Walters: My Response to Frank Corder

By Ryan S. Walters

In recent days, Mississippi Conservative Daily has taken a few shots hurled by the GOP Establishment. As a writer for MCD, I have also taken a few myself. There’s only one explanation: We must be striking a nerve!

I’ve taken a few flaming darts for comparing Thad Cochran’s “victory” this year to Lyndon Johnson’s Senate campaign in 1948, a piece one writer for National Review called “fascinating,” in the words of a mutual friend. And now it seems I’ve done something else offensive, or rather did something nearly 15 years ago.

In a column this afternoon on a worthless and not-worth-mentioning establishment blog, Frank Corder, a failed politician who lost a mayoral race so bad in Pascagoula that he could not even muster enough votes to get in a runoff in a five-man contest, yet who thinks he can give political advice to the likes of Senator Chris McDaniel, who gained nearly 60 percent of the Republican vote statewide, spoke out against third party crossover into the GOP. In his column, Corder attacked me for once belonging to the Reform Party.

He picked out three current third parties – Reform, Libertarian, and Constitution. These are the three most conservative third parties in existence, mind you, which seek to reform government, protect the liberties of the people, and uphold the Constitution. God forbid we should ever do any of that.

To sum up Corder’s argument in a nutshell: he believes third party conservatives who crossover and vote Republican are the devil and should stay out. In fact, he calls it a “plague.” But, on the other hand, I guess liberal Democrat crossover is good strategy, huh Frank?  So you believe in a big tent, but one with the Democrats and not conservatives I take it?

This, ladies and gentlemen, shows you exactly how these establishment hacks think! They are far more liberal than they are conservative, no matter what they say about it.

After seeing Corder’s piece this afternoon (and based on several factors, I knew some sort of story about me was in the works), I wrestled over whether or not I should even respond. But I felt I must because there are several points that need correcting.

Yes I was a member of the Reform Party, as a supporter of Pat Buchanan in 2000. In fact, I supported him in 1992 and 1996 when he ran for the Republican nomination. And, though Pat is done with elective politics, if he did ever decide to climb back into the ring, I would support him again.

I don’t think anyone would argue against Pat Buchanan’s conservative credentials, except the Establishment GOP, and folks like Frank Corder, who wanted Buchanan out from that first day in 1992 when he took on President George H. W. Bush. For more on this story, see my MCD piece “The Republican Establishment’s 20-Year War on Conservatives.” (By the way, Frank, Pat Buchanan himself read my piece, loved it, and posted it on his own site!)

Corder points out that the Reform Party, on its website, states that it takes no stance on social issues like abortion and gay marriage, which is “something Republicans have readily championed, especially evangelicals.” This is true (except the part where Corder does not admit that the GOP has sought the evangelical vote, only to spurn their policies), but not when Buchanan headed the ticket. He has always been a very strong advocate of traditional values, which caused a big intraparty fight with the Perot folks, a battle we won by the way.

That party, the Buchanan Reform Party as it existed in 2000, was full of good, salt-of-the-earth citizens, many who were doctors, lawyers, wealthy businessmen, and other white-collar folks. I knew many of them and had the privilege of working with them that year. These were people who cared very deeply about their country. They were not unhinged fanatics with white sheets and hoods, or as portrayed by some establishment types, Fascists in jackboots!

I have never hid my Reform Party ties from anyone, which is why it’s on my personal website. Those of us who supported Buchanan believed then, as we do now, that the Republican Party is running away from true conservatism, which is why these conservative third parties exist in the first place. Anyone who can’t see that is either dumb or just doesn’t want to see it. Or they want the party to move left, which is the likely case.

And we, the supporters of Buchanan, were right about George W. Bush in 2000. I said then he was a liberal and he turned out to be one – $5 trillion in new debt, brand spanking new expensive entitlements, unending wars in the Middle East using a “light footprint” approach that is no different than the failed strategy in Vietnam (I’ve been to Vietnam five times so I do know a little bit about it), free trade that is hollowing out our industrial base and hurting American workers, open borders and an unending flood of illegal immigrants (remember, Bush tried twice to grant amnesty), the unconstitutional Patriot Act, an attempted “Security and Prosperity Partnership,” and the list could go on.

