What Is Republican Extremisim And Should We Embrace It?
A study of Conservative Idealism for Illinois Conservatives
April 17, 2023
Val Ojeda, Writer
Extremism. That was the word touted in the Illinois midterms not by the Democrats, but by the Illinois Republican Party.
You see, the Illinois Republican Party in 2021 with the appointment of the new Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy, decided to take Conservative Republican politics in a new direction. To practice Republican Modernism, shedding away anything to do with America First or Trump.
Mind you, most of these members in the State Central Committee have never run for office. Many have never helped run a campaign. As a matter of fact, most are political amateurs or comprised of a few candidates that lost multiple races.
Yet, now they're dictating a new political policy and strategy to win races. In their minds, they thought the rest of the party would accept this rationale.
Beginning in 2021, the same year the Illinois GOP initiated this new policy and strategy embracing modernism, which includes lowering our conservative standards and supporting abortion, Illinois Senator Darren Bailey announced his run for Illinois Governor.
Bailey, a farmer from downstate, Illinois, became popular for fighting the COVID-19 shutdowns and suing the state of Illinois. In that time, he rallied the masses and developed quite a following. The grassroots Conservatives adored him.
It was no news that Bailey supported President Trump with no apologies. That became a problem with the Illinois GOP, who stayed silent. Then in October 2021 I began hearing rumors that Richard Irvin was going to run for governor.
At the time, I was managing Republican candidates for a variety of offices. Keeping my ear to the ground, I was hearing the news of potential contenders for different races. Then I received a tip that billionaire Ken Griffin met secretly with Richard Irvin to recruit him to run for governor. Remember, this is October.
At that time, other candidates declared their run for Governor, including Gary Rabine, another Trump supporter.
Winter came and went and in January 2022, Richard Irvin announced his run for Illinois Governor. Standing behind him was the entire Illinois GOP leadership, from Richard Porter on down to the lowest of township chairs and Precinct Committeeman.
The Illinois GOP for months secretly assembled 500 elected officials and GOP elected leaders to endorse Irvin. Both Bailey and Rabine were floored at this deceitful ploy by the Party to support and endorse their choice of a liberal Democrat Mayor of Aurora who supported Black Lives Matter.
Irvin is pro-abortion, marching for the right to eliminate life. He was also responsible for funding dozens of Democrats and endorsing their campaigns. Not once has Irvin ever pulled a GOP ballot, yet he was to represent all the party members.
85% of Illinois Republicans are Trump supporters. 10% are more moderate meanwhile 5% are outright sellout RINOs. That's 5% is the Illinois GOP and Irvin.
During the campaign, the Illinois Republican Party and the Irvin campaign identified Bailey as an "extremist" . That was the party and not the Democrats remember that. They were brutal, sending out mailers attacking Bailey. That was their strategy, and it did not work. The “extremist” won!
So, the rest is history. Irvin cashed out his 50 million dollars and lost to Bailey in the primary.
So now the Democrats picked up the banner calling out Bailey as “extremist” but that's not why Bailey lost. He lost because the party leadership became upset over his win, and they say on their hands. No help to the Bailey campaign whatsoever. Gone were the 500 GOP elected supporters as well.
If Bailey had that support and access to just a few more dollars more, he could have won easy as a so-called “extremist”
So, let's examine the origins of Republican extremism and is it considered bad?
We are going to discuss a politician that actually promoted it. The Donald Trump of his day. His name was Barry Goldwater who ran for President in 1964.
Goldwater was born in Arizona on New Year’s Day 1909, three years before Arizona became a state. He loved exploring its rugged landscape, often piloting his own plane and always carrying a camera.
He considered a military career, but his father’s poor health forced him into the family business, Goldwater’s Department Store. By the late 1940s, he turned his attention to politics, winning a seat on the Phenix City Council in 1949.
Soon, Goldwater was tackling bigger political challenges. In 1952, he defeated the popular incumbent senator Ernest McFarland, who happened to be the Senate’s Democratic majority leader.
As senator, Goldwater proposed a new—some said radical—political agenda. "He preached the cause of modern conservatism," wrote one biographer, which emphasized “individualism, the sanctity of private property… anticommunism, and the dangers of centralized power.”
Before long, the freshman senator moved into the ranks of leadership, becoming chair of the Republican Campaign Committee in 1955.
In 1960, with the publication of The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater became the leader of a national movement. Written with speechwriter Brent Bozell, the book was a statement of Goldwater's political creed.
In chapters that focused on issues such as civil rights, labor relations, and the welfare state, Goldwater called for the “utmost vigilance and care...to keep political power within its proper bounds.” The national media largely dismissed the book, but Goldwater’s vision quickly gained an audience and the book became a bestseller.
In January 1964, Goldwater announced his candidacy for president, facing strong competition within his party. He lost five of the first six primaries to Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., but then emerged as the front-runner in May and clinched the nomination in June.
