A Plea for Disunity and Incivility

KirkKhanThumbby N. A. Halkides
Every now and then we hear a politician plead for “unity.” Sometimes this is standard boilerplate, meaningless cant, like “We must come together to address our nation’s problems” or “Only through unity can our nation solve Problem X.” But most of the time, there is a hidden meaning, or hidden purpose, which differs slightly depending on whether the plea is made by a Democrat or a Republican.

When Democrats speak of “unity” (President Obama is a prime example), they are asking for Republicans to surrender and give them everything they want. They always remind me of that excellent old Star Trek episode, “Space Seed,” in which the Enterprise crew awakens Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban) from suspended animation. Khan had been the last of the tyrants to be overthrown in a series of wars back in the 1990’s. He explained that he and his fellow “supermen” had offered the world unity. Mr. Spock replied, “’Unity’, sir? You mean like a team of horses under one whip?” That was exactly what Khan meant, of course, but didn’t want to admit, just as it is exactly what Democrats mean but don’t want to say.

The Republican leadership is quite different. It would never even occur to them to ask the Democrats to capitulate, so their pleas for unity are directed at their own restive Conservative base, asking them to surrender to the Establishment types who have wormed their way into the leadership positions within the Party. The proper translation of such pleas runs something like this: “Look, we’re having a ripping good time enjoying the perks of power here in Washington even as the minority party, and we really don’t need you guys speaking up about freedom or the proper purpose of government, or even pointing out that if we don’t stop spending so much money the whole country will inevitably collapse. We don’t mind cutting a deal with the Democrats, whom we haven’t the stomach to fight anyway, and thinking about difficult abstract concepts like ‘liberty’ always makes our heads hurt.”

The leadership’s attitude is quite remarkable when you consider that self-identified Conservatives made up 71% of the Republican Party in a 2011 Gallup survey – perhaps the term “chutzpah” best describes it. Without Conservatives, the Republican Party would be down to 29% of 42% (the current Republican share) of the country, or 12%, leaving them not much more numerous than registered Libertarians. And as for ideology, while the GOP is not and does not deserve to be considered the party of ideas, what few worthwhile ideas it does have come solely from Conservative intellectuals and think tanks. The Republican Party, then, is nothing without Conservatives – to whom it then proceeds to repeatedly show the back of its hand.

I heard former Republican Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee say on his television show not long ago that while the Party has its disagreements right now, and while the discussion and debate was healthy for it, the time would come for (you guessed it) “unity” (or words to that effect, such as unite behind a single candidate). I disagree – this is no time for Party unity, it’s time for an internecine struggle to determine whether Conservatives can take over the Party or need to withdraw and form their own. For the last thing we need is the Republican Party continuing on its merry way, holding no firm principles, disrespecting its base, ignoring the needs of ordinary Americans, and losing elections to the Democrat Party it refuses to fight.

Therefore, I’m calling for Party disunity, and urge Conservatives to do everything in their power to dislodge Establishment Republicans from their positions – run Conservative candidates against Establishment ones both for public office and for offices within the Party. The reason we’re stuck with a supercilious, let’s-pander-to-Hispanics-to-see-if-we-can-get-them-to-like-us National Committee Chairman like Reince Priebus is because he worked his way up the Party ladder while we Conservatives were busy with careers in the private sector and raising families. We’re going to have to find the time to become local Republican Committeemen, because from their ranks will come the future Republican National Committee and Republican Delegates to the national convention in 2016.

When Conservatives are in firm control of the Party as their numbers and principles entitle them to be, that will be the time for unity, because the Party will no longer be at war with its own base. As for the Establishment, they can either get with the Conservative program or get lost – I don’t think they’ll be missed if they choose to exit the Party. Their numbers among the Republican rank-and-file are rather small, consisting primarily of those “I’m fiscally conservative but socially liberal” unicorns who are never really with us in a pinch anyway.

Now let’s talk about “civility,” which is another alleged virtue we hear calls for from time to time, mainly from the Washington pundit class. These sensitive souls are apparently deeply concerned about the “tone” of our politics today, as if there were no more urgent matter to consider, and on the surface there would seem to be no real harm in placating them with a few bland gestures toward our Democratic opponents. True, we strongly disagree with them on the role of government and basically every current political issue, but can we not at least be polite and respectful toward them in conversation? My answer is, “No – we’re already far more civil than we should be.” And here’s why:

Civility in discourse between opposing political forces is only possible when the area of disagreement is how to best achieve commonly-held goals, for example if the two sides agree that the purpose of government is to protect individual rights but disagree on the best program to achieve that goal. But the increasing radicalization of the Democrat Party over the years, culminating with the New Left’s seizure of control at the 1972 Democratic Convention, makes that impossible. Today’s Democrat Party is wholly and for the most part openly statist, while today’s Republican Party is rather half-heartedly (and half-assedly) anti-statist. We could have a polite disagreement with the Democrats about where best to locate a military base, but we cannot have one when the Democrats are busy seizing our property to pay off their voters, taking over more and more of the economy (Obamacare, Government Motors, etc.), plotting to confiscate our guns in slow and easy steps so we don’t notice until too late, and trying to use force to silence their critics (see, e.g., their attempt in 2012 to effectively repeal the First Amendment). Indeed, every election now is a struggle in which the Democrats are on offense, while we play defense and hope to minimize the amount of damage they can do to us.

