By Alan Gable
Throughout Tuesday evening, I received several text messages from a good conservative friend who was just short of wrathful about the democratic outcome. I think his reaction has been a fairly accurate depiction of the way most conservative minded