That victory was bittersweet, however, since Goldwater’s nomination split the Republican ranks between moderates and conservatives. "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Goldwater famously proclaimed in his acceptance speech, hoping to quell dissent. "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
Such comments bolstered his followers, but also aided the Democrats who backed Lyndon Johnson. They portrayed Goldwater as a dangerous extremist in a barrage of campaign speeches and television ads that evoked images of nuclear war.
Goldwater lost the election, but media coverage of Johnson’s victory largely missed important underlying trends that would fuel conservative victories in the years ahead, particularly 1980, especially the election of Ronald Reagan, who was considered more extreme than Goldwater but won, anyway.
Returning to the Senate in 1969, Goldwater was on hand to witness those victories—as Arizona’s elder statesman.
So let's examine Goldwater's statement.
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
These deathless lines are generally credited to Barry Goldwater, but he didn’t write them. Karl Hess, Goldwater’s lovable anarchist speechwriter, put them in the Arizona senator’s Republican convention acceptance speech. “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!” Goldwater actually said, in a slightly less pithy formulation. “And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” It’s a rousing sentiment, however it’s phrased.
Over the course of American history, all the way up through Goldwater’s 1964 acceptance speech, “extremism in defense of liberty” was at least as likely to imply the willingness to deploy violence to to defend Liberty and the Constitution.
Goldwater, you’ll recall, opposed the Civil Rights Act on “constitutional” grounds, and his nomination speech came just two weeks after Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. It requires a special sort of obtuseness to insist that Goldwater was only making some sort of abstract, historically contextual point about the politics of liberty.
Look at the difference between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.. King, who contributed to creating the Civil Rights Act, was more mild-mannered and marched in peace. In many cities, he took part in marches in which the black marchers were attacked, providing no defense or offense whatsoever.
Malcolm X was different. He was more militant. As a member of the Nation of Islam, a paramilitary Muslim organization, he believed in going on the offense and decided not to walk in peace. He was the opposite of MLK.
Indeed, it’s Malcolm X who takes “extremism in defense of liberty” literally, as a strategy for the liberation of oppressed people, exposing and inverting its racially coded meaning. Moreover, given America’s long history of brutal racial oppression, Malcolm X’s interpretation of the maxim as an endorsement of violence was perfectly natural and logical.
If the formulation had never shown up in a famous line in a famous speech that means a lot to certain people, there wouldn’t be much of a question about the plain meaning of “extremism in defense of liberty.”
Consider the case of Timothy McVeigh, who murdered 168 people in a federal building in Oklahoma City with a truck bomb. McVeigh saw his attack as a blow for liberty in a war against the tyrannical American state that had murdered its citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge. When he was picked up by police a few days after the massacre, McVeigh was wearing a t-shirt that said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” quoting Thomas Jefferson.
McVeigh was executed by the undiminished state, believing he’d nobly refreshed the tree of liberty with blood. “Extremism in defense of liberty” seems like a natural way to describe what Thomas Jefferson prescribed and what Timothy McVeigh did, doesn’t it?
This isn’t to say that people who like to repeat Barry Goldwater’s famous quote think that they are sticking up for domestic terrorism. Of course, they don’t. The point is that Malcolm X and Timothy McVeigh knew perfectly well what “extremism in defense of liberty” really means, and we ought to stop pretending that we don’t know it, too.
However, it is interesting and quite telling that when Goldwater attempted to explain his glorification of pro-liberty extremism, he cited (this is, according to Hess), the Allied invasion on D-Day as an example of the principle in action.
The awesome scope and stakes of D-Day suggest that Goldwater did understand that “extremism” has something to do with possibly killing people. So it would seem that the senator’s own example cuts against the sensible, charitable interpretation of the first half of his dictum, which is that all he was saying is that, when liberty is at stake, a certain principled inflexibility is called for.
According to this line of thinking, all Goldwater had in mind were hardball political tactics, such as, for example, suspending some functions of government for a week or two rather than raising the debt ceiling again. Though it’s true that some Democrats think that’s pretty “extreme,” shutting down the government over the debt ceiling isn’t very much like D-Day, is it?
Goldwater never planted the flag of true fundamental conservatism. He wanted us to return to our roots. Because he has foreseen the change in American values. After all, in just a few years, our American standards dropped with the introduction of the hippie movement, producing mass protests across the country burning American flags.
Let's remember how we got to this point. In 1960, Vice-President Richard Nixon, a Republican Moderate, lost his race to John F. Kennedy, who was famous for stealing the race. When JFK was elected, he introduced the civil rights movement which later led to the “Great Society” introduced by President Johnson, which created the largest welfare program in the world. These entitlements created tens of millions of minority Americans that refused to work, instead of collecting welfare and free housing as long as they voted Democrat.
Also, because of JFK, we entered the Vietnam War. JFK introduced the war and LBJ weaponized it over the Gulf of Tonkin incident, a lie to fabricate war with communist North Vietnam. Because of this false narrative, we lost 58,000 American lives and over 100 thousand maimed and wounded.
