that they seemed attractive to a majority of Americans. Thatrnwould mean reinventing the rhetoric of the mainstream mediarnwithout budging an inch on the issues. Without the jaybirds ofrnHberal Repubhcanism shrieking around us, we could do it.rnRonald Reagan showed us how.rnThese, then, are formidable objections to a strategy based onrncapturing control of the Republican Party four years from now.rnAnd the more ou calculate the odds, the more impossible therntask looms. It might take 12 or 16 years to put together the kindrnof effort necessary to build a genuine consensus in a dividedrnparty already corrupted by the love of power and mone}’—andrnb then the Supreme Court may well have ruled that men andrnwomen can marr- their parakeets.rnAnd suppose we succeeded? Far from rewarding us withrncheers and confetti. Republican liberals would do everything inrntheir power to crush our movement and smear our candidaternduring the general election. They would run a third party candidaternif necessary, as they did against Ronald Reagan in 1980rnand Oliver North in 1994. They vyould rather lose to liberalrnDemocrats than win with bigots and ignoramuses like us.rnFinally, even if we won, we would lose—just as we did inrn1980—when conservatives thought they had elected one ofrntheir own and then had to be content with a “coalition government”rnrun in large measure by the Bush crowd. After RonaldrnReagan’s victory, the “moderate” wing of the party, led byrnJames Baker III, subverted the Reagan Revolution b- blockingrnthe President-elect’s supporters from key appointments, installingrntheir oyyn cronies, and then conducting the most crucialrnaffairs of government behind the President’s back. If ourrnman won the general election, thev would do everything inrntheir power to take o’er again, demanding the biggest share ofrnthe pie for their minimal role in a victorious campaign.rnBut enough of such speculation. We do not have to remainrnm the Republican Party, for there is a better road to follow: werncould create a new party to carry the pro-life, pro-family banner.rnThis is undoubtedly the most attractive option, but notrnwithout its perils. First, let us consider the arguments againstrnsuch a strateg}’.rnTo begin with, Americans do not take third parties seriously.rnYou have to go back to the eady years of the GOP to find onernthat ultimately won the presidency. Fremont ran as its candidaternin 1856, and Abraham Lincoln was elected four yearsrnlater, though only b a plurality. Since then, a number of thirdrnparties have surfaced, but few have been able to win even arnhandful of electoral votes. After spending millions, Ross Perot’srnReform Party has yet to carry a single state, and its strength declinedrnsignificantly in 1996. For this reason, it would be difficultrn(though not impossible) to persuade a majority of conscr-rn’atie activists to leave the GOP for an entireh newrnorganization.rnThen, too, the system is set up to discourage third parties. Itrnis very difficult to gain ballot access to all 50 states. To do so, wernwould need time, money, and a dedicated organization—all ofrnwhich are in short supply, even for the established parties. Unlessrnits leadership had strong grass-roots support—or enormousrnwealth, like Ross Perot—a third party effort would court failure.rnFinally, the media yould paint any such efforts in the darkestrncolors on their palette. Liberals have a vested interest inrnmaintaining the two-party system, since it usually results inrncompromise candidates and a watered-down agenda, both supportivernof the status quo. The liberal media always presume torndefine the “center” in relation to their own position. In so doing,rnthey characterize conservatives as “outside the mainstream”rn—even when their views are supported by the majorityrnof Americans. If you were disturbed by the unprincipled attacksrnon Pat Buchanan after he won the New Hampshire primary,rnyou would be even more shocked by the names the samerncommentators and editorialists would call organizers of a viablernpro-life, pro-family party. You can be certain we would be labeledrn”bigots,” “hate mongers,” “fascists,” and “Nazis”—tornmention but a few of the terms routinely used by the left. Ifrnyou do not think such demonizing can be effective, see whatrnthe name-calling did to Buchanan’s support in a matter of days.rnGiven these obstacles, why would anyone want to start yetrnanother third party in order to advance the pro-life, pro-familyrncause? Several very good reasons come to mind. First, neitherrnmajor party is currently defending traditional American values.rnCongressional leaders in both houses of Congress have cooperatedrnin side-tracking legislation designed to correct the mostrnoutrageous actions of the Supreme Court, including the forbiddingrnof prayer in the public arena and the legalization ofrnabortion. Republicans as well as Democrats have voted to increasernfunding for the gay rights movement, which can survivernonly with a massive infusion of federal dollars. In fact, in thernlast week of the 1996 campaign. Dole’s chief aide. Sheila Burke,rnmet with gay rights acti ists and assured them that, if elected.rnDole would support homosexuality as strongly as the Clintonrnadministration. A genuine conservatie party would neer engagernin such double-dealing.rnSecond, if a pro-family, pro-life third party actually won thernWhite House, the American people could expect to get whatrnthey voted for. In a party as philosophically divided as thernGOP, “coalition government” is probabl) inevitable. Suchrnwould not be the case in the government of our pro-life, profamilyrnPresident. We could choose our own people to fill everyrnjob in every nook and cranny of the executive branch. And ifrnJames Baker III tried to climb in a window, we could slam itrnshut on his fingers.rnFinally—win or lose—it would be a cleansing experience forrnpro-life, pro-family conservatives to vote for a candidate and arnparty that truly represented the values they endorse. Not sincern1980 have we been given a pure choice. By 1984, it was clearrnthat liberals were running the most influential segments of thernexecuti’e branch (e.g., the Department of Health and HumanrnServices), and in 1988 and 1992 we had to vote for two-facedrnGeorge Bush and, in 1996, no-faced Bob Dole. We could redeemrnall those tainted votes if we fielded a genuinely pro-life,rnpro-family candidate, even on a third-party ticket. How nice itrnwould be to go to sleep on election night, knowing we had donernthe right thing—win or lose.rnTo summarize: going along with a Colin Powell or a PeternWilson is spiritual suicide, a prescription for the ultimate moralrncollapse of the nation. Whatever we do, we should not againrnfollow some high-profile Judas into the camp of another liberalrnRepublican. Too many pro-family leaders have already abandonedrnprinciple to stake their souls on the triumph of politicalrnexpediency. We must resist the temptation to compromisernwith party leaders in order to be members of the club. We cannotrnallow ourselves to believe that there is no political salvationrnoutside the Republican Party. If the GOP turns its back on ourrnnation’s traditional values, it is our responsibility to turn ourrnbacks on the GOP. After all, we do not just want “a place at therntable.” We want to help plan the menu and serve the meal.rnAnd we want to say grace before anyone takes the first bite.rnAPRIL 1997/27rnrnrn