Sure, small-government Americans are angry and weary. We have plenty of reason to be. For more than a generation, we’ve been painted as antiquated unsophisticated intolerant dunderheads who loathe women-blacks-gays-hispanics-poor people-hungry children. Eyes roll when we publicly embrace faith and patriotism. Assassinations and mass killings committed by deranged lunatics, Islamists and avowed Marxists get blamed on US.
It’s unfair, and worse, it’s patently untrue. But sorry to say, it’s worked; if you want to be cool, you can’t be conservative. It’s that simple.
How do we overcome such an offensive image? How to we hammer the calamitous results of the left’s totalitarian overreach without being framed as wing-nut harpies?
For starters, we need to unify. Stand together and stop the predilection to self-immolate. Too many on the right question their fellow conservative’s bona fides. You see it from the highest levels in Washington, to grassroots activists and everyday Americans: John McCain calling Constitutionalists “wacko birds;” Rep. Peter King (R-NY) making the media rounds condemning Ted Cruz as a “fraud.”
On the flip side, small-government advocates cast moderates as RINOS, (Republicans in name only), with some even refusing to vote for GOP candidates flunking their conservative litmus test.
Explain to me — how is ostensibly handing your vote to a Democrat helpful to the cause?
This week was more of the same, with GOP cat-fighting over the bipartisan budget agreement reached between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slammed the deal as a “surrender,” “cave-in” and “shame.” Although the bill passed in the House, House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t resist a petty swipe at groups like the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks saying that “they’ve lost all credibility” for opposing the resolution.
Meanwhile, the progressives are rubbing their hands with glee.
“Here we go again, with lefty pundits salivating over the prospect of a bloody Republican civil war,” wrote Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz. “Not since the days of the government shutdown have liberals so relished the eye-gouging on the other side.”
One thing’s for certain. The right’s circular firing squad is successful in one regard: killing each other. All liberals have to do is sit and watch.
By contrast, liberals have been able to hold together their unlikely coalition of blue-collar unionists, public sector workers, ethnic minorities, young Americans, single women, progressive academics, and entertainment and media elites. When election day arrives, they reliably come out and vote. Democratic.
We need to take note. We need to stop being, to quote Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the “stupid party.”
- Organize. Remember the Tea Party? We have the power, folks, to change the direction of our political system. We just need to get off our couches and DO IT.
- Vote. Staying home does nothing except elect sub-par candidates and solidify the political the status quo. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.
- Arm with facts. Educate yourself on the issues beyond sound bites and biased press reports. It’s all there on the Internet. Seek out new media sites, blogs, think tanks and social media to get a broad cross-section of perspectives. Don’t follow the pack — from either side.
- Fight to preserve American Exceptionalism. Look at the big picture. Voting on single issues is exactly what the progressives want us to do, since it succeeds in dividing Americans by ethnicity, faith and lifestyle. By embracing the Judeo-Christian values of freedom, self-reliance, charity and hard work, the individual issues will be solved much more easily.
- Let the left own the culture of hate. From President Obama on down, progressives are roiling with uncontained hatred of traditional Americans. Just look at the vile accusations spewed on Twitter, MSNBC, or from Democratic politicians and activists. They reek of contempt. That said, the right has its own subset of bigots. We need to identify who they are and swiftly kick them to the side of the road. Let them go join their fellow loons on the left. We don’t need them and we certainly don’t want them.
Debate, disagree, fight enthusiastically for core principles and advocate for the candidates of your choice. But when it comes to decision time, conservatives must table the rhetoric and stand firm. Honestly, the differences between Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney are miniscule compared to the extremism of a Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren.
We won’t get what everything we want at times, but the alternative is far more devastating — a secular-socialist elite controlling what we do, who we worship, what we believe.
Let’s do this. Together.