Senator Ted Cruz’s announcement that he is running for president ignited a panic on the Left, and a firestorm on the Right. While Leftists everywhere curled into the fetal position, fearfully hoping that Cruz would just go away, many of those on the right began a battle of words that spread across the social media spectrum, in diatribes, memes and tweets.
The jeering, mocking, name calling and vicious personal attacks leveled at Cruz when he announced were cruel, tasteless, and ultimately pathetic. Most worrisome is that an unnecessarily significant percentage of it came from the right, from people who consider themselves to be Republicans, Conservatives or Libertarians.
Never let it be said that the Right lacks long knives. We are not a warm and fuzzy bunch sometimes.
If the various factions of the right were to unite in common purpose not only would the 2016 election be won, but conceivably, every subsequent election could be won as well. The simple, indisputable fact is that in America, Conservatives vastly outnumber Liberals. The Right outweighs and outclasses the Left. But, what the Right falls prey to – time and time again – is the self-inflicted, suicidal wound of internal division; a failing the Left lacks. The twin imperatives of intellectual honesty and political survival demand that we seek the candidate who best upholds the philosophical worldview held by the majority of those on the Right, while simultaneously avoiding the desire to purge and destroy the impure. As a party, we must help as many as possible achieve success, allowing the best candidates to naturally rise, move forward, and win with the full support of the party. In other words, let the market decide.
The problem is that many are unwilling to take that chance. They do their damnedest to rig the market. They say they want someone who can “speak with” the independents / moderates / “undecideds”, young voters, minorities, or the LGBT community, as if each of these is a separate group who understands only their own language and worldview. They warn that conservatives must “accept reality” that society has changed, and conservatives have a worldview and message that fails to resonate with these targeted groups. In other words, their fear drives their desire that Conservatives to censor themselves and get in line.
What many Moderates and Libertarians (and some Conservatives) fail to accept is that Cruz and every other candidate will (much like Romney, McCain, Bush, et al., before him) win or lose on his merits; his ability to appeal to the widest, deepest range of people, not because of rigid adherence to one particular strain of ideology. He will win or lose based on whether or not he was able to make an effective argument for his vision of America’s future. Not whether or not he measures up to the most recent Facebook poll.
Over the last 6 plus years, the intentions and efforts of the Obama regime have all been motivated by the desire for increased power and control: power to reward friends and punish enemies, control over the laws and economy. In an effort to consolidate its power, the regime made the conscious and deliberate decision to divide and conquer the American electorate, playing on racial, economic and cultural divisions. Moderates and Libertarians make the mistake of essentially co-opting these divisions by demanding that conservatives abandon core distinctions and ideological positions as a means to winning new voters over.
They say they want someone who can “speak with” the independents / moderates / “undecideds”, young voters, minorities, or the LGBT community, who understands their language and worldview, who meets them where they are, and warn that “Conservatives” have a worldview and message that fails to resonate with the younger demographic. They embrace one or two candidates and offer them as the only viable possibility for office, labeling all others as unelectable extremists. They do so out of fear. Fear that this may be their best chance at seizing the brass ring, fear that for all the appeal and popularity of their favorite candidates, they may be beaten by someone else, dashing their hopes.
They fail to see that efforts to separate values and deeply-held beliefs from political positions can never be achieved because these things are intimately and inextricably intertwined. Efforts to separate the values and ideas that shape our laws and economic principles from their ultimate outcome results ultimately in dilution of one’s own values, or worse still, adoption of the values of the opposing side. Doing so out of fear – out of cowering, is never justified, never works, and never will.
The answer instead must always be to make the case for truth, justice and liberty; for Conservatism.