Today’s political climate appears the most divisive and convoluted ever. But at the top, where the Establishment and the entrenched special interests ply their influence, it is much more congenial than the public is aware. What some call the Uni-party is really a combine of leadership in both parties, establishment thought leaders in the bureaucracy swamp, political consultants and the special interest donor class. This conglomeration literally runs the government by paying large sums of money to influence outcomes that eventually enrich themselves. Their purpose is to preserve their power and they are often willing to divide that power among each other.
On the Republican side, the party is divided between the left-wing establishment Republicans (RINOs) and the growing conservative movement. The establishment is populated with many “never Trumpers” who maintain an indissoluble bond with the big dollar donor class which fuels their elections with campaign donations in return for access and preference for legislation in their interest. They literally write their own legislation and the leaders ram it through to an unsuspecting public who has little notion of what happens behind the scenes.
This has produced a system, some call a machine, that runs the political battle space determining who gets elected and who is edged out. They employ their own code words like “the right candidate” or “someone who can win” which in common parlance means someone who is bought and owned by them. They also insist adherence to their conventional methods of running campaigns which ensure their continued power. Candidates are expected to woo the special interests in order to receive donations needed to pay consultants to run the ads that spread the message to the public. Everyone in the chain takes a cut. By definition, a “good” candidate is either wealthy enough to self-fund or can raise large amounts from the donor class thus obligating that candidate to them. This circle of corruption has ballooned campaign spending into multi-million-dollar efforts quite difficult to avoid if you want to play in this game. Of the few conservatives who make it into elected office, the Establishment quickly swoops in to co-opt them with compelling offers of assistance if they just join the team. Far too many believe it best to just “go along to get along” because “that’s the way it’s done,” a false notion that has co-opted too many otherwise conservative officials. Within a few years of entering office they have blended in to the point you can no longer distinguish them from the evil they journeyed to Harrisburg to fight. This group will not support a pro-Trump candidate as governor as it wields key advantage for Trump to win Pennsylvania in the 2024 presidential election.
Along came Doug Mastriano, who eschewed these rules. He decided to take the field without the permission and pleasure of the Establishment. At first, the Establishment leaders, certain a candidate like this would not survive, paid little attention. After all, others had tried to defy them and failed miserably. But Mastriano defied the odds using unconventional tactics, built a strong grassroots movement, and destroyed the competition in the primary. His victory sent shock waves through the Establishment wreaking panic in the leadership and donor class.
If Mastriano somehow wins the general election it would destroy the paradigm the Establishment has worked so diligently to perfect over decades. It would be a game changer in politics unseen in modern times. Their gravy train would effectively be derailed. This cannot be allowed by them. Maintaining their power is far more important than the good of the common people. They will stop at nothing to ensure it never happens. Oh, you can be certain they will smile and ostensibly lend perfunctory assistance to Mastriano so as not to be accused of undermining but undermine they will. They plant messages in the media with terms like “Christian Nationalist,” or “extremist” to disparage him and others of his ilk. They sit on their hands at key moments when their help could be significant. They recommend strategies that appear helpful but in fact inhibit success. They slow the spigot of funding or divert funds to hapless ineffective messages that preserve their cut but not aid the candidate. Then when Mastriano loses they will claim he was a “bad” candidate from the start who did not play well in the sandbox. They will demand future candidates be more in line with their notion of how things work.
You see, the RINOS care little who is actually elected governor. If they cannot elect their candidate they will accept the Democrat candidate, demonizing him to raise more money to ensure election of their chosen candidates down ballot in the House and Senate, thus maintaining power.
If Mastriano is elected governor, it would destroy the conventional wisdom they rely on threatening their very livelihood. Common people of virtue who will do the right thing for the citizens they represent would have hope of running and winning elected office. This cannot be allowed. The system is strong with ample resources to defend itself. They control the levers of power, and the band of conservative challengers are like the merry men of Sherwood Forest struggling against the evil king. But the conservatives have one weapon they previously did not possess. The people are angry and paying attention. They are less susceptible to the deceptive messages of the Establishment and are rallying behind men and women of honor who will fight on their behalf.
Dr. Rick Saccone was elected four times to the PA House of Representatives, ran for Congress in 2018 and Lt Governor in 2022. Before that he spent a career in the U.S. Air Force as a Counterintelligence Officer and Special Agent, conducting felony criminal, fraud and counterintelligence investigations and operations worldwide. He is author of “God in Our Government.” Rick resides in Allegheny County where he runs the Constitution & Godly Heritage Discovery Center.