Imagine an America in 2041 in which the economy has been unshackled -- including the repeal of Obamacare and replacement with a free market healthcare system, the welfare state shrunk, the nation's military rebuilt, constitutional conservatives hold solid majorities throughout the political system and liberty lovers control all of our key cultural institutions.
Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter writes of just such a seemingly unfathomable scenario in his new political fiction "Conservative Insurgency: The Struggle to Take America Back 2009-2041."
Schlichter's story, written from the perspective of a professor looking back on how conservatives overcame two terms of a Hillary Clinton presidency and all form of other disastrous political defeats to win back the culture and the political system, unfolds through discussions with various fictional foot soldiers of the so-called "conservative insurgency." These individuals range from (former) feminist progressives to conservative and libertarian activists to retired military personnel to the most apolitical of everyday Americans (think insurance salesmen, technology consultants, etc.), who grew fed up with the status quo and decided to do something about it.
If you are skeptical as to how conservatives could possibly halt and then defeat the century-long progressive movement, in light of impending amnesty, progressive dominance in the culture and politics, the strength of the Establishment GOP and decentralized nature of the conservative/libertarian movements, read on for a taste as to how it was done, excerpted from "Conservative Insurgency."
Chapter One: The Long March
"We Never Really Had a Plan Except to Resist"
Just 28 years ago, as Barack Obama began his final term in office, and with the Tea Party success of 2010 considered merely a blip in leftism's relentless advance, conservatism appeared to be at its nadir in every arena of society. America, it appeared, had been "fundamentally transformed" into a poorer, less free, shadow of its former self.
Conservatism, the establishment agreed, was doomed.
But in 2041, the individualistic, free market ideology of constitutional conservatism rules in every major sphere of society. Progressivism is isolated and mocked. The most pronounced changes are outside of politics—constitutional conservatives are firmly established within the culture. In the media, in academia, the world of entertainment, and in everyday life, constitutional conservatism is—astonishingly to those over 40—the dominant paradigm. It is the cultural default, while its enemy, progressivism, is at best mocked as an archaic curiosity but more often scorned as a failed ideology of petty tyrants and elitist hypocrites. On television, it is the progressives who frequently find themselves the butt of jokes—and the conservatives are often the heroes.
This change did not simply happen. It was decades in the making, the result of a conscious and dedicated effort by constitutional conservatives to retake their country from the purveyors of progressivism. But it was not merely a political effort. Winning more political offices was a necessary, but not sufficient, goal. It was the culture that had grown to promote progressivism that would have to change.
It did not happen quickly. It faced many setbacks. But like Chairman Mao when he was forced to move his communist forces across China to escape destruction, it ended in victory.
Call it the constitutional conservatives' Long March.
* * *
Rob Patel (President-Elect)
It is hard to imagine any American who has managed to avoid learning president-elect Robert Manuel Patel's life story. In fact, in the last election his opponent famously sputtered in frustration, "He's nothing but biography!" But, of course, that sold Rob Patel well short. A savvy political operator who understood how it resonated, he ensured his uniquely American story was front and center throughout the campaign. Combined with his unapologetic conservatism, it helped earn him a 60 percent popular vote landslide.
The president-elect agreed to meet me the day before the inauguration in his suite of rooms in the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC. Security was tight—as always, the Secret Service was tracking multiple threats, many from leftists enraged at his plans to push forward the conservative policies of his two predecessors. They know better than to ignore the profound frustration of the disenfranchised left in light of the assassination attempt on the vice president in 2039 by a pair of self-described anarcho-socialists from Yale Law School. If one had not accidentally shot himself in the toe with his pistol, it might have ended in tragedy rather than farce.
Patel welcomes me and offers me coffee. The ostentatious appointments of the Presidential Suite seem to embarrass him. "We fought against people who were devoted to the trapping of power," he says. "And look at me now, in here, in the Ritz-Carlton! We need to keep reminding ourselves where we came from or we'll become the establishment." It's an illuminating analysis from a successor to 16 years of conservative rule—in many ways, the constitutional conservatives still see themselves as outsiders.
We sit, him on an overstuffed chair and me on the sofa, and he begins . . .
I was a young man out of college with a ton of student debt in 2012. I don't know—maybe $120,000, which was serious money then. I voted for Barack Obama because I really thought that government should and would take care of me. I thought it would care for me. After all, my teachers had taught me that all through my years in school. But then I got out into the real world, and there was nothing. No jobs, just lots of student loan debt weighing me down. It was the same for most of my friends.
