If we’ve learned anything at all it’s that the American people are not so much forgiving as forgetful. Americans live in the moment. We’ve never dwelt on the past (unless you’re a member of some protected class all of whom depend on past grievances to extort a living. They neither forgive nor forget).
For those fretting Republicans who want to cave on every negotiation for fear of backlash in a subsequent election, we have to ask, what election was decided on polls taken 8, 12, 16 months ago? Who remembers the issue du jour from last year? Campaigns run on, if not the here-and-now, then political philosophy, fitness for office, or, for an incumbent, votes taken; usually a combination of all these. But, they are not run on last year’s polls of the American people.
Still, Republicans fear the interminable nightly news poll – a fading snapshot at best – and they would rather hang separately than together. Why not stand and fight? Stick to your guns. Confront the inevitable media attacks. Challenge the overtly biased media assumptions. It worked for Gingrich during the debates. It worked more recently for Congressman Duffy with Andrea Mitchell. It works if you actually prepare for the onslaught, confront it head on, rather than stick to a canned message that will be mischaracterized and ignored.
If you stand and fight, go on the offensive, people will remember and they will reward. Unfortunately, though, the Republican Party is comprised of Cave Men. When the going gets tough, they cave. As is so often said, they fold like cheap suits. Republicans either do not understand their conservative base or they’re just too plain complacent in the status quo. They’re comfortable in their jobs and rocking the boat makes them queasy. Democrats don’t have any such constraints. They have a statist philosophy. They won’t let anything stand in their way to implement it. The ends justify the means. They’re not hindered by such quaint notions as integrity, truthfulness, or even the law. All is fair in love and war. That final declaration is not anything Republicans understand.
Republicans have no consistently proven governing philosophy and so are buffeted by polling. And Republicans believe the polls are an analog for the American people; a token of reality. They don’t see, let alone understand, the chasm between the ruling class, the political operatives, and the American people. They don’t experience the reality of every day life. They live in a gated community called Washington; an impenetrable bubble. It is Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’ where polls represent the shadows of reality . Moreover, they hire consultants – oracles – who spend more time devising ever more perfect polling techniques and employing ever more sophisticated technological gimmickry to determine what people think rather than commune with the people who actually make the country work and who want no more than to live their lives unencumbered by the nanny busybodies telling us what to think, not to think, what to eat, how to live our lives.
The absence of any consistent philosophy forces us to ask, What do Republicans really believe in? It would be absurd to suggest they believe in limited government. Look at any chart of federal spending and you’ll see an inexorable rise year after year regardless which party is in power.
The Republican platform calls for “Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs”. Governments can do neither. A party that believes it can is a party that doesn’t believe in limited government.
Similarly for their planks of, ‘Build Healthy Families, Great Schools, and Safe Neighborhoods’, support for “Energy, Agriculture and the Environment“. It’s not the responsibility of the federal government to engage in the former nor to choose beneficiaries of the latter. Federal programs that support these activities don’t limit the scope or reach of government and inevitably lead to what exists today: an ever increasing encroachment on our liberties; ever rising debt.
Then there’s the sop to conservative ideals, “A Restoration of Constitutional Government”, “Reforming Government to Serve the People”. To admit these ideals is to admit complicity in their loss. A party that has contributed to the loss of “Constitutional Government” and a necessity to “Reforming Government” has hardly a believable standing to achieve the stated goals. Where have they been during the degradation? What had they done to stop the erosion?
It is well beyond time to purge the Republican Party of the moderate legislator. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”, Barry Goldwater correctly said. This country is hurtling towards insolvency and breakdown. No matter what falsehoods, distractions, and name calling the statists throw, the undeniable fact is that we are $17 trillion dollars in debt with unfunded national liabilities estimated to be $90 trillion. To deny these facts is to either be delusional or dishonest. Nations have dissolved and societies collapsed under such circumstances. This unconscionable debt was run up by a generation of selfish, self serving brats who don’t know the meaning of self denial or delayed gratification. Their only goal is to forestall the inevitable collapse until they pass away and assign subsequent generations to serfdom in service to the state.
To all Republicans we say: stand for liberty and fight as though the country and our way of life depends on it because it does.
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