The following post, by Ricochet Member Ole Summers, describes how we got here, and what we are up against with the Left in full control of our Federal government. Please give this post a warm welcome, and Likes.
Since January 20th we have been in the mist of one of the most brutal attacks on our Constitution that the document has seen for 150 years. The survival of the Republic with any resemblance to its original form or intent depends quite a bit on the GOP. It either needs to step up – or get out of the way. I most recently wrote that this was a time for reflection on direction, principles and leadership. It was the GOP I had in mind. They have been lacking a necessary measure of all three for decades. That is the reason for the position we are in. Liberals, leftists, statists, progressives and any other title given to those ready to transform us can be expected to attack, undermine and just plain destroy the Constitution when given the chance. That is the kind of critters they are.
The GOP has presented itself as the alternative that offers protection of both Constitution and Liberty. It has preached conservatism as if it were its sole protector, ready to implement with all speed. But that has not been the case. There has only been one period of time in the last 30 or 40 years when those necessary elements of direction, principles and leadership have been effectively present. That was the last four years. And the results in that short period of time should have been both embarrassing and enlightening to most of the self-interested. But it seems that was far too much to expect from those who prefer political comfort to hard-won achievement and the constant work of Liberty.
I will ask forgiveness for using sports allegory. I really don’t care if I get it or not but thought I would ask. I am a simple minded deplorable who must stay within the boundaries of my peasant experience. There was no time – that is NO time – after Reagan when we advanced the football. The left was on the advance constantly. Granted, it might have been slower at times but it was always on their side of the field. Outside of a modest tax cut, the “achievements” of Bush II were modified entitlements, for example. The platforms of the free-agent candidates were mostly adjustments to liberal ones, or empty talk from those unwilling to either defend or advance basic principles. There was some talk of border security but when push came to shove the interests of the Chamber of Commerce were masked behind some vain hope of taking over the immigrate vote. Or there was some “healthcare” program from a northeastern state designed to appease no one. Even the “defense” against the liberal agenda was a “bend but don’t break” approach. I can tell you from 30 years of coaching that this means that you’re playing with your back to your own goal line all the time and on the wrong end of the field! You can’t just wait for your turn to get the ball. You have to create a way to take it away! And those ways are rarely passive.
And then for the first time in almost a half a century, we not only had the ball but aggressively moved it down the field and across the 50. The plays we ran were our own, for a change. There was a real goal – a direction! And it was with real intention of not just gaining some yards but scoring! And then scoring again.
Yes, with real, determined cuts in regulation there was an economy which probably was the best we have had. But the goal was to go beyond that! Kinda refreshing. Yes, despite a constant undermining by BOTH parties illegal crossing were cut by 70%. But the intent was to stop it. Yes, every strata of our population saw large increases in both employment and income. But the intent was to grow even more. Yes, the world was a completely safer place than it had been. But that was just a start as to what was intended. There was a change in direction away from not just the buddy system with China and Iran but a common sense acknowledgment of the importance of Israel. I could go on for a while. Everything that oh-so many “severely conservative” politicos had been pledging themselves to but holding back from was suddenly on the table in front of the party.
But damn it, why does he run THAT formation so much? I wish he wouldn’t yell so much! Seems like if he didn’t blitz so much……. And there was no reason for him to jump my son like that! He was doing his best. He can’t help that he’s slow and scared! I’m sure if he had just left Jimmy in, he would have done better next time. And Bobby didn’t even get drafted!
You see, direction means there are definite goals without regard to the barriers. Direction is not survival. It is targeted achievement.
Trump is certainly a mortal man with his own set of mortal faults. But his biggest fault in the eyes of some was that he quickly showed how useless the “professional experts” had been for so long.
I was raised in an environment of livestock rising, trading, buying and selling. There were a lot of good men but few saints. I was probably in the range of 10 years old when Dad and my grandfather were discussing a deal with someone whose name would be familiar to many in the southwest. The question was coming down to how much we (as in they) could count on what this individual would do. I will simply say that his reputation had two widely separated poles. My grandfather quietly nodded his agreement to the trade and in one of the few time I ever saw Dad question him there was a decided stop and questioning look. Without drama the soundest man I have known just said, “I know what he believes in. I know what he won’t do. I trust that.”
What was brought to the Republican base in 2016 was an honesty they had not gotten from the political class candidates for three decades. I believe it can easily be argued that the Trump administration is by far the most consistently constitutionally correct one since Reagan. I also believe the case can be made that the previous administration was probably the most constitutionally impeachable one we have had. The list of Obama era abuses of power began almost the first day and were at least weekly from then on.
There were many of us who had severe doubts about Donald Trump going into his presidency. But the principles by which he tried to govern were clear, dependable and consistent. He is not a crafted spokesman for conservatism. But he practiced it when given the chance more intently than anyone else who claimed the GOP mantle. He was elected to govern, so the principles that matter are the ones he governed by. They were the ones promised by three decades of Republicans who never delivered.