There is no way to be amicable toward political opponents who believe that when they win an election, it’s truly winner-take-all and they may dispose of our liberties and our property as they see fit. Besides, why should we be polite with them when they use every vile epithet imaginable when speaking of us, and even directly to us? During the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney may not have been a perfect candidate but he was certainly a perfect gentleman. He declined to make any disparaging remarks about Barack Obama, implying that he was a good man whose policies had simply failed. Do you remember how the Democrats rewarded his courtesy? They heaped more buckets of slime on his head than even Bill Clinton had done to Obama during the primary campaign, calling Romney dishonest, accusing him of not paying his taxes for ten years, and actually blaming him for the death of steelworker Joe Soptic’s wife – some “civility”!

These are the people we’re supposed to worry about being polite to? We don’t even have to go out of our way or engage in verbal abuse since the plain truth about the Democratic Left is worse than any lie we could make up. Maybe Republicans should start telling Americans about the Democrats’ boundless lust for power and occasionally mention all the jobs that have been lost as they do their very best to shut down the American economy with taxes and controls.

Too many Republicans in Congress seem to view their opposite numbers on the other side of the aisle as members of the same exclusive club – they may have their disagreements, but in the end they all share the same exalted rank. Thinking that the Democratic Left can be reasoned with politely is a mistake we Conservatives cannot afford to make. They want everything we have: our lives, our liberty, and our property, and they are willing to use any means in order to get them. This is a war, not a garden party, and we had better start trying to win it, even if that means forgoing the courtly manners that probably never were a part of politics.

For eight decades, the Democrat Party has prospered by running a bribery and extortion racket on a scale the mob never dreamed of, openly offering piles of other people’s money to the corruptible in exchange for their votes and clubbing businesses over the head with threats of even more devastating regulation in order to get campaign contributions from them. It’s about time we started calling them on it, and “civility” be damned. • (1773 views)

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13 Responses to A Plea for Disunity and Incivility

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I disagree – this is no time for Party unity, it’s time for an internecine struggle to determine whether Conservatives can take over the Party or need to withdraw and form their own.

    Abso-friggin-lutely.

    For the last thing we need is the Republican Party continuing on its merry way, holding no firm principles, disrespecting its base, ignoring the needs of ordinary Americans, and losing elections to the Democrat Party it refuses to fight.

    Yes. Well said.

    Their numbers among the Republican rank-and-file are rather small, consisting primarily of those “I’m fiscally conservative but socially liberal” unicorns who are never really with us in a pinch anyway.

    Great Analysis.

    …but we cannot have one when the Democrats are busy seizing our property to pay off their voters, taking over more and more of the economy (Obamacare, Government Motors, etc.), plotting to confiscate our guns in slow and easy steps so we don’t notice until too late, and trying to use force to silence their critics (see, e.g., their attempt in 2012 to effectively repeal the First Amendment).

    Yep and double-yep. “Civility” is the watchword of cowards and establishment worms, at least when that word comes from the GOP. And implied in it is that they know best and the rest of the base should just shut up and quit embarrassing them.

    Great article. That got my blood pumping.

    Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannn!!!

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Jonah Goldberg pointed out in Liberal Fascism that calls for “national unity” are a common totalitarian trope. In fact, the basis of Stalinism could be said to be national unity, as Jonathan Brent of Yale reported in Inside Stalin’s Archives. (He was angry at Molotov for recusing himself on a vote to admit his wife into the party, since that implied that loyalty to her might transcend loyalty to party/state/leader.)
    As for your comments on civility, I used to see conservatives and liberals as being like 2 raindrops that fall next to each other, but on opposite sides of the continental divide in Montana. They start off so close, but eventually end up far apart — one reaching the sea down from Portland, the other down from New Orleans. The leftist takeover of liberalism eliminates that similarity.
    But I’m still willing to be civil — precisely as civil as leftists are to us. Which is to say, absolute without civility.

  3. Libertymark says:

    Amen and Hallelujah! OMG, you have encapsulated every emotion, thought and promise to myself I have encountered over the last week!

    I second you call for Party disunity!

