By Andrew J. Ireland

WASHINGTON – The tea party is winning something more important than elections, says Richard Viguerie.

The heart of a political party.

The man deemed the “funding father” of the conservatism for his pioneering of direct mail campaigns says there is more at play.

“While we haven’t had a lot of high profile election victories this year, the [No.] 1 goal of the limited government constitutional tea party type conservatives is not to win elections,” he said in an interview with WND.

“As important as that is, it’s secondary to our No. 1 objective: to turn America around and move it in the direction of the vision of our founders,” he attested.

Published by WND Books in April, Viguerie’s “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It,” documents the century-long civil war within the GOP – a case of Establishment v. Conservative, if you will – as it builds to a climax.

Now, Viguerie says, conservatives are winning.

Viguerie sees “clear evidence” that Republican Party is becoming more conservative, and in his opinion, better.

“The party is more conservative now than they were five years ago. Five years ago they were more conservative than they were 10 years ago,” he claimed.

“It’s slow, but it is happening,” Viguerie said. “The Republican Party is becoming more conservative.”

Get “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It” from the WND Superstore.

“The progress that limited government constitutional conservatives, tea party type candidates have made in the last four or five years is in open seats. It’s very difficult to defeat an incumbent senator or congressman.”

And in spite of the various “corrupt crony capitalist” influences, the millions for campaigns from Washington insiders, and the outright opposition of the Washington Establishment, Viguerie believes conservatism is in vogue.

“Keep your eyes on Kansas,” he said, referencing the current primary battle between incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts and tea party favorite Milton Wolf.

“I think Roberts has a reputation of losing touch with the voters much as Eric Cantor had,” Viguerie said, of the Virginia congressman defeated in his primary.

He believes Wolf’s race “offers the best chance for conservatives to defeat the big-government chamber of commerce type Republican this year.”

Also, he warns, “we should not give up on Mississippi … A lot is happening there. I think it’s under the radar,” referencing the ongoing legal battles waged by tea party-backed candidate Chris McDaniel over the legality of actions taken by his opponent, longtime incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran’s campaign.

McDaniel was narrowly defeated in a June 24 primary runoff, after coming up ahead, but just short of 50 percent during the initial primary. Citing evidence of crossover voters affecting the race, McDaniel attests that he is the legitimate victor of the primary.

While he’s not optimistic that that outcome will change, Viguerie says, “It’s important for conservatives to help out Chris McDaniel.”

No matter the outcome of the races, Viguerie is not daunted, but filled with resolve.

Looking forward to the future, Viguerie said, “We’ve got a very strong bench, and it’s getting stronger each election cycle … grass roots conservatives are providing the opposition to Democrats. And voters like that.”

Get “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It” from the WND Superstore.

Andrew Ireland is an intern for WND

Media wishing to interview Richard Viguerie, please contact [email protected]

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