“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” (Eric Hoffer)
Is AFP even conservative anymore?
Looking at their positions on some of the major issues facing New Jersey, you would have to conclude NO.
Establishment GOPers are very good at worming their way into conservative causes and turning them into husks. A short history of this could occupy a chapter in a book -- or a lengthy article. A good starting point would be what happened to "Hands Across New Jersey" after the Whitmanites offered their help and money. And the 2009 gubernatorial primary with Brother Todd and his checkbook would make interesting reading too.
GOPAC was once a dynamic organization and a pillar of the conservative movement. Today -- in New Jersey at least -- it is run by Ocean County GOP boss George Gilmore. Would anyone in their right mind describe George Gilmore as a "movement conservative"?
Establishment types apply the word "conservative" the way old tarts apply makeup -- to hide many sins. But trust one and see what you are left with. It won't be fresh faced idealism.
They say they are "conservative" and then they vote to make your daughter share her high school shower with someone sporting a penis. They vote to confirm a judge who backs COAH and Abbott. They vote to obstruct a woman's ability to obtain a legal handgun to protect herself and her family. They vote to fund abortion.
Last year, we suggested an alternative to the "screw card" put out by AFP. We said it should be based on the highest authority in the Republican Party -- the platform of the Republican National Committee. Well, a couple people took up the idea and word is they'll soon have the money necessary to publish and distribute a score card that is truly representative of the conservative movement in New Jersey.
Of course, there are those within the NJGOP who will feel threatened by this and who will work against it, as they work against all alternative ideas. They don't like the First Amendment, preferring worship to speech. But they shouldn't be threatened, because nothing attracts and grows a cause or a party better than open debate and free participation. It breaks the stale boring monopoly of establishment language and ads the spice of truth.
Loosen up and all will be well.