Hope and change, Obama promised us, but all I saw was despair and decline. Yet as bad as the economy was, and it was really bad, the real problem was inside me. Like many in my generation, I had internalized a lot of the values and ideas of an American culture that had gone off track. I didn't yet have the tools to succeed. I think liberals liked people like me being that way.
I tried and tried to get a job in my field, marketing, and no one was hiring. I remember talking to one employer and kind of demanding to know why he wouldn't give me a job, like he owed me a job. The guy looked at me, shook his head, and asked why he should hire anyone now when he couldn't be sure the government wouldn't put some new regulation or tax on him next year. He told me he didn't know how much I was going to cost from month to month because of all the things the government was doing "help" me, and that's why I wasn't getting a job. It really opened my eyes, or rather, started to.
When I finally got a job with an energy company out in Montana, my eyes were opened even wider. I was working very hard but my taxes were increasing, while more and more of my peers were sitting around doing nothing (often by choice) and getting paid for it!
Then the final straw came when the Obama administration's EPA essentially banned fracking and I got laid off. I figured out that the only people liberals cared about were their fellow elitist progressives in Manhattan, Hollywood, Chicago, and DC. People like me were collateral damage, acceptable losses, for making their dreams come true.
I registered as a Republican while working at a McDonald's.
* * *
Colonel Jeremy Denton, US Army (Ret.) (Insurgency Expert)
This gruff former Army War College instructor and Iraq/Afghanistan veteran lives outside of Atlanta, north of his old haunts at Fort Benning. He wears a .45 on his hip, largely as a political statement. His specialty on active duty was counterinsurgency warfare, but his passion was conservative politics. It was only after leaving active service that he got personally involved, but that did not keep him from turning his professional eye toward what was happening from the outside. As we talk, he seems to shift personas—from Army officer to college professor to barstool smart-ass and back again.
As we enjoy a cold Dos Equis on his porch, the colonel observes, "Now, insurgency is not a perfect metaphor for what happened. There was no real fighting, though I think there could have been if things happened differently. I don't even want to think about that. But I see so many parallels to an insurgency that I think using it as the paradigm is the best way to understand what happened since 2009."
The best reason for embarking on a conservative insurgency was the fact that we did not have a whole lot of other strategic options. We didn't have a strong, organized majority that could try to push through what we wanted politically, and we had no real infrastructure to do it in the social and cultural spheres. With the eight-inch artillery that was the liberal mainstream media out there ready to call a fire mission in on any concentration of conservative power, there was no other viable strategic option. It wasn't a conscious decision, of course—it just happened organically. We never really had a plan except to resist. That's pretty much the best way for an insurgency to happen.
Look back at where we were at our low point in early 2013. Even if the political correlation of forces was different—say, if Romney had won in 2012 and perhaps the GOP had retaken the Senate—we still would probably have had to choose insurgency. Romney's primary asset was that he wasn't a liberal—well, at least that he wasn't a liberal anymore—but he was certainly no constitutional conservative. He wasn't a bad guy. He just wasn't committed to the cause. He got a lot of support from the kind of milquetoast Republican who would bloviate about "working together" and "compromising" and "doing the job the American people sent us here to do" as a prelude to sticking real conservatives in the back. We would have had that fight with them if he had won; turns out, we had to have it anyway before we could really take on the liberals.
So even if we had Obama out of the White House, we would not have had a true constitutional conservative in it. And just because we might have had a Republican president would have done nothing for what was arguably the bigger problem conservatives faced, the liberal culture.
Say we had Romney and a GOP House and a GOP Senate and even a stronger GOP-inclined Supreme Court . . . so? At the end of the day, that would have been just a temporary correlation of forces. Parties change quickly, but culture . . . the culture changes slowly, and its impact dwarfs the transitory changes in Washington.
We conservatives had very little hold on the culture, and little combat power to retake it. Even with the political reins of power in our hands, the culture would remain progressive, incubating the virus of collectivist thought like monkeys in the jungle provide a reservoir for the Ebola virus. I like that—liberalism as a political Ebola virus!
Anyway, liberalism would just sit there, in the bastions of cultural progressivism—academia, the arts, the media, entertainment, and some sectors of the nonprofit and religious communities—waiting for a chance to spread once again.
