his position on H1B visas is totally unacceptable.

I don't think there is a path to the nomination for Cruz.  That could be wrong, but I thnk GOPe is going to swamp him, and not sure he could win the general because he'll pull very few Dem votes.   They don't like him, and believe a lot of the smears that have transpired.

Obviously, all candidates change some positions over time.  There is nobody who has not.

My biggest problem with Ted and much moreso the rest of the candidates is their dependency on OTM (other people's money).  No matter the intention or resolve to the contrary, OTM is going to affect anyone who is dependent on it.  That's just how it works.

The only person who doesn't need OTM is Trump.  Trump will also pull many Dem votes.  I know, Trump is hard to take and actually no doubt an A.... you know what I mean.   But I think it will take A..... who is not dependent on OTM to fix the things that need fixing.   IMHO, despite intentions, nobody else has what it will take to do that.

BRAVO, Bill and John.  As to Cruz, he voted for the TPP WHILE he's been running for President and against what we the people screamed at them all not to do.  He should have changed his mind before he voted for it the first time but he did so because he previously tried to pass a bill to increase by 1000s (500%)  the H1B visas to put our own out of work.  Excuse me, there is nothing conservative about that.  That is a democrat position.  Fine - unless you are running for president as a conservative republican: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2900126/ted-cruz-the-president...

Yes it is worth noting ... It's going to get very interesting soon as the horses in this race come into the home stretch. But any of these candidates are better than McCain or Romney was in the boxing ring.

Seems some people are not yet ready to listen.  Too bad for us and the country. It's like all the people I tried to talk out of voting for Obama, they were so smitten.  As far as the info on GOPe that the conservative treehouse has researched since late 2012 regarding the plan by the RNC, I put my money on the former researchers for Breitbart who actually have access to info none of us have.  Besides, Cruz betrayed the country when he tried to increase the H1B visas to take American jobs. A good friend of mine is losing his job to an Indian through the H1B visa program, there for 20+ years. No thanks.  I'm convinced Trump is the only candidate who can withstand the brutal assault that is coming for him, Cruz or Carson if they get the nomination because the Chamber and the RNC (but I repeat myself) have the plan ready to launch to destroy both of them because they would rather have Hillary if they don't get Bush.  Just look at what they did to Cuccinelli in VA.  Lesson learned or maybe not by all.

It is most unfortunate that the RNC and the US Chamber of Commerce will never allow Mr. Cruz to be president.  He's conservative for the most part and a very charming young man.  They are very powerful and are committed to Mr. Bush.  I am glad to see there are so many in favor of Mr. Trump.  There is no question he is the candidate to put the RNC and the CoC in their place.  It is also very unfortunate that people don't seem to realize we are in new territory on this election. The RNC has never been so vicious against their own.  Very sad but also very true.  I would far rather have Mr. Trump than that awful Mrs. Clinton.  She is a lying hag and I do so hate to say such things about anyone but in the case, it is warranted.

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