Note, I’m not describing gullibility. Gullible people follow without challenging leaders or questioning methods. Doing nothing to improve the Party, they just celebrate the “R” before a candidate’s name. They’re lemmings following leaders off a cliff. That’s gullibility.
Loyal Republicans aren’t lemmings approaching cliffs, but rather soldiers entering war. They know commanders make mistakes. They’ve seen lousy strategy, endured pointless battles, and griped over weak objectives. They get it. Sure they stay, but not with eyes shut. Their eyes are wide open. Understanding the larger war, they know it can’t be won with insufficient numbers—or disloyal soldiers.
Think of the movie, Independence Day. (The first one, not the wretched sequel) All the warring and bickering nations set aside differences to fight a greater threat. Were they naïve? Did they suddenly don rose-colored glasses, seeing every French leader and his mistress as perfect? Not a chance. But everyone got the greater mission. They weren’t gullible—they were realistic. They weren’t deluded—they had perspective. They were focused. They were united.
They were loyal.
Today, Republicans have lost all sense of loyalty...and it’s killing us. Really, this is our big problem. Not too much conservatism. Not too much moderate-ism. Not the Christian Right or the Tea Party or the Libertarians or the hawks or the doves or even the dreaded Establishment. At this moment in history, the GOP is collapsing because we’ve lost the perspective that comes with loyalty.
We need it back, folks, and we need it soon—or this year will be a disaster.
But before hopping on the Loyalty Train, we must admit why people jumped off it. Who started this mess? No mystery there: It was our leaders. How? Broken promises.
Repeated failures by GOP leaders demoralized the grassroots. We always heard two words: Next year. “Next year we’ll overhaul the tax code! Next year we’ll defund Obamacare! Next year we’ll secure the border! Sorry about John Roberts, but the next judge will be better!” Hearing “Wait till next year!” more often than Chicago Cubs fans, the GOP base came to one inescapable conclusion:
“Our leaders aren’t loyal. We’re fighting for people who won’t fight for us.”
Call those GOP leaders the Establishment, call them the ruling class, call them what you will. Me? I call them the ones who started this. But let’s be honest; they weren’t alone for long.
Grassroots Republicans, full of righteous rage, began threatening to leave—and many did. They went unaffiliated. They joined 3rd parties. Or, they only kept GOP registration to impact primaries, threatening to bail on Election Day if fellow Republicans dared defy them with wrong candidates.
And so these liberty activists campaigned by threats, but something went terribly wrong. Matching disloyalty with disloyalty, they left their party devoid of loyalty altogether. Sure, they could comfort themselves by pointing fingers—“I didn’t leave the GOP! The GOP left me!”—but they weren’t just threatening sheltered elites. They were threatening everyone in their Party.
The rest of the GOP thought, “Democrats are too numerous. We can’t win if people leave!” Panic set in—and anger. People lashed out on social media, where lifelong friendships shattered on the rocks of “Principle!” Threats escalated—as did exaggerations. Numerous Republican candidates were termed “Just as bad as the Democrats!”, and every suspect vote or past failure was magnified a hundred-fold.
And loyalty? This became synonymous with compromise. With cowardice. And yes, with gullibility.
But again, gullibility comes with blindness, while loyalty comes with vision. No, not just vision for the Great War against Democrat aliens; though that’s reason enough to unite. To rekindle loyalty—loyalty we must have—we also need vision for the Republican Party itself.
If my leftwing upbringing has provided me anything, it’s a deep appreciation for what we really have in the Republican Party. Okay, please don’t shout. Instead, take a step back with me and look anew at our coalition. We’re worth saving. We’re worth loyalty.
We have a shared belief in personal liberty, but with diversity of thought in applying it. That’s mutual challenge! It’s exciting—and it’s what I never saw on the march-like-cattle, Collectivist Left. Democrats don’t create or challenge; they redistribute what others create, while silencing dissent. Democrats don’t want a free marketplace of ideas; they want a closed classroom of bias. They want control, not liberty—unless it’s their own liberty imposed on others. Do you doubt this? Try reading a Democrat blog sometime. You’ll be stunned at the lack of intellectual challenge. You’ll be amazed at the absence of growth. Man, it is so boring!
The Democrat Party is, however, very large. Politically speaking, they simply can’t be beaten by divided opposition—and this brings up another great aspect of the Republican Party. Not only is the GOP diverse and challenging, but we’re also numerous enough to defeat Democrats! Isn’t that incredible? Republicans are more than a fist-shaking statement or empty protest. We’re a ragtag alliance uniting to stop the alien invasion!
That’s pretty cool.
Recently, many Republicans have allowed the disloyalty of others to spark more disloyalty. We’re a mess. We have no core. Faced with an epic “invasion” this November, we show no vision for the war or appreciation for our coalition. We’re blind; no better than gullible lemmings racing toward a cliff.
To turn the tide, we must open our eyes and revive loyalty, facing each other while admitting two things:
- The Democrats are worth fighting against. The aliens must be stopped.
- You, my fellow Republicans, are worth fighting for.
It’s time we stopped breaking promises or threatening each other. Both betrayal and threats destroy loyalty—but each can be undone. Just get some vision. Get some perspective. Speak differences face to face, not storming out a door. Find fellow Republicans, letting them know you’re here to win a war, not abandon the only group that can.
And for anyone who believes loyalty is foolish or can’t be restored, I have one last question:
How can we survive without it?