Frequenting rightwing threads, I meet lots of smart, dedicated patriots. And bantering back and forth, I wind up reciting catch phrases in my sleep. “Most Conservative who can win!” I’ll mutter, tossing about. “No more lesser of two evils!” Then, sitting straight up at 3am, I shout, “RINO…Wacko-bird…Neo-con…(mumbling)…KARL ROVE!”
That always earns me a trip to the couch. So is it really worth it? Yes it is.
Lately, however, the point-counterpoint has acquired an ominous feel, especially in the wake of Election Day, 2014—or as I call it, “Obama’s Little Bighorn.” Incidentally, did you know that Custer, in his dying words, insisted his last stand wasn’t a repudiation of his policies, because two-thirds of North American Indians didn’t show up? True story. Anyway, this year, our “Tea Party versus Establishment” battles have sounded a bit too...ummm...non-Conservative.
Pardon the simplification--I know everyone has their own style or slant--but I’ll just sum up general responses to four scenarios:
1. If Establishment candidates won…
Establishment (Stabs) wrote: “This proves our candidates are more marketable!”
Tea Party (TP’s) wrote: “This proves we’re team players, since we held our noses and voted!”
2. …or if Tea Party candidates won.
TP’s: “This proves our candidates are more marketable!”
Stabs: “This proves we’re team players, since we held our noses and voted!”
3. If Establishment candidates lost…
Stabs: “Now we’re stuck with a Democrat because the Tea Party undermined us and stayed home!”
TP’s: “Now we’re stuck with a Democrat because squishy candidates embarrassed us and failed to win the public!”
4. …or if Tea Party candidates lost.
TP’s: “Now we’re stuck with a Democrat because the Establishment undermined us and stayed home!”
Stabs: “Now we’re stuck with a Democrat because loose cannon candidates embarrassed us and failed to win the public!”
Both, simultaneously: Traitors! You don’t support our candidates! We didn't leave you, you left us! WE NEVER DO THAT!!
Folks, have you noticed we don’t sound like...well...like us? Honestly, we don’t. As one who was raised in the Leftist community, I’ve seen these patterns before—and I see them still today. Over there. Among the enemy. Consider some underlying themes commonly employed by Liberals:
- SPINNERS: “No matter what the weather or temperature, it proves Global Warming!”
- CONTROL FREAKS: “If you make choices we don't like, we'll shout and protest you!”
- VICTIMS: “The deck in life is always stacked against us!”
- UNYIELDING LABELERS: “No matter how you criticize our president, you’re a racist!”
Do you see it? We’re becoming them. If each Conservative faction examines itself, we’ll see some hard truths:
- We spin every win or loss as proof our group is right. We’re becoming them.
- We either intimidate as control freaks or act as perpetual victims. We’re becoming them.
- If anyone criticizes our preferred candidate or group, we lash out. We’re becoming them.
- Everyone disagreeing with us is a Wacko-bird, RINO, Neo-con, or Dope-Smoking Hippie. We’re becoming them.
Look, I have my biases. Though a devout Republican, my views align most with the Tea Party and Christian Right. As such, I think candidates must stand firm and draw clear lines, lest voters see us as Democrat-lite. Yet, I find myself calling out my preferred groups just as much as others. Why? Because it hurts to see any Conservative group becoming like the Liberals who first indoctrinated me.
Truth is, we're all guilty. I could critique each faction, but my concern here isn’t power plays, corruption, or poor strategy--it’s the venom of this leftist culture coursing through our veins. We’ve been poisoned, my friends, by my old side. Through media, academia, and entertainment, our Conservative message is disabled by Liberal values—values of bitterness, envy, brittle emotions, even control. Petty and divisive like the Left, we offer people no reason to choose us instead.
This needs to stop.
I offer no great fix; just a clarion call. If you’ll permit me a scriptural reference, read James 4:1-3:
“What causes quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Tell me, when other GOP factions offend us, do we reel off endless excuses for acting like the Left? Rather than trust higher standards (like God), do we relish lower vindication? When rival Republicans fall before us, do we grin with satisfaction, thinking nothing of the good people who supported them?
Call it what you want. Justify it till the end of times. Tell me how "they" started it. But acting like the enemy, we begin looking out of place. We’re too selfish. Too liberal. Spinning, controlling, playing the victim, endless name-calling—these are practices of the Left, and we just seem awkward using them.
If you think I'm demanding silence, or saying we shouldn't point out mistakes and corruption, then your mind has been trained to find fault. I'm sorry, but it's true. I don't want anyone silenced, but honest criticism has more effect when presented by an open mind. And our minds can't be open unless our "fault" training is undone, meaning we must reject the blame-first programming of our liberal culture.
Only then can we address problems. Only then can we speak our rational minds, not our irrational hearts.
I fear it's too late, however. We love the attacks. Rejecting the challenge of diverse opinions beneath a big tent, we throw bombs from the comfort of separate tents. I fear our goals aren't constructive, but destructive. We're hurt. We're angry. We want to cause pain.
Ultimately, I fear neither our blogs nor our movement will ever again reflect the excitement of challenging ideas. I fear we've lost the courage to think as individuals. We're too jaded. We're a mob now--or a collection of mobs. Worst of all, when I look across the great divide at that heartless Democratic Party, I fear…
…we’re becoming them.