Goldwater wanted to avoid all this. Yet, he never got support from the Republican Party just like Bailey because he never embraced modernism like Nixon and the Nelson Rockefeller Northeast Republicans.
This race was already difficult because just a year before, JFK was assassinated, pushing LBJ and the Democrats high in the polls over a national tragedy. Who can compete against that? LBJ won the race by 61.1 points.
So, what became of extremism? It made a comeback.
Nixon ended up running again, became President over LBJ's war policy and bad economy, then because of Watergate, he stepped down. Gerald Ford, another Moderate, became President and lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter.
Then when Carter ran for President, Ronald Reagan, the “extremist” jumped in the race.
Reagan's policies were shocking. He was more militant than Goldwater, challenging the Soviet Union with a defense buildup and the Star Wars missile defense system in space. He wanted a 500 ship Navy to show up the Russians.
He challenged the unions and was against entitlements. Remember, he was the President to issue cheese to the welfare class instead of more food stamps.
The country at the time under Carter was in turmoil. The gas crisis, inflation and a weak military. Immigration was at its peak, with no enforcement.
Yet, this extremist won. Don't you tell me we have to embrace abortion to win races? If you believe that, you are a fool. I want to see your credentials as a political strategist or consultant. You see, we have too many amateurs like the Illinois GOP leadership that think they know. But you know what? They don't.
If that was the case, we would have a Republican dominated General Assembly, Governor and Republican Chicago Mayor.
But no, we have a bunch of nail technicians conducting open-heart surgery without the skills of a board certified surgeon. They need to stay in their place and hear out the dozens of GOP candidates that showed up to their December meeting that have the experience in grassroots with strategies to win!
Instead, they refuse to accept the advice of the Patriots from their real-world experiences running for office.
Case in point. How many times has Don Tracy ran for office and lost as a millionaire? Money couldn't even buy him a political office, and now he's directing our political strategy. Look how that turned out last year. The most losses in Illinois GOP history and he's still the Chairman refusing to step down like a child with a tantrum.
Because of him, we lost the Governorship and added 5 more seats to an already supermajority in the GA.
Now we are going to enter the 2024 races, including that of the presidency. Many Illinois House and Senate seats are up for grabs. How are we to win?
Embrace extremism. Embrace our conservative cause. Stay the course as real Republicans. It's time to rid the party of moderates and RINOs. We don't need them. They are the ones responsible for splitting the party. Now it's time to excommunicate them. Get rid of them like trash.
As a party, we can still attract Independent and Democrat voters with the right strategy. In 2024, people are not going to vote out of patriotism but with empty stomachs. Because of this coming depression and collapse of the dollar, people will vote Republican like they did with Reagan..... the extremist.
As a political strategist, I study campaigns like modern Generals study Spartan warfare, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and Patton. To win, we have to study history. To see who succeeded and who failed.
In 2016, Donald Trump did just that. He studies historys failure not successes. To avoid those failures.
When he announced his running no one ever thought he would ever win. I was on Trump's staff on the 2016 campaign, and Illinois Republicans laughed at me. Their choice was Ted Cruz. It seemed to me like Governor Rauner and the GOP leadership wanted Hillary to win. Mind you, Trump was as extremist as you can get. Yet, Trump beat Hillary Clinton and won the Presidency. They laughed no more.
Now we are in a fight for our lives. The moderates are too weak and want to unify. It makes me sick to see REPUBLICANS invite Democrats to speak at their events. You know who you are. These same Democrats should be shot and not catered to.
I refuse to even be in a room with a Democrat, knowing the damage they want to inflict on this country. Are you aware that their plan is to find the United States Constitution void because it was founded by Godly principles? Yet, they want to do away with our Constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment.
They already arrested a Republican President do I need to say more more?
Next comes fascism and another version of the Third Reich or a communist state with Republican death camps and reeducation. We are that close to it becoming a reality if we don't begin winning races.
This begins with a common Conservative Strategy that embraces our core principles as Republicans.
First, we demand the resignation of Don Tracy and every single moderate in the Illinois GOP and you know who you are. I have a list.
Below is an article from the Dupage County Journal when I called out the Chairman for contributing to School Board losses.
We won't unify the party but tear it down like an old house and rebuild with the new. When your car continues to breakdown you replace it for another that actually works. This includes new leaders.
The Grassroots in Illinois demand this. They have suffered without true leadership for far too long. Now it's up to the Party leadership to do the right thing. To fall on their swords in shame and let the next generation of leaders step up!
The clocks are ticking, and we don't have time to wait. 2024 is right around the corner. Illinois Republican Party leadership, you can either be brave and step down or become selfish losers grasping for power like a big fish in a little pond. I'm thinking you will pick the latter.
We will see….
©️Val Ojeda is a Republican Author, Media Personality, Strategist and Consultant. Ojeda manages federal political campaigns also serving as President Trump's Hispanic Coalition Leader. Ojeda is also a businessman, entrepreneur and the founder of FAMA a 501c3 Chamber of Commerce. Ojeda served as law enforcement Veteran Officer/Detective