Matt Kibbe: Cruz’s win is for the people
Tuesday’s runoff in Texas, where Ted Cruz defeated David Dewhurst, is certainly one of the most active discussions in the political world right now. Not only have the results of the race further diminished the political popularity of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who backed Dewhurst, but for Senate Democrats, who have made that chamber completely worthless, are using it to say that the Tea Party movement is taking over the Republican Party.
But Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, would tell you that taking over the GOP is precisely the goal of the Tea Party movement. Kibbe, author of Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America, explained yesterday at Politico that Cruz’s win represented more than a notch under the belt of the Tea Party movement. Rather it was one for the “people”:
The political playing field has changed. It turns out the tea party movement’s sophisticated grass-roots ground game was what finally tipped the balance.
In the end, Dewhurst outspent Cruz more than 3-to-1. But all that money, and all that establishment, no longer guarantees victory. Motivated and well-informed activists are continuing to prove that “We the People” can take back Washington.
It’s taking hard work, dedication and sacrifice. But average Americans are staging a hostile takeover of the establishment right under our noses. They’re kicking out those who have grossly mismanaged our nation, rejecting the establishment’s chosen successors and supporting candidates who respect the people and the values enshrined in our Constitution. In doing so, they’re making a powerful statement about the future of politics.
Cruz won largely because his consistent, passionate support for solid conservative principles ignited a well-informed, well-trained, well-organized grass-roots activist base that couldn’t care less what the establishment expects or wants. Cruz’s victory is the latest in a national trend of voters bucking the establishment and organizing from the bottom-up around candidates who will proactively fight to advance a fiscal conservative agenda.
We also saw this earlier this year in Indiana, where regular folks rallied in a grass-roots campaign to defeat 36-year establishment incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar, replacing him in a landslide Republican primary with Richard Mourdock, a fresh-faced conservative committed to fiscal responsibility. As in Utah, grass-roots activists built the ground game to force 36-year incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch into the only primary challenge of his career. Challenger Dan Liljenquist forced Hatch to renew his commitment to conservative principles — both in his rhetoric and his Senate votes.
The continuing lesson to be learned from the Cruz and Mourdock victories is that government goes to those who show up. FreedomWorks for America alone saw our membership in Texas more than double in the last year. So we opened 50 campaign distribution centers across the state where limited-government activists circulated more than 125,000 door hangers, 20,000 yard signs and 9,000 bumper stickers. Volunteers made more than 1 million targeted phone calls encouraging voters to go to the polls. More than 16,000 activists showed up at our meeting, FreePAC in Dallas, last week to cheer on Cruz, a featured speaker.
Indiana showed us that incumbency isn’t the ultimate qualification. Utah showed us that principles still matter. Texas showed us that victory can’t be bought.
An educated people are and always will be the greatest tool in a democracy. Disintermediation politics, empowering individuals from the bottom up, without centralized planning, is the future of U.S. politics and the only conceivable way that “We the People” can take back our seat at the table as citizen shareholders of our government.
Cruz’s win was a coup for the Tea Party movement. No one thought he had a shot in hell against Dewhurst in the weeks before the primary, but Cruz, his team, and hardworking activists proved everyone wrong.
Even the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee admits that Cruz is very likely to be victorious in November. But that will not be enough. Cruz was elected to help the like of DeMint, Lee, Paul shake things up in Washington, not just holding Democrats accountable, but also their fellow Republicans. Remember, the end goal here for Cruz and others is to get Washington back on path, even if that means taking on members of their own party. He’s done that so far. Given what he was up against just to get to this point, there is no doubt that he’ll do it in DC — not for him, but, as Kibbe said, for the people.