No, even if we were stronger, our strategic choice would have to have been an insurgency. We couldn't hit the strongholds of cultural progressivism head-on, not without causing massive resistance and a cultural fight we'd have had little or no chance of winning. Remember, they wanted to be victims, to be rebels—we'd be throwing them in the locally sourced, organic briar patch.
No, we needed to infiltrate them, quietly, stealthily, even as we cut off their subsidy money and negated their influence from the outside. We needed to go slowly, embarking upon the same kind of long-term campaign that led that crop of aging hippies and Viet Cong–hugging creeps to positions of authority and influence.
We had to destroy them from the inside by turning the culture conservative over time. We had to be stealthy and take advantage of our relatively few tactical advantages. And the only way to do that was through an insurgency.
Now, the strength of any insurgency is that it is decentralized. Conversely, the weakness of any insurgency is that it is decentralized. That's the conundrum of insurgency.
A traditional military unit succeeds because the commander can use his force's centralized command structure to synchronize efforts and focus combat power at decisive points within the battlespace. "Battlespace" is the replacement term for "battlefield"—there's a whole wing of the Pentagon devoted to making up new words for perfectly good old words! They made up "battlespace" to recognize not just the three-dimensional nature of physical warfare but the intangible cyber/electronic and social arenas as well.
Anyway, a traditional commander has a centralized command and control system that lets him make everyone do what he wants them to do and go where he wants them to go to hit the other side all at the same time.
But insurgents have trouble doing that. Why? Because they aren't centralized. Their chain of command is not so rigid—local leaders have significant power and may not answer to one overall commander. Logistically, they have trouble moving across the battlespace. Their problem is one of concentration—it's hard for an insurgency to concentrate forces at a particular point in time and space in significant numbers.
Concentration allows you to focus combat power at one place for a maximum effect. Let me give you an example. You have 100 guys each with a pistol that has an effective range of, say, 50 meters. Each of them is 50 meters apart. So, the greatest number of your guys who can concentrate fire on one spot is three at a time unless you can move them, right?
But if you can coordinate, say, 20 of those guys to move to within 50 meters of a spot, you can then concentrate 20 guns on that spot. If you really want to kill something, have more guns concentrating fire on it. So, that's concentration.
Now, if there were no downside to concentration, we would concentrate forces all the time. But concentrating your forces in one place is risky. It gives the other side a target! That's why insurgents, at least smart ones, don't concentrate their forces until they absolutely have to, and then only at the last minute. They avoid a force-on-force fight. The traditional military has a huge advantage because it is designed to concentrate overwhelming force quickly and efficiently.
But this challenge for insurgents is also one of their greatest strengths. Insurgents are rarely concentrated, which is good, because traditional military forces are designed to smash concentrated enemy forces—they like it when an insurgent concentrates his forces because then they can mass their full combat power on the insurgents and inflict maximum damage.
Think of a traditional military as a sledgehammer and the insurgent as a mosquito. Yeah, if the sledgehammer hits the mosquito it's "Adios, bug." But what if there is a swarm of mosquitoes? Then, perhaps, the sledgehammer is a suboptimal weapon system for the job.
Now let's apply that concept to a peaceful ideological struggle. Back in 2013, the liberal establishment was that traditional force. It was big, and its power was daunting. It occupied most of the government. It had heavy artillery in the form of the mainstream media. It was totally supported by the cultural left in Hollywood and academia. We constitutional conservatives simply did not have the firepower to take it on face-to-face back then. When we tried, we lost—look at the shutdown fight of October 2013. We lost because we provided a target and the entire liberal establishment, aided and abetted by the GOP moderates, were able to focus their fire on us.
So, the answer was not to concentrate our forces to give them a target they could crush with one blow. Instead, we needed to be millions of little mosquitoes, each taking a bit of blood out of the flabby liberal lummox swinging that sledgehammer.
* * *
Sandy Crawford (Conservative Activist)
The long-time conservative activist and organizer, now a senior fellow at the Breitbart Institute, still likes to fight. However, today she finds herself in the unusual (for her) position of defending the status quo. It's clear, though, that her true calling is really being an insurgent, of fighting outnumbered and outgunned.
