Barack Obama’s famous observation about the 2008 election was, “Elections have consequences.”
But what if national leaders respond to an election by ignoring the will of the voters?
Then the election might have tempestuous consequences.
At least, according to longtime conservative fundraiser Richard Viguerie, who has a warning for President Obama about his stated plans to take executive action on immigration reform even though voters just repudiated his policies by voting his party out of power in the Senate.
“If President Obama, by executive order, extends amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, as he’s promised to do shortly, this could ignite, quite frankly, a civil war across America against the Democratic Party,” Viguerie cautioned.
He continued, “It could be a major, major blow to the Democratic Party and brand them as the party that rewards illegal activity, and it could do great, great damage not only to the Democratic Party, but quite frankly, to America.”
Viguerie said he thinks Republicans would oppose executive amnesty. However, he also voiced words of caution for Republicans on the heels of their big election night victory.
“I’m afraid that Republican leaders, like Mitch McConnell in the Senate and John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy in the House, I’m afraid they did not hear the Republican voters,” Viguerie said.
The conservative activist said he didn’t hear party leaders on election night talk about the issues that conservative voters care most about, such as illegal immigration, Obamacare, major tax and spending cuts, and curbing Obama’s abuses of power. He believes there also will be turmoil if Republicans ignore the wishes of their own voters.
“If the Republican leaders conduct themselves in such a way that they’re going to ignore the voters, they will hear loud and clear from the voters, and that fault line will be visible to the whole country. It’ll make it very difficult for Republicans to govern effectively in the Congress,” Viguerie said.
Viguerie wrote about the fault line between conservatives and establishment Republicans in his 2014 book “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It.”
He believes the most important political battle in America today is actually inside the GOP.
“For most of the past 102 years, while this civil war’s been going on, conservatives have had their political guns pointed at the wrong target,” he said. “They’ve been focused on the Democrats when, actually, our main opponent is inside the Republican Party, the big-government Republicans, and that’s coming to a head in the next couple of years.”
Viguerie said he is discouraged that so many establishment Republicans abandon conservative Republicans in their time of need. This year in Kansas, for example, the establishment abandoned Gov. Sam Brownback when he was locked in a tight reelection race. Likewise, the national GOP establishment abandoned Ken Cuccinelli in his 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race when a little more support may have pushed him over the top.
“Conservatives are staying in the Republican Party and supporting the Republican candidates,” Viguerie said. “We are not seeing that with a lot of the big-government Republicans.”
As for the Democrats, Viguerie believes they are alienating white working class voters by supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, attacking religious freedoms, and attacking gun rights.
“It’s clear that the Democratic Party, the Democratic leaders at the national and state level are being seen more and more as being either hostile to working middle-class Americans, or not engaged in their problems,” he said. “The working class, traditional-value voters are feeling that they’re just not welcome in the Democratic Party. It’s become more of an elite special interest party.”
Even though 2016 looks to be a tougher year in the Senate for Republicans, Viguerie is confident the party can build on this year’s midterm victories – but only if Republicans run as conservatives, not watered-down Democrats.
“I’m optimistic that if the Republicans continue to draw a bright-line distinction between their vision of the future and the Democrats’ vision of the future, we can build on this,” he said.