Conservatism's greatest challenge: Unity
By J.B. Williams
I was recently having a strategy discussion with several fellow conservative writers, publishers and friends, all desperately concerned about America's future and the future of the conservative movement. The topic of the hour these days seems to revolve around properly explaining what went wrong in the '06 mid-term elections and how to correct it before '08. We must keep in mind that it wasn't just spineless Republicans who lost the election. Conservatives lost ground in their fight to save America from leftists now in control of congress as well.
As I listened to all of the worthy opinions in the room, concerning what went wrong and what needs to change, one common thread began to unravel before my very eyes. What went wrong in '06 and what must change in the immediate future became glaringly obvious as we worked through the possibilities, though I'm not convinced that anyone in Washington has seen the light yet. I fear that they have taken the wrong lesson away from the '06 elections thus far.
As the very bright folks around the table spoke, conservatives' greatest challenge came into focus.
We conservatives love our principles. Most of us are fully prepared to carry our principles with us to our grave, clinging desperately to those principles even in defeat, as a matter of principle so-to-speak. This character flaw is common among conservatives. In fact it might be the real definition of a true conservative, principled to the death.
If one must have a character flaw, this is a good one to have. However, in the arena of modern politics, it is a very dangerous one to have. Though a very respectable trait, it is also a somewhat suicidal trait, at least politically. Need I point out that our opponent (enemy) is not principled at all, or that all is fair in love, war and modern politics or that today, politics is war?
The answer to the trillion dollar question as to how Democrats won the '06 election is much simpler than most think. The unified party won. The unified party always wins.
This is not new. In 1992, liberals were unified behind Bill Clinton and conservatives were divided between George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot. The unified party won, with less than a popular majority I might add. In 1996, liberals remained unified behind Bill Clinton, even after Monica, perjury, impeachment and disbarment. Conservatives remained divided between Bob Dole and Ross Perot. The unified party won, again with less than a popular majority.
However, in 1994, conservatives were unified in the congressional mid-term election and the usually silent conservative majority in this nation reversed 40 years of a Democrat controlled congress by sweeping Republicans into control of both houses. Conservatives were unified behind the Contract with America and the unified party won once again.
In 2000, conservatives were not unified behind Bush Jr., but they were unified against Al Gore, while liberals were divided in the wake of a near disastrous Clinton/Gore era. In 2002, the conservative majority in this nation was unified like never in recent history in the wake of 9/11, and there was no chance at that moment in time, that liberals were going to win anything. The unified party won again!
As a result of the 2000 election debacle debate, American conservatives delivered another unified message with a near 4 million vote margin victory in 2004, standing with their commander-in-chief at war and against John Kerry, a self-proclaimed war hero labeled a fraud by 260 real war heroes. The unified movement won yet again.
However, by the 2006 mid-term elections, support for the war on terror and the administration waging it had greatly diminished. Five years had passed since the last terror attack on US soil and many Americans were now more individually concerned with Jack Bauer's terrorists on "24" than the real terrorists still plotting and planning against the west around the globe.
Five years of anti-war, anti-America, anti-Republican headlines later, the American people lost faith in the war effort and anyone involved in prosecuting it. They were divided over what to do next in the war on terror and therefore, divided over who should lead us out of the dark headlines that surrounded us. But there is more to it than that. No thinking American would ever trust national security to liberals who see no need to defend this nation while working to fully integrate it into the one world community under socialism and United Nations dictates. So why did they elect liberals to fight the war on terror or defend the borders they don't even recognize?
At odds with popular mainstream propaganda, Democrats were not unified behind liberal leadership. Many of the Democrats they elected across the country ran on conservative values. No, they were unified against Bush and Republicans instead. But they were indeed unified and again, the unified party won. Meanwhile, what were conservatives up to?
Conservatives were divided all across this nation and they remain divided today. As a result, many claim that there are simply more liberals than conservatives in America, more Democrats than Republicans. This is perhaps the biggest lie in American history. Nothing could be further from the truth and the 1980, 1984, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections should prove this to any doubter.
Ninety-four per cent of all Americans claim a belief in and conviction to religion. Free unfettered religious expression and moral codes of conduct are conservative values. ACLU styled attacks on religious expression and always negotiable morality are liberal values. What should that tell us about our nation or our voters?
Most Americans believe that women should be free and entirely equal citizens with full civil rights equal to any man. But contrary to related propaganda, this does not translate into some insane women's right to conveniently kill her offspring in the minds of most Americans. A respect and reverence for human life is a conservative value. Continuous attacks on human life via even partial birth abortion, represents liberal values. What should this tell us?
Most Americans want a secure nation, beginning with secure borders and controlled "legal" immigration. Liberals don't even recognize the term "illegal immigrant" preferring the term "undocumented citizen" deserving of American "civil" and "constitutional" rights, just as if they had arrived here legally. What should this tell us?
I could go on and on, issue after issue, but you get the point. America is very much a conservative nation even now. So how is it that we are so divided and confused, to the point of self-destruction in the '06 elections?
Well, the '06 election provides the answer to this question. It is a great example of what went wrong and what must change.
As I stated earlier, we conservatives love our principles. Our opponents (enemies) know this. This alone is not a problem. It's how it should be. If we are not principled, we are nothing. Those who stand for nothing will indeed fall for anything and we can point to numerous examples to prove the theory.
It's only when we allow ourselves to become more committed to a single principle at the expense of all other principles that we get in trouble. This is how we allow ourselves to be systematically divided and this is what must change. Again, the '06 elections provide the evidence and the answer.
Some voters did this at the polls and some did it by simply staying home on Election Day. But in all cases, they did so on the basis of one or two of these issues (principles), those above as well as abortion, marriage and many others, always forsaking their primary principle of defeating liberals and their rush to Democratic Socialism in that process.
Many speculate about who might win the White House in '08. I can tell you who… The unified movement will win the White House in '08 and in every election thereafter, just as it has in every election throughout history.
Liberals (closet socialists) are unified and committed to their common agenda, if nothing else. They only have one principle, the advancement of socialist principles at any cost and they are completely unified in that cause. Liberalism is all about unity, communal unity. On the other hand, conservatives love their individuality, often more than winning. And nothing threatens their individual rights more than this!
Liberals are not the American majority, which means they can only win when we are divided. Therefore, their winning strategy is to keep us divided, just as they did in 1992, 1996 and 2006. They will use any issue, abortion, marriage, religion, war, border security, or one of a hundred others, and any candidate, Democrat, Republican or Independent, to make certain that we remain divided. We must not allow this to continue.
Conservatives are only as divided as we allow ourselves to be. When single individual issues (principles) take precedent over primary principles, the primary principles lose and our enemy wins. It's that simple and there is no mistaking this fact with any honest review of events.
As long as conservatives remain divided, we will remain conquered. The left knows this and it is time for conservatives to know it too.
Conservatives greatest challenge is to cast off the urge to cling to single issue principles and focus on our common primary principle of defeating American leftists at every opportunity.
United, we will stand. Do I need to state the obvious alternative?
Is it our fundamental principle to claim victory whenever we win a small battle here or there, or only to claim victory when we win the war where all the marbles are at stake?
Once conservatives face and fix this problem, they need only unite behind a real conservative leader who stands on real conservative values to reform both their party and their nation. No more pretenders willing to negotiate American principles into the abyss will do.
Our problem is this simple and this easy to fix. We can make it more complicated if you like. But we can't fix it that way!
Our mission is quite simple really. Unify around all conservative principles, take direct, immediate and relentless action, and take no prisoners! Our entire way of life is at stake.
© 2007 J.B. Williams