We had no real choice about how we were going to fight back. The Republican establishment seemed content to lose. The media was totally against us. Everywhere you looked in the culture—movies, TV, the arts—constitutional conservatives were the enemy. We were almost completely locked out of academia. They were attacking everywhere our values were strong and defied the liberal zeitgeist—religion, business, and the military. So doing it ourselves was the only way to go.
It wasn’t like we planned it. We just understood that we needed to use our individual skills and talents, and that we couldn't write off any part of the culture anymore. We had technology too, which gave us the power to organize and exponentially increase our voice. But what we really had was an understanding that progressivism under these administrations represented a real threat, and that we couldn't just ignore what was happening and hope it would be taken care of somehow, by someone else. We learned that we had to fight even as we were living our lives, and that our careers, our political action, and social interactions—well, we couldn't pretend these were separate from our conservative beliefs. So everything we did supported the fight.
* * *
Ted Jindal (Technology Consultant)
Ted Jindal (no relation to the former vice president) was very familiar with the state of play for conservatives on the technology front during the Obama and Hillary years. As a young technology expert, he was there on the front lines while the insurgency struggled against the Democrats' high-tech superiority.
I was a new media guy for the Romney 2012 campaign—naturally, I told them to pound sand when they tried to get me back in 2016. It was awful. The GOP knew nothing about technology or new media. They paid consultants huge bucks for these nearly useless systems that were essentially designed to send an e-mail to people saying, "Don't forget to vote." And they couldn't even pull that off. They had no concept, and in 2016 it wasn't much better.
Technology was just a buzzword and a scapegoat. It was like, "Uh, I think we need more technology and social media. Go buy some!" But, outside of the candidates and the party, conservatives were starting to figure things out. I soon figured out that I was seeing things precisely backwards.
By the teens, there were all of these new media tools using the Internet. You had your Twitter, your Facebook, blogs, video blogs, and podcasts. Constitutional conservatives were all over them. They would just start doing things on their own and either get an audience or not get an audience and move onto something else. It was totally organic. It was the free market we always talked about in action before our eyes. Naturally, we didn't see that.
Of course, I came from the business side, very old school. As a new media guy—which I guess is old media today—I was totally wrong in my own outlook, and yet I was still light-years ahead of other folks working on this for our side. The thing that I needed to get into my head, and that took me a long time to get my head around, was that this wasn't a phenomenon we could control and direct.
In the campaigns, we tried to coordinate things, to set the agenda ourselves by forcing our messages to the forefront. But even to the extent we could round up these free agents to try and coordinate them, they refused to be coordinated. Have you ever tried to get a mailing list of 200 key Twitter, Facebook, and blog influencers to follow your directions and talk about what you wanted talked about that day? Forget it. I would try to issue them talking points for the news cycle—I had this vision that I could somehow synchronize them into talking about what we on the campaigns had decided was important. Well, they just ignored us and did their own thing, or they told us to buzz off. And they didn't use the word "buzz."
We were tremendously frustrated that we couldn't control the messaging. There were messages out there all right, often very powerful ones for our side, but we couldn't control them.
What I initially missed was that this was a crowdsourcing phenomenon. Instead of trying to force my chosen messages to resonate, the messages that really resonated—the memes—would rise naturally from the confluence of the new media sources out there in the web. The good stuff, the powerful constitutional conservative messages that really worked for us, bubbled up and got big without some central controller picking and choosing them. In other words, the good stuff would take off and go viral on its own.
We started doing a lot better with our messaging when we stopped trying to tell constitutional conservatives what the message du jour was and started listening to them tell us what it was.
* * *
David Chang (Conservative Media Host)
In 2041, America's number-one conservative satellite/web talk show host is David Chang. Chang, a gay conservative evangelical Christian who often spars with his conservative atheist cohost Timmy Tyler, is often called "the Rush Limbaugh of our generation." He recalls how the elite liberal mindset was simply intolerable and how he fought back. Chang is a 2015 Harvard Law School graduate who first made a name for himself when he forced the school to readmit him after expelling him for "hate speech" for wondering aloud in class, "How can any gay American be part of the fraud that is progressivism? You know that it was the progressive's brothers the Nazis who pinned pink triangles to us and put us in camps, right?"
Liberalism was flabby. It was tired and bloated, a worn-out giant bereft of ideas and ideals. Maybe, at some point in the past, liberals believed in something. But by 2020, you never heard about "bleeding heart" liberals anymore because you needed to have a heart to have it bleed.
