Tired. That is my overriding sensation as I write this. How to bang one’s first impressions of hell out on a keyboard? Let us begin a new day, in a new world, with a first principle of sorts – in this case, a negative principle. Here is a short list of words or turns of phrase that I never want to hear again.
(1) “America is a center-right country.” Center and right are entirely relative terms. The “center” between Lenin and FDR, for example, is very far to the “left” of George Washington. And political self-identification is a meaningless standard of judgment, even by meaningless standard standards.
Many on the “right” are fond of reminding us that only twenty percent of Americans self-identify as “liberals.” I actually heard Brit Hume trying to squeeze this bromide out during the Obama victory post-mortem. But in a nation that embraced a vast social welfare system eighty years ago, and has expanded it continually ever since; a nation that for the past fifty years has moved inexorably towards the locus classicus of socialist egalitarianism, government-controlled healthcare; a nation that elected and re-elected a man who has openly self-identified as a progressive and advocated wealth-redistribution; and a nation in which the popular culture is dominated by artless harlots, pimps, and gangsters, a “centrist” is a person who embraces social disintegration and authoritarianism. To be “moderately conservative” in such a milieu simply means that one finds the latest music video about teenage lesbian orgies just a little over the top.
America is not a center-right country, whatever that means. It is – notwithstanding its still-sane minority (which includes almost everyone reading this) – a socialist-leaning nation that lags behind the rest of the progressive world only due to a slight residual guilt complex regarding all that old Constitution stuff. The events of the past couple of days suggest that even that little bugaboo has now been largely overcome by the majority, for whom most inhibitions about accepting their chains – and enchaining their neighbors – are now gone.
(2) “Mitt Romney was only the nominee because of a thin primary field.” Phooey. He was the nominee because the entire GOP establishment threw everything it had at all the other candidates, in order to guarantee that it would get the candidate most likely to succumb to their advice and direction. As of September 2011, Romney was the only candidate left in the primary field whom no one had ever described as a conservative, let alone a constitutionalist. That, in short, is why he was the nominee.
(3) “Republicans need a candidate who can appeal to moderates.” See point 1, above. Appealing to moderates means apologizing to voters for not being quite as forward-looking as Barack Obama. It is to set oneself up as the inferior choice. It is to presume that the moderates are with the Democrat candidate by default, and must be peeled off by stealth.
This election was the last chance to spare America the final degradation of ceasing to be a constitutional republic altogether. That battle has now been lost. The thing most needed now is clarity and forthrightness. The danger most imminent now is that, having forsaken the principles of liberty, the nation will simply forget those principles ever existed. Therefore, from now on, to whatever extent possible, every candidate running against the Democrats in any election must be the most unapologetic, relentless constitutional conservative available. He or she must call out the Democrat as a leftist, a socialist, an authoritarian, and every other simply accurate designation appropriate to the situation. And he or she must be intellectually prepared to prove that case against the Democrat, and to make the moral, constitutional case for individual freedom.
Will this kind of blunt, hard truth lead to victory? Not likely, or not in the short run. The danger, however, is that if the true identity of modern American leftism is swept under the rug in the name of the big lie of “electability” (another word I hope I never hear again), the popular optics will forever belong to the Democrats, who, after all, have actively created a society in their own image, and will therefore always appear as the most natural position to their monstrous offspring.
The name of conservatism, and more importantly its proud truths, must never be allowed to slip from the public consciousness. They will do exactly that if the non-Democrat in future campaigns hides from this name, and these truths. Eventually, it will be impossible – realistically, if not legally – to run as a genuine conservative. (I do not use the word “legally” facetiously; the more entrenched authoritarian socialism becomes, the more an advocate of liberty becomes a perceived threat to the nation’s basic principles.)
The real alternative to leftist authoritarianism (to be labelled as such at every opportunity) must be presented often and with vigor. Politely asking to be forgiven for not being as exciting as one’s leftist opponent is the surest path to permanent serfdom. The only way out of this morass is to stand firm on principle, and speak proudly of the superiority of one’s position. Over time, a new generation may rise up that will find this clear light more appealing than the dull gray of socialism.
Yes, it may take a generation, or more. But it is the only way to victory – not merely electoral victory, which is meaningless without defining principles according to which one can govern, but victory in the name of liberty, of the American Founders, and of civilization.
(4) “I know he’s a good man, and wants what’s best for America.” I hope this is the last presidential election in which conservatives will have to hear this validate-your-opponent claptrap from their standard-bearer. Barack Obama is neither a good man, nor one who wants what is best for America. He is a bad, conscienceless man, who wants to undo America in the name of a very foreign model of social organization. When we say this among ourselves, the mainstream media’s dupes do not hear us. A conservative presidential candidate, on the other hand, is the one man who has the national microphones of the mainstream media at his disposal – the one man, in other words, who has the ear of those dupes. To fail to speak truth to illegitimate power at that moment, and into that microphone, is nothing less than an act of cowardice.
Allen West, who is not a coward, may just have lost his congressional seat. He is losing it in part because he had the courage to say what we all know – that there are communists in the United States Congress – and his supposed compatriots in the GOP abandoned him as a crank.
Michele Bachmann – whom I strongly supported in the primaries – came within an inch of losing her congressional seat. She almost lost in part because she has had the courage to speak out about a host of constitutional issues, from the debt to the Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the government, and her supposed compatriots in the GOP quietly refused to support her campaign in the hope that she would disappear, and take her embarrassing hard truths with her.
No more apologies. No more embarrassment. No more veiled language when on the big stage. The left won the day by making the most radical, anti-human irrationalism of this epoch seem safe and normal, while portraying freedom and individualism as the dangerous, radical path.
The electoral battle between leftism and liberty is lost, and perhaps will now remain so for a good long time, regardless of the name of the winning party in any given election.
The moral war, however, is still in its early stages. It is an educational war, which means a war of ideas, which means a civilizational war. It is going to get ugly, and we are going to lose more battles than we win. As you know, however, the ultimate victor is the side that wins the last battle.
“Forward”? Bring it on.
(This article appeared originally at American Thinker.)
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