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Friday, November 05, 2010

Just One Battle

Conservatives are in the midst of a tremendous struggle. We’re in the heart of a struggle to restore our county to its founding values of freedom, opportunity, and independence; we’re fighting to reestablish in our country respect for life, integrity, and hard work. We seek to resurrect the principles of personal responsibility and limited government. Some have characterized this struggle as the second American Revolution.

In the spring of 2009, the Tea Party was born. The name is an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already,” but you can’t hear the words Tea Party without also thinking of the original Boston Tea Party that took place in 1773. And just as the Boston Tea Party helped to spur the first American Revolution, the current Tea Party is helping to spur the second one.

This revolution is not being fought with muskets and cannons, but with ideas and education. The battlegrounds are not the open fields, but the polling places. And Tuesday’s election was the end of one battle.

This battle was won by the conservative movement, or at least by Republicans who overwhelmingly took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, made significant gains in the Senate, and turned numerous gubernatorial offices and state legislatures from blue to red. Among those winners are many notable conservatives such as Marco Rubio in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. Many lesser known conservatives recorded equally important victories across the country as well, including people like Todd Young here in Indiana, who defeated Democrat incumbent Baron Hill in the 9th district.

For all the victories, however, conservatives also suffered some casualties. One incredibly disappointing loss was in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional district where Jackie Walorski lost a tight race to two-term incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly. Out of nearly 190,000 votes cast, Walorski finished just 2,500 votes short. Jackie is a great conservative, ran a tremendous campaign, and came close. But it’s still a loss.

Across the country conservatives suffered other disappointing defeats as well, including Christine O’Donnell’s loss in Delaware, and Carly Fiorina’s and Meg Whitman’s losses in California. Perhaps the most disappointing defeat of all was Sharron Angle’s inability to oust Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada.

One battle is finished, and conservatives can declare a victory. But it’s just one battle. The war is far from over. This is no time to celebrate. It’s time, instead, to begin holding accountable our newly elected leaders. It’s time to begin preparing for the next great battle, the one that will take place in November 2012. It’s time to put all elected officials on notice: Represent the American people, or we’ll find someone who will.

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