Weak, mealy-mouthed, spongy politicians make people sick. We have respect for someone who sticks to his guns, even if we disagree with him. We despise people with whom we might agree when they start compromising, back-pedaling, and double-talking just to pander for votes, a disgusting display of craven selfishness.
Starting with Abraham Lincoln, Republicans used to stand tall and stand for the right, especially when the majority stood opposed. Most people in America could have cared less about slavery way back when. Others supported it. It was a courageous minority that brought the matter to the table and pushed it to a head. The Republican Party was founded to stop slavery, and it was Republicans who were largely responsible for the success of civil rights legislation passed in the 60s.
That’s what conservatives used to do as people most interested in the right, people willing to fight for the right.
General Dwight Eisenhower showed the right stuff when he warned of the dangers of the military industrial complex. Teddy Roosevelt took a stand against monopolies and for preservation of wilderness and resources. Ronald Reagan held to traditional values, promoted Americanism, sought limited government according to the Constitution, helped expand liberty at home and abroad, and never blinked in the face of the evil empire.
Republicans used to keep faith with the Founders, with Revolutionary fervor. They once refused to compromise on core values, showing real integrity, engendering respect and trust, proving their leadership credentials, and encouraging loyalty and support.
Not so much today. Compromising on principle, too many have fallen to the level of carpetbaggers and carnival barkers.
This one capitulates on same-sex marriage. That one endorses murdering babies in the womb. The other one calls the Constitution a living document subject to the whims of ‘interpretation,’ allowing for increased judicial activism and bureaucratic despotism, limited government be damned. Still another talks blanket amnesty just to beg for votes on his knees.
And then party leadership falls on its sword issuing an ‘autopsy,’ urging Republicans to be more like Democrats if they want to win elections.
If Republicans want to win elections, they must differentiate even more from Democrats, truly taking on the special interests that choke our government.
If Republicans want to win elections, they must preach Americanism and mean it, passionately renewing faith with the Founders.
If Republicans want to win elections, they need to show young people they consistently care about morality, social issues, the family, national defense, and economic growth.
If Republicans want to win elections, they must articulate real solutions to poverty and discrimination instead of using them as wedge issues to demonize the opposition just like the opposition.
If Republicans want to win elections, they need to boldly prove that their policies enhance economic freedom, self-government, and limited government and that those policies are proven successful and therefore worthy of support.
If Republicans want to win elections, they need to stop being weak and cowardly, cut all the double talk, and fight for what’s right, ignoring polls and focus groups.
If Republicans want to win elections, they must fight like hell to speak to the issues most dear to citizens, addressing those issues with relevance and passion.
In short, if Republicans want to win elections, they need to stop thinking about winning elections and start winning hearts and minds by demonstrating what it really means to be an American.
Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)