Webb: The future of conservatism

Webb: The future of conservatism
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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, is not what applies to the next few days in Washington, D.C. For the first time since the election and the inauguration of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceLaura Ingraham: George Will is ‘sad and petty’ for urging votes against GOP Political figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer Hollywood goes low when it takes on Trump MORE, conservatives from all across America and many from around the world will meet in Washington for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

The current president and vice president team is a blend of the ultimate outsider and the establishment politician. Despite the growing pains of any new administration and the over-the-top, sometimes outright dishonest reporting of discord by the media at large, this unlikely team seems to be moving forward with common purpose and doctrine. This is not to say there are not disagreements, but the Republican Party has never been the party of lockstep behavior. This is historically a healthy dynamic in order to have an effective party to lead the conservative movement. With the arrival of the 21st century did not come the 21st-century Republican Party.

The party had aged, but the new generation of thought politically and culturally had not achieved substantial critical mass to effect change. The George W. Bush years held on to the establishment of old and in many ways resisted forward movement. As a result, the election of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats cannot afford to play hardball on immigration reform Trump's tariffs are a case of crony capitalism Obama to visit Kenya, South Africa for Obama Foundation in July MORE was impossible to overcome. Candidates such as Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Trump mocks McCain at Nevada rally Don’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act MORE (R-Ariz.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had very little appeal to the 21st-century culture that had begun to take hold in America. The principles of conservative governance were not wrong, but the messengers were the wrong standardbearers.

It is fitting that for the first time since President Ronald Reagan was in office, Michael Reagan will address the attendees at the Reagan dinner Friday night. It will be my honor to stand on that stage with my friend Michael as he bridges Reaganism, which in its time was needed, and lays out a path forward for the party under Donald Trump.

Michael has said many times that President Reagan would not be elected to office today, and conversely President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Fallon responds to Trump: I'll donate to pro-immigrant nonprofit in his name South Carolina GOP candidate expected to make full recovery after car accident Official: US to present North Korea with timeline, 'specific asks' MORE would not be elected to office in Reagan’s time. The election of a president often mirrors the needs of the population. Global challenges — the Iranian hostage crisis for Reagan and the spread of radical Islam for Trump — played important roles in both candidates’ respective elections. We’ve seen a world without American leadership under Barack Obama, and while we cannot be engaged everywhere, neither can we be disengaged and isolationist.

Reaganism, Republicanism, core conservatism and Trump populism must be effectively combined for a successful way forward. The big tent in the Republican Party is once again an achievable goal. It’s not my party, but rather our Republican values based on a conservative foundation that must lead. With the exception of the liberal bastions in California, New York and other population centers, America has reddened by the numbers. President Donald Trump broke through the blue wall in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which supports the reddening of America as a reality Democrats fear. While Democrats will march lockstep off the cliff as they did with ObamaCare, some Republicans will not work together for a sustained drive behind the new administration.

The Republican Party has a new leader in Donald Trump. Stop looking for the next Reagan and work with the current leadership. Observe the rule that was attributed to Ronald Reagan — my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy — and apply it.

A Republican party that does not grow in membership will stagnate and in the long run fail to reflect the policy and governance needs of the American population. Real growth requires open doors — see the aforementioned big tent — and a healthy debate. Conservative values and policies have been, and will continue to be,  successful in America.

As the institutional leftists led by old and new Democrats who have destroyed the party of John F. Kennedy continue the barrage of divisiveness and hate, just let them self-destruct. They have a big voice magnified by a supportive media but not the population numbers. The more they show themselves to the American public, the more they will lose in the long term. We saw this with the Occupy movement.

I expect debate, disagreements and some hurt feelings at CPAC this weekend. My charge to the activists who come to Washington, D.C. is to leave more unified with focused purpose on moving conservatism forward. In the end this will even benefit those on the left, because success for all is what America needs.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in New York City. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.