Written on Saturday, September 1, 2012 by Chris Skates
“The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
I utilize the Solzhenitsyn quote above simply as a metaphor. I fully realize that politics is not warfare, still, certain principles apply to both. After watching two nights of the Republican National Convention, one thing is crystal clear to me, some of our leaders understand what Solzhenitsyn is talking about and others have no idea. On Tuesday night I watched Chris Christie skillfully and purposefully avoid any mention of the name Barack Obama. Then later I watched Republican paid consultants such as Ed Rollins state that not attacking the President’s record was the “perfect response”. When I see these types of reactions to the administration we are up against, it literally frightens me.
Barack Obama is not a fellow American with a slightly different view of how we should address the problems of this nation and make America great again. Barack Obama is completely different in KIND! (And no I am not talking about race before anyone goes down that path.) I am talking about the core of who he is and what he strives for. I am talking about his Dreams From My Father mindset. Obama is not a left of center or liberal American politician. His policies and core values are completely antithetical to the Constitution and to the founders of this nation.
Readers of this website and of my columns already realized this long ago. So by what measure is a failure to enunciate this primary fact a “perfect response”? I am convinced that those within our party like Rollins and Karl Rove, are not particularly motivated by founding principles or ideologies. I no longer believe that they even comprehend the critical importance of such things to our existence. I have grown to believe that their mission is strictly to ensure that their friends get the committee chairmanships. I think they strive to transfer the flow of millions from lobbyist D to politician D, back over to lobbyist R to politician R. Beyond that goal they could care less. What’s more I believe that this mindset makes up at least 50% of the Republican Party.
That is why I am so thankful for night two of the convention. Because the other half of the Grand Old Party does understand what Solzhenitsyn was referring to. Mia Love and Santorum on night one, Huckabee, Pawlenty, Dr. Rice, Governor Martinez and especially Paul Ryan tonight did a stellar job of sharply contrasting the America we all know with the America Obama strives for. You don’t combat a man with the predilections of Obama by treating him as a nice guy that you just slightly disagree with.
This is a very different thing indeed from “going negative”. Granted by simply stating factually the Constitutional usurpations, anti-American economic policies, and completely contradictory foreign policy decisions of the Obama administration, one risks the perception of running a negative campaign. But these policies must be referenced in order to adequately define how opposite the Romney platform will be and why that opposite direction is essential to the country.
Jeb Bush as another example would have us grant blanket amnesty and/or expand the dream act not because as he purports it is “the right thing to do”, but because he wants to beat the Democrats at their own game, namely, “let’s buy the Latino vote before the Dem’s beat us to it”. Bush’s strategy is a losing one. That is because amnesty for illegals as well as tuition for their descendants, flies in the face of our American ideals of EQUAL opportunity, fairness and personal responsibility. These are three examples of bedrock conservative principles. They must in turn be Republican principles if we are to begin the difficult process of mending this hurting nation.
Principles don’t change with the polls and they cannot be morphed in an attempt to compete with the relativism of the Democrats. The reason that the arena was electric by the time Ryan got to the podium, and the reason the enthusiasm only grew stronger during Ryan’s speech, is that the second night speakers stood on principal. Principal is not just a word or an outdated idea. We must be a party of principal. We must not alter who we are or what our message is simply to lure a handful of undecideds. Our party is the last stand for freedom. It is okay to act like it!
Principle is right reason expressed in permanent form; abstraction is its corruption. Expedience is wise application of general knowledge to particular circumstances; opportunism is its degradation. One arrives at principle through comprehension of nature and history, looked upon as manifestations of divine purpose; one acquires prudence by patient observation and cautious investigation, and it becomes the director, the regulator, the standard of all the virtues. Expedience implements principle, but never supplants principle. For principle is our expression of cognizance of providential purpose.