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Op-ed Placement

How Conservative Grassroots Will Drive the Conversation for Decades

BY Carol Davis on behalf of the FreedomWorks Activist Advisory Council
09/12/2019
Originally Published in The Washington Examiner by Carol Davis on behalf of the FreedomWorks Activist Advisory Council on 9/12/19.

It has been 10 years since more than 1 million grassroots activists from all over the country gathered in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall to protest against reckless spending, bailouts, and a government takeover of healthcare. The Taxpayer March on Washington, as it came to be called, was a flashpoint that defined the political process. Now, in the next year, the conservative grassroots are set to define the issues for the next decade.

The historic 2009 rally on the Mall was a moment that grew into a sophisticated political movement. Republican politicians who were previously thought to be unbeatable were unseated, and the movement created a real seat at the table for voices calling for less government and more freedom.

Principled voices such as Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee, along with Reps. Thomas Massie and Jim Jordan, are standing up to the status quo daily. There are more than 30 members of the House Freedom Caucus. Together, with the fiscally conservative base of the GOP, these leaders have changed the national conversation and created a political environment that has allowed for historic tax cuts, deregulation, criminal justice reform, and entitlement reform.

We took to the streets in 2009 to get a seat at the table. Now we have one. The real question is, what’s next?

Small-government activists used to be limited to organizing locally. Now we are using technology to grow the community and reach like-minded voters on a massive scale. We are fighting the deep state with unprecedented effectiveness by submitting tens of thousands of comments to agencies in real time using the FreedomWorks Foundation Regulatory Action Center.

Under the Regulatory Action Center, grassroots activists drove over 28,000 comments in support of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which since being enacted has increased the speed of the internet through dramatic increases in investment.

The conservative grassroots drove thousands of comments across multiple comment periods urging the EPA to redefine Obama's Waters of the United States rule. The EPA just recently finalized a more narrow definition.

More recently, the grassroots have been hard at work driving comments that have helped stall a rule that would impose price controls on prescription medication. The conservative grassroots have carried the torch of free market prosperity in reining in our overzealous bureaucracy.

Driving thousands of comments on regulatory aspects used to be exclusively the domain of the Left. But thanks to the conservative grassroots, that’s no longer true.

The 2020 presidential election is set to be a watershed year for the conservative grassroots, and the conservative movement at large. The grassroots have created a 2020 platform for the GOP that calls for spending cuts, simplifying the tax code, welfare reform, repealing Obamacare, and reforming our criminal justice system to lower costs and incentivize nonviolent offenders to once again become productive members of society.

Democrats now more than ever have fallen to the siren call of socialism. Free markets and free people have been the foundation of the conservative grassroots, and both of these are anathema to big government socialism. Republicans are fortunate to have the ideologically committed grassroots on their side in the coming year. As Ronald Reagan once famously said, “Freedom … is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation.” Capitalism versus socialism will be the defining issue of the 2020 election.

In 2009, the conservative grassroots rose up to stop Washington from doing the wrong thing. Now, 10 years later, the conservative grassroots will put the pressure on Washington and drive the conversation in the fight against socialism.

President Trump has made clear the United States will never be a socialist nation. Republicans would do best to take the threat of socialism seriously. The conservative grassroots sure do, because they understand that freedom truly does work.