It’s good to see Republicans in Washington just might be finally wising up to what grassroots Americans have been shouting from the heartland for years: our nation is off its Constitutional mooring, adrift in a land of corrupt bureaucracies and power-hungry politicians seeking more power instead of solutions to our nation’s greatest problems.

Now, Rep. Paul Ryan has the opportunity to stop our rudderless drift. He has the ability to become a hero for conservative values on Capitol Hill — something the grassroots have not seen in far too long.

He’s off to a great start but it’s first very worthwhile to take a quick look at how we got here and what grassroots constitutional conservatives truly seek.

For all the handwringing and apocalyptic headlines about chaos on Capitol Hill from liberals and the mainstream press (I repeat myself), look at what result we have. Thanks to true conservatives, Speaker Boehner is going to retire, Kevin McCarthy dropped out of contention, and we now have one of the smartest and best communicators of conservative principles ready to be the spokesperson for the people’s majority in the people’s chamber.

Ryan has shown himself to be a leader of national stature who can handle the spotlight. He is well liked in the caucus, and a highly qualified national spokesman, especially on fiscal matters. While some of his policy positions and voting record have not been the most conservative, he has something that has been missing among leadership for far too long — conviction and principle.

The media, Democrats, and establishment Republicans would have you believe that the House Freedom Caucus just wants chaos, government shutdowns, and nothing to be accomplished. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the demands from conservatives on the Hill have very little to do with policy and everything to do with procedure. The reforms demanded from Boehner, McCarthy, and now Ryan have to do with internal Republican caucus procedures.

This represents the continuing education and evolution of the movement.

Six years ago, virtually no one in the general public ever even thought about how the caucus worked. Today, activists realize that such matters, though seemingly arcane, make a tremendous difference to what comes out of the House in the end.

Citizen involvement at this level is incredibly important and healthy to a vibrant republic. This is what the Founders expected of us.

This is why Speaker Paul Ryan can do several things right off the bat to show he’s the right man for the job and what Americans (and our Constitution) need. Before we can get the best outcomes in policy for the American people, we must drastically reform the procedures in Congress. Policy results reflect procedure.

The process must be opened up and Congress must return to regular order, taking the power from leadership and giving it to the elected representatives so that they can choose who chairs committees, and those committees can craft legislation, debate legislation and put it forth for a vote on the floor of the House.

Speaker Boehner and previous leaders cut deals in backrooms so no one felt listened to and everyone felt threatened. By opening up Congress, the policy results will sometimes be more conservative and possibly sometimes be more liberal. But everyone will feel empowered, everyone will feel heard, and everything will be done out in the open. Now, we can have no more secret deals and more trust between all elected representatives, regardless of party and political ideology.

This is the only true way we can reach consensus and compromise. As Rep. Justin Amash says, “No one gets everything he or she wants, but under a fair, deliberative process, we all can respect the results. Most important, the outcomes more genuinely reflect the will of the people.”

That’s what our Founders envisioned. That’s what our Constitution requires.

Here’s hoping a Speaker Ryan seizes this opportunity to save our exceptional republic.

This article is also published at The American Spectator.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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