I, along with many others, believe in a true conservative ideology, principles handed down by the original conservative, Thomas Jefferson: Limited government, federalism, low taxes, fair trade, no national debt, sound money, free markets, strict adherence to the Constitution, accountability in government, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Though they may talk this same game, the modern Republican Party, including Thad Cochran, does not believe in these same values.

Of my time in the Reform Party, Corder writes: “Walters may just have had his fill of never gaining any meaningful base to peddle his ideology or perhaps he saw an opportunity to jump on another bandwagon.”

The only bandwagon I have ever been on is the conservative one, and from the time I was a little boy I was learning about these values. That is why I supported Buchanan as early as 1992 and followed him into the Reform Party in 2000, as an effort to do something to stop the slide this nation is on. We could see the problem then. It’s just that the Republican Party Establishment cannot or will not.

It’s the same reason I supported Senator Chris McDaniel in his race for US Senate. Not just because we are good friends, but because he believes very deeply in this country and understands that we must make some serious changes in public policy to right our ship of state. And he, like other true conservatives, understand that conservatism works every time it’s put into practice.

And we have more than a “meaningful base,” Frank. Senator McDaniel beat Thad Cochran in the primary, when you said he would not get more than 40 percent of the vote. Boss Pete Perry said he wouldn’t get 20 percent and ole race-baiting Henry Barbour said he would get his head handed to him and deserve it. But in the runoff, Chris won 58 percent of the Republican vote. That’s a pretty meaningful base, wouldn’t you say? Perhaps you fellows should find a new line of work?

Judging from many recent polls, most Americans now understand that we are on a very bad path, and the Republican Party should be running away with this race but is not. People simply don’t trust it to do the right thing. And how could they?

Do you, Frank Corder, think the Republican Party, led by the Establishment, men like Thad Cochran, can put us on the right track again? The last time the GOP ran the show it didn’t go very well. See the before mentioned George W. Bush years! Even the party admits it messed up back then. And that’s why conservatives, those of us who want to fight leftist ideology at every turn, rather than compromise with it, remain upset at the GOP.

And calling us ugly names because of our ideology is not helpful at party building. Rather than taking swipes at us, you should be finding ways to broaden the base to include us, rather than bring in liberal Democrats who will never support you in November.

Like many conservatives, I consider myself a fighter and I greatly admire fighters, those who won’t back down from a challenge. Stand up for principle and you will find me in your corner. As a historian I look up to those who, throughout history, fought for principles against all odds, especially in the face of death – William Wallace, Wilberforce, our Founding Fathers, Churchill, and, of course, Grover Cleveland, to name a few.

Pat Buchanan is a fighter. Chris McDaniel is a fighter. We are not going to stop because of a few setbacks.  We believe the country, as originally intended, is worth fighting for. We believe the Constitution is worth preserving. We believe life is sacred and should be protected. We believe that our economy should be based on the free market. We don’t believe politicians, and their cronies, should enrich themselves at our expense. And so on.

If you believe in these timeless principles, then the real question is why you are not with us? Either way, we will continue to fight for what we believe, in whatever avenue we can find. We are not going away. So get used to it, we are here to stay! And if things continue to deteriorate, and more and more Americans get fed up, and you establishment hacks continue to get in our way, well, you just might get run over!



  1. All we have to do is remind everyone of the record of the Establishment: Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. And the MS Establishment is all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and control and they could care less for political ideology, they just can’t have someone with Conservative convictions mess up their pay plan.

  2. frank gordon says:

    Thank heaven for this blog. The enemy is saying that we are hiding behind anonymity. A truly disgusting site is making the claim that hiding behind anonymity is the same as hiding behind a white sheet or mask. We know different. Unlike the KKK, we are not ashamed of what we are saying, and we are not afraid for the whole world to know our names.

  3. William Smith says:

    I have always been a conservative Republican, and am just that by any objective standard, but since I am not a McDaniel man I guess I am a part of the Establishemnt (which I guess makes me a Progressive, Liberal, supporter of the Obama agenda). I would really like to receive my $$$$$$ and to have my power. So please tell how I can get my $$$$$$ and power. I could use the $$$$$ to supplement my SS check and I would love to have the power to get my grandkids to do what I tell them

  4. William Smith says:

    Here’s a little reality about the Parties that exit in the US including a breakdown of the various groups within the GOP, of which the TP is one faction:

    • That website mis-classifies ClubForGrowth as “establishment” and Sarah Palin as a Huckabee-type (she is religious yes but she is no Huckabee-repub!)

