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I’ve never had a green thumb. If a plant grew for me it usually was by accident. I’ve learned a few things about gardening over the years, though. One thing I’ve learned about flowering plants is that you must prune them so that the new buds can thrive and grow. This is where we were with Democrats in 2010 and this is where we are with remaining Democrats and RINO Republicans in 2012. Prune the deadheads and bring in new growth.

Tea Party Patriots, of which I am one, began our fight over watching the country we love (and took for granted far too long) being dismantled by liberals and RINO Republicans. We bristled over John McCain’s lack of backbone in a 2008 race to the White House that never got off the starting block. And in this present time, we have built our anger to a fevered pitch to get the most radically liberal president and his minions out of power and begin the long road back to a republic and our founding fathers.

I read something about the Tea Party recently that disheartened me. “Who pulled the plug on the Tea Party?” the writer lamented “What happened to them?” We are still here. We’re working our asses off to pay the bills, donating, calling and volunteering when we can for the fights we think we can win locally. Sometimes we cross state lines to win the battle, but we are here and we are still strong. We’ve just got our noses to the grindstone to do the work that turns the wheels of conservatism. Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts is an example of what we can do even though Senator Brown can be classified as a RINO–we did what we needed to do to keep the liberal out of his seat. For Scott Walker, we fought a huge almost year long battle to save him from recall and from a leftist liberal win in Wisconsin. There were fights we did not win–like Norm Coleman who lost by political fraud. Doug Hoffman and Joe Miller were other losses–but we must realize we have not only had to fight liberals–that is almost a clean fight (even though liberal dogs cheat, steal and lie) compared to fighting the Republican establishment. That fight is a dirty and sickening one where the cancer is eating its way through you and you’ve no one but yourself to count on. The ones you thought had your back put a knife in it. It’s ugly and it makes you ashamed to be in the Republican party. But I’ll never be ashamed to be conservative. Never. And that is where the Tea Party comes in and stays in. If we ever think from this point forward that we can rest on any laurels, we are fools. We will be fighting this battle until the day we die. And we’d damn well better teach our kids to pick up the gauntlet.

Of course, I am disappointed we don’t have as a nominee someone who is a true conservative like me….like you. There is a large faction of conservatives who are so angry at not getting the Holy Grail of conservatism–a Reagan Republican–that they are threatening to not vote or to write in a vote for Gingrich…for Paul….for Johnson. I am a very passionate conservative–fiscally, socially–in every sense of the word. Yet I struggled with the concept of the Romney nominee for about a week. And then I let it go.

Yesterday, Rand Paul endorsed Romney. While some might give reasons of political favor for his endorsement,in making clear that he is publicly behind Romney, Rand Paul is sending a very clear signal:

{Paul is saying} I’m a good soldier for the GOP. Make no mistake: The Republican party establishment will never embrace Rand Paul as one of their own — nor would he want them to. But, it is possible that Paul playing the role of loyal Republican in the 2012 election could well neutralize some of the fears the party regulars have about the prospects of him carrying their standard at some point down the line.

Let’s face it, our 50 years of laxness was unable to get us a true conservative nominee for the White House in 2012. We woke up 5 or 6 years ago, but were asleep for generations. One of my favorite quotes goes something like this: “It took a long time to get this way; it ain’t gonna change overnight.” And I’ve also learned that everything of value is expensive–in time, in effort, in blood, sweat and tears.

So we have a nominee that is not Reaganesque. Let’s surround him with true conservatives. We need one as a VP running mate and we need to stack the Congress with genuine conservatives. Radical liberals must be voted out and we will help RINOS follow suit. If Romney is surrounded by true conservatives, I’m not stupid enough to believe he’ll become one, but my contention is that were this the case, Romney will be forced to move to the right. Even Clinton shifted to the center.

We will be working, at the same time, to revise the Republican establishment—if Congress changes and we keep vigil–the Republican establishment must change, too. We will build a conservative fortress around this country making it impossible for liberals and RINOS to penetrate. To vote third party is to give up on saving our country. It is biting off your nose to spite your face. By not voting or voting third party you will have won your emotional battle and you will have lost the war. And Obama will win. You can keep your values and belief system and still vote for Romney.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.