They no longer bought their own nonsense—they just mouthed the words. And we had all heard the words and phrases so often, they lost any meaning even to the suckers who believed them before they became clichés.
"War on Women." “Racism." "Fair share." It was all crap. It was all a scam.
Liberalism's corruption was so complete they didn't even try to hide it anymore. Crusader for the little guy Al Gore made a fortune off the global warming swindle—it's still getting colder 30 years on!—and then he doubled it selling his Current TV network to the oil sheiks of the Middle East for a stack of petrodollars. He didn't even bother to explain it. And no one on the left bothered to comment. Why? Because everyone who had bothered to pay attention—the politicians, the pundits, the media mavens, the cocktail party intelligentsia—all knew that liberalism was just a crock of bullshit.
The Obama campaign won reelection in 2012 based not on "Hope and Change" but on slander and lies. Hillary Clinton didn't even pretend. She was right out front—it was about greed. Vote for her and she would steal from her opponents and give you a cut via entitlements.
But Americans aren't a cynical people. I talk to them and with them every day. They are actually very idealistic, and the Constitution embodies that idealism. They started to see the truth, that liberalism was nothing more than a racket designed to spread the spoils in the form of money and power among a small group of elitists on the coasts, in the faculty lounges, and in DC. The poor, well, they got a few scraps—not enough to live like free men and women, but enough to buy their votes in exchange for their dignity.
The liberals knew it. We conservatives certainly knew it. Our challenge was getting the rest of America to know it. We wanted all Americans to internalize this truth the way that popular culture had led them to internalize the bizarre lie that conservatives are repressed sexaphobes who obeyed that Pat Robertson guy and wanted to ban fun in all its forms. That sure as hell wasn't me, and it sure wasn't the constitutional conservatives I knew.
* * *
Brad Fields (Insurance Salesman)
Fields is a self-described "regular guy," having never previously held office or been involved in politics, but having been drawn into the insurgency during the Obama administration as things began to fall apart. You get the impression that he considers politics a bother, that he would prefer doing just about anything else. In fact, he only becomes truly excited discussing Clemson football—his office is decked with team memorabilia. As for his role in the insurgency, he talks about it as if having to get involved was an inconvenience. You get the distinct impression he did so only reluctantly, and only because he saw he had no other choice.
Do you think I dreamed of selling insurance as a kid growing up? Could anything be sadder? I wanted to be a lawyer, but when I finished college I was already in $50,000 of debt, and there was no way I was going to spend three years and $250,000 to be an unemployed shyster. But grad school seemed my only option. There were no jobs—none—for people like me. I poured coffee at a Starbucks in the 2010s, fetching lattes for liberal snobs. Of course, I was liberal too then, I guess. I didn't really care about politics. I just wanted to do my thing, watch the game on the weekend, and drink some beers.
See this scar? It used to be a tattoo of the Chinese character for luck, or so I was told. I thought it was so cool. I was too stupid to see that I was wrong for a long time. I was also too stupid to see that I was wrong about liberalism until I realized that it was being built on my back and I wasn't getting squat—except for being called a racist or a sexist or whatever during our company diversity seminars. So I was almost happy to get a gig selling health insurance, a perfect fit for a guy with a bachelor's degree in communications, whatever that was. I'm still not sure what I got out of college except an exhausted liver.
Anyway, my job was to try to explain Obamacare to these small business owners and individuals. It was a nightmare. It was a total train wreck, and I remember wondering why the Democrats resisted any effort to fix even the stupidest provisions. Initially I blamed the Republicans because, well, everything was always the Republicans' fault, right? But after a while, I started to figure out the truth—and seeing my lazy classmates who weren't working living off government money about as well as I was living off of money I earned and then paid out in taxes certainly helped.
Obamacare started falling apart right from the beginning. I was cancelling long-time customers and all I could offer were these new policies for more money with higher deductibles. People would ask me why this was happening, and one day I just lost it and said, "It's the damn liberals. They never should have screwed with it." That's when I realized I was a constitutional conservative.
* * *
Ashley Hampton (Reluctant Conservative Activist)
A Portland antique compact disc store owner ("You're going to hate me for being a Portland cliché, but I really do prefer CD sound quality and texture to newer music delivery media") and self-described ex-liberal, Hampton found herself under enormous peer pressure when she began asking uncomfortable questions about progressive premises.