      Here is what it gets mostly correct:

      * Rockefeller moderates (Mark Kirk R-IL)
      * Establishment conservatives (Boehner R-OH, Christie R-NJ, Paul Ryan R-WI)
      * Religious conservatives (Huckabee R-AR, Family Research Council R-LA)
      * Paleo conservatives (Buchanan R-VA, Tancredo R-CO)
      * Libertarian-leaning conservatives (Rand R-KY, Ron Paul R-TX)
      * Tea-party, which is a coalition of other sub-factions, primarily fiscal at first, but now also taking on other attributes

      Arguably, the tea-party has a subfaction, the constitutionalists, which is slightly more “pure” than the overall tea-party-faction. As the site says, the tea-party is partly libertarian-leaning (see the House Liberty Caucus under Justin Amash R-MI + Raul Labrador R-ID) and partly paleo (see the House Tea Caucus under Bachmann R-MN + Steve King R-IA), but generally more broad than the subfactions above (many people — not me — would call Paul Ryan part of the “tea party” in the same way as Eric Cantor was tangentially considered a tea-party-guy circa 2010).

      Palin is definitely tea, by contrast, as is McDaniel — they both have appeal to libertarian-leaning repubs, paleo repubs, religious repubs, and even some tea-stablishment-repubs who like Paul Ryan. McDaniel was endorsed by Ron Paul of the libertarian-leaning wing, and by Santorum of the religious wing, and by Ryan Walters (author of this article) in the paleo wing, plus of course by Palin, and even managed an endorsement by Trump who is mostly a tea-stablishment-type in my book.

      Note, there is also a missing sub-faction, which is the defense conservatives (the usual triplet of fiscal + defense + religious).

      William, which of the “factions” are you in? Which of the politicians named above do you prefer/like/whatever, optionally in ranked order? I’m trying to understand what kind of conservative you are, and I keep getting mixed messages. Do you think Chris Christie is a conservative, in your sense? What about Huckabee? What about McCain? And so on. (Or feel free to skip it, and maybe I’ll figure it out the hard way.)

  5. Hey Guys:
    I’m from Pascagoula as well. It’s true what MCD has said about Frank Corder’s loss in the City’s mayoral election last year. However, don’t be too judgemental about calling him a loser. In Pascagoula, it’s common for certain leaders of the business establishment community to get together and decide who they want to support as mayor. The person they usually get behind is someone whom they believe will be sympathetic to their way of running the city. To be sure, even though he is a small business owner himself, Frank Corder often distinguished himself while he previously served on the Pascagoula City Council as being someone who kept track of department spending, and was not hesitant of criticizing the local GOP Establishment when he believed it to be appropriate. As you can imagine, this type of leadership is bound to rub some influential folks the wrong way. However, Frank never cared about that. Candidly, what made him an effective councilman is probably what caused him to fail in his bid for mayor. Therefore, before everyone casts stones at Mr. Corder as being politically inept, I wanted “ya’ll” to have all of the facts. As a disclaimer, Mr. Corder and I have never met. Also, I did not vote for him when he ran for mayor. But just like MCD, I do enjoy the “Ya’ll” column. It too is a great example of the Founding Fathers’ idea to have unfettered, free, and open dialogue/debate as encouraged and protected by the First Amendment.

  6. Pappy needs to check his facts when calling Frank a bussiness owner. The last I knew he was working for his mom and dad at the creamery. Probably as the lettuce checker at the salad bar.

  7. Well Frank has done it again. He first went out and finished 4th in a 5 person race for Jackson County Circuit Clerk then he chose to open his big mouth again and support Tommy Martin in the run-off which Tommy should have declined because it was the kiss of death. Well Frank I guess its back to Lettuce Checking until you hear of another legend retiring that you can just ser yourself easing in to that job. Maybe its time to try a real job like the rest of us instead of pilotics that just dosen’t seem to be your thing. I know EGO is a funny thing but maybe its time to let it go. Good luck with that.

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