    The complete hypocrisy of McCain, his betrayal, Graham’s lies and self-aggrandizement, the presumption of stupidity of Americans, the arrogant disdain for the will of the people, the propaganda of the so-called media, Reid’s insanity, Comrade Zero unhinged, have all shaken my foundation and belief in our Country. It is time to repudiate DAILY this craziness.

    In the words of Ayn Rand, how do you compromise (i.e. be civil) with poison?

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One of the amazing aspects of this whole thing is now successfully the Left has been about convincing people — even many conservatives — that when the Left screams at the top of their lungs, it’s okay. But if *we* dare to call someone even such a soft name as “RINO” then we are somehow being “uncivil” or whatever.

    I’ve been preaching much the same message that Brother Nahalkides has and which he has so eloquently highlighted. But I just tend to get blank stares form people. The same people who seem to have no problem with Obama palling around with a terrorists, bowing to foreign Saudi princes, calling the Tea Party “terrorists,” or going to a Marxist, anti-Semitic church get their panties all in a “centrist” bunch if I point out simple truths — not lies, not exaggerations, not even talking points — but simple truths.

    That’s how successfully propagandized people are and, really, how emasculated the right has become. I stand in awe of Nahalkide’s apt reflections. We must be “nice” but someone the Left doesn’t need to be. I think far too many conservatives are turing into David Frum.

    Fruuuuuuuuuuuuumm!!!

    • Timothy Lane says:

      In Claudius the God, Graves had Claudius (in his role as judge) giving the basic principle of justice: “As the scoundrel did, so let him be done by. And that’s just.” It’s time we pushed that principle and used it against the Left, as well as the “stand tall in Georgetown” squishes like Frum.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Let’s give credit where credit is due. Charles Cooke falls flat on his face in his article, Civility is Overrated. I’m sticking with Nahalkides’ approach. He’s got the real scoop on this story and without the waffle.

    Let me give Mark Lang credit who said:

    Calls for “civility” is nothing more than a transparent attempt to de-energize one’s political foes – to keep them in a state of torpor.
    .
    Personally, I think the entire “anti-hate” and “hate is a bad word” folks are the Nurse Ratchets of our society – neutering any possibility of political action by the ruled class.

    Calls for “civility” by Mr. Cooke, especially since milquetoast now reigns in RINOville, are dubious, at best. We need some Mama Grizzlies.

  6. jeph says:

    What really irritates me the most is that this same clown, Boehner, has twice before mishandled a conservative stance pushed to this point.
    He was a key player in the Gingrich coupe that crippled the GOP, and again in the 2011 debt ceiling/budget stand. How much more proof do we need in order to recognize this leadership is hostile to Cons? The pile of evidence over the past two years is staggering, but add the two decades that Johnny’s poison has been flowing through the Republican Party!?!?
    There can be no unity when there is no common ground!
    Boehner got exposed for his Big Govt. platform after 2010, the only difference now is Cons (voters) have discovered we are not alone in our contempt.

    This fight we have with the GOP elites ends only one way – the purging of this leadership and their philosophy from our presence. If this group of TCons buckle and lets Boehner take a third bite of the apple on a shutdown – I fully expect to work to flip the House in 2014 and end rewarding them for their treachery!

    ….to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee!
    (now insert the Dean Scream!)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      LOL. Love the Khan reference. Yes, the Republican Party has unambiguously been outed as hostile to conservatives. This is why Romney lost. People stayed home. And they will stay home again if the RINO establishment gives us Jeb Bush.

  7. Pingback: Mission: Take the GOP | StubbornThings.orgStubbornThings.org

  8. mlcblog says:

    At last!! Someone is making sense. You and The Donald. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. Just the thought of some courage of conviction and the power to carry it out is so exciting to me that I can take each day with more hope. Thank you.

    I agree wholeheartedly that this entrenched gang of RINO’s has to go, starting with the contemptible Karl Rove and his cohort Krauthammer and the whole gang of them in Congress, both houses.

    Next let’s get rid of so much that was issued in under W. Wilson in 1913, the income tax, the popular election of the Senate (forefathers had them appointed by States), etc.

    I am so happy that this seems possible. I don’t buy that we have to go down the tubes after 200 years because Will and Ariel Durant said so.

  9. mlcblog says:

    “Thinking that the Democratic Left can be reasoned with politely is a mistake we Conservatives cannot afford to make. They want everything we have: our lives, our liberty, and our property, and they are willing to use any means in order to get them. This is a war, not a garden party, and we had better start trying to win it, even if that means forgoing the courtly manners that probably never were a part of politics.”

    This says it all!!

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I agree, mlc. That’s a great quote from Nahalkides (Nik). Let’s do battle with the Left rather than pre-surrendering as Boehner and others have done.

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