How liberal was I? Oh gosh, totally. If there was a liberal cliché, I was it. I was against racism, sexism, homophobia, lookism, fatism—everything—and, of course, I saw them everywhere. The Republicans, especially the Tea Party people, now they were just awful. I hated them. They were the worst human beings on earth. Worse than Nazis, who at that time I still thought were right-wingers.
Of course, I had never actually met any Tea Partiers—or Tea Baggers, as we liked to call them—but I was liberal and I didn't need to actually know someone to know that I was better and more moral than him.
I was really into feminism. I saw patriarchy everywhere. I initially responded to the liberal outreach to women like me—they seemed to be telling me that as a young, single woman, liberalism was going to take care of me. There was this cartoon character, Julia, that the liberals used in the Obama campaign. This Julia, at every juncture of her life, was getting something from the government. Cradle to grave, the government was taking care of her.
But after a while this had started to bother me at some level, because it seemed that as a feminist I shouldn't be relying on others. To me, feminism was, and is, about finding the power within myself to think and do for myself. I didn't need a man to support me, but then the liberals were telling me that I needed them. My friends didn't seem bothered by it, and I kind of put it aside, but it seemed weird to me.
I thought liberalism was about freedom. Really, I did. I just hadn't thought about it critically yet. But then even more of these things started coming out that kind of puzzled me. There was the NSA surveillance thing—the government was listening in to telephone calls and tracking people's Internet use. That really bothered me, and I remember getting grief because I blamed Obama. I mean, he was the president when they were doing this, so who was I supposed to blame? Well, evidently Bush, because some of it started under him. But I couldn't understand why my liberal friends were letting Obama off the hook for not stopping it. It seemed really clear to me.
I started getting uncomfortable thoughts about the hypocrisy I was seeing on my own side. Liberals lied to us about health care, but that was okay because health care was really important. Since when was lying okay? Then you'd have liberal politicians being harassers and abusers, but we were supposed to blame the women because the men were too important to the liberal cause to hold accountable. What?
I would see my liberal friends use the most vicious, hateful, sexist words about conservative women. I was no Sarah Palin fan, but one day this feminist bookstore owner called her the "c word" at a reading and I stood up and said, "As a feminist, I can't accept you using that term about another woman." I got booed, and the woman hissed at me, "That conservative bitch isn't a woman!" The feminists all clapped. It was crazy to me.
I would have loved to see their faces when President Marlowe appointed Ambassador Palin to the United Nations and she told those crooks and thugs to shape up or ship out of New York City!
I knew something had changed in me. I hadn't changed any of my core principles. I think the thing is—and I saw this with a lot of liberals who became constitutional conservatives—is that I actually believed in all that stuff about treating people fairly and equally and about civil rights and so forth. But a lot of liberals seemed to think those principles were only important as long as they helped liberalism. When they didn't help, they abandoned them. The liberals were leaving me, not vice versa.
I was a big pro-choice supporter, but I never thought abortion was right for me. I wasn't going to judge others, but for me, I just wasn't going to have one. Then I got pregnant, and I naturally decided I was going to keep the baby. I thought that being pro-choice meant that I had a right to choose, but when I said why I chose to have my daughter even though I was very poor and fairly young—and suggested that other people should try to do the same, even if inconvenient—you'd think I had just burned a cross. I guess they were all for choice if you chose their way.
Suddenly, I had feminists telling me that I was somehow betraying feminist principles by having the baby. It seemed like it was important to them that I atone for not being more than just pro-choice. They had forgiven me for defending Sarah Palin, but I finally got kicked out of the feminist bookstore reading club for good for that.
And it wasn’t just the feminists. This environmentalist feminist I knew named Gaia Borgnine—I don't know if that was her real name—actually came up to me in my shop and told me having a child was an "Earthcrime." I asked whether I was going to be arrested by the "Earthcops," and she said, “If I had my way, you would be!”
These people were nuts. And dangerous.
I started reading and learning about the people I had always held in contempt. It took a while, but after finding that liberal "freedom" was really no freer than the caricature of conservatism I had grown up believing in, I committed the ultimate act of defiance. I started my own Tea Party group, and I used the name "Tea Party" explicitly to confront the haters. And there were plenty. Of course, being Portland, I emphasized that the tea was locally sourced.
Excerpted from CONSERVATIVE INSURGENCY Copyright © 2014 by Kurt Schlichter, published July 15 by Post Hill Press.
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