Book Monitor

The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It 

Richard A. Viguerie

Conservative strategist and marketing expert Richard Viguerie offers a comprehensive plan to take the Republican party away from the "establishment" and to attract voters to the party. He's been involved in campaigns from Goldwater to Romney.

Takeover demonstrates that Democrats aren't the only foes of conservatives. Establishment Republicans will go to extreme lengths to retain control of the party and to ostracize those who would halt their big-government spending and increased regulations. The Republican National Committee has in the past harmed conservative candidates by withholding funding and generally wreaking havoc during primaries and campaigns.

The majority of Americans will vote for a conservative once they are educated to understand conservative principles. Republican principles are often not in line with conservative beliefs. The Tea Party has added "limited-government Constitutional conservatives," to economic, national defense, and social conservatism.

Viguerie points to the era of "Big Government" becoming the era of "Obese Government" once George W. Bush was elected. Federal government spending had been $1,635.9 billion under Clinton. By the end of Bush's second term "the federal government was spending $3.2 trillion." Some of this was due to wars but there was also an "explosion of 'earmarks' and pork-barrel spending projects during the presidency of George W. Bush."

An example of establishment Republicans' poor choices when running campaigns is the decision to turn Presidential debates over to members of the mainstream liberal media. Viguerie points out an incident during a Republican primary debate when George Stephanopoulos, the former Clinton White House spokesman turned journalist, managed to smear both Gov. Romney and Sen. Santorum with one slanted question.

Viguerie offered a cash prize to whomever could come up with the best plan for conservatives to win elections and he ended up splitting the prize between two winners.

The winning "basic American civics" plan was for conservatives to become precinct committeemen. Viguerie says that half of the Republican precinct committeeman slots available in 2008 were vacant, although they "determine who gets the chance to be elected to office at every level of government." Individuals can put in as little as two hours a month and have an important impact.

The other winners were Tea Party members who offered a plan to use effective grassroots campaign techniques to nominate and elect limited government constitutional conservatives.

A collection of anecdotes from historical campaigns and a wealth of successful strategies for conservatives in the future are detailed in Takeover.

(WND Books, 2014, 335 pp., $27.95)