If one believes that conservative principles of government and economy are what most benefits the great bulk of society, it stands to reason that one would fight in every way possible to advance them. But what Republican voters saw for decade after decade was grass roots, sincere movements like the Tea Party dismissed by the upper levels of the party because they interfered with the “normalcy” they prospered in. They were the “wacko” birds who hopefully would just assume their proper place, leave things to those entitled. They saw those old-line party elites walk around and away from Ted Cruz when he took an open, disruptive stand against government healthcare. But then those same elites promised and promised they would kill ObamaCare. They didn’t mind the promises as long they were not held to them. Those voters then watched a legitimate chance to kill delivered by President Trump only to have it killed, not by wild-eyed liberals but a deliberate act of drama by one of those making promises.
You see those simple minded voters suddenly saw someone who made a promise and then worked against all odds, against a constant media drumbeat, against a deeply corrupt and entrenched professional governing class and many of that same party of so many promises to actually do what he said. If his methods were crude and unpolished, they were honest in a way that those before him cannot claim.
Now all those amazing gains are being swept away by a flood of Executive Orders without any legislative consideration. In the mere 40 or so in the first week almost every corner of life has been directly attacked. Big Tech which worked endlessly to turn back conservatism now rules almost without challenge. What we are seeing are changes that within days will be entrenched into a corrupt deep state that will be even harder to battle. But those principles so greatly endangered don’t seem to as important to the old promise-makers as figuring a way to hopefully jam one more stick into the eye of the man who showed them how hollow their words had been with yet another pointless charade.
One of the things that successful leader are able to do is instill hope. I know, that is an over-used word that statists have marketed until there is hardly any true meaning to it anymore. But I am using it in the sense that others believe, know that the hard not only can be achieved but that it will be. Leadership takes stands and inspires. And leadership depends greatly on trust. It does not require being liked. But it does require being trusted. This is one reason the GOP could not provide leadership. They had long since lost the trust of their voter base.
All three of these don’t necessarily have to be provided by Donald Trump. But the establishment of the GOP and that class of the self-deceived just below need to realize that “the old days” are gone. No, the party is not Trump’s. It belongs to those 75 million. It was not about Trump. If those who now dream of a return to the old ways had delivered, there would have been no need for Trump. It was that empty space, an empty moral space, that was filled.
And no, it can’t be filled from among those who presently are positioning with their finger in the wind, trying to decide just how much to appear as opposed to Trump or with Trump or kinda with Trump. And I really am not that fired up about any of the newer, shinny faces holding back just enough or speaking up at just the right timed moment. What will save the party are strong individuals who are not overly concerned about the next election or office but who plainly state positions and hang tough. They can certainly be a little smoother and with a different skill set than President Trump. But if they are not aggressive in spelling out a real agenda that they will go to war for (hope that doesn’t sound too seditious) and standing strong, they have missed the mark and the party will serve less and less purpose.
At the moment, it appears that Trump will take an approach I feel pretty good with. He will work to make the 2022 primaries and the election that follows a strong reaction to the leftist offenses of the present. But if the party fails to embrace those 75 million, they will have lost any real reason for existence, beyond the comfort of those who got us here in the first place.
The other day in these pages I read a comment by member which points to the failure of the GOP to live up to its word. He (@scarecrow) had always seen the Constitution as there to secure his rights. But his words reflected a hopelessness as he watched freedom of expression openly abused, traditional rights erased or redefined with a stroke of a pen and there seemed to be nothing to do to stop it. If I am misstating his feelings, I hope he will help me correct it. The major cause of this, to my simple mind, has been a party too fond of politics and what it brings instead of the foundations they are supposed to protect. I will again state that I don’t care for politics or most its practitioners. But I spend time with it because of its importance to preserving things I hold dear. Politics is too important to be left to those who love it. It should be dominated by those understand the necessity of it but have a constant, underlying disgust for what it can easily become.
The two most important defenses of the Liberty that was so hard-won for us by the blood of centuries are our consent to be governed and the Constitution. Both have taken some hard body blows lately. And it will get worse. Liberty was never for the soft or weak. It is rare that an overwhelming majority cline to it with passion. But a passionate pursuit of Liberty can bring some of the others along. Those are some of the lessons of history. Our elections will be hard fought. But their integrity will have to be restored, from the ground up. And yes, that integrity has been allowed to be greatly compromised. It didn’t begin in 2020 either.
The so-called soul of the GOP is not the traditional party operatives and their ways. It is those 75 million who were disregarded, marginalized, taken-for-granted and purposely ignored. That Constitution, that right of consent is theirs. If a newer, aggressive, determined and committed GOP doesn’t step forward to provide the clear direction, the defining principles and the leadership that they came to trust in Donald Trump they will rightly find it elsewhere. And they should.
I now see it is late and I hardly intended to say this much and certainly would have intended to say it better but at times even simple words and simple thoughts become jumbled. Besides there are only a couple more swallows left in this bottle anyway! Believe I will dedicate them to something else!