by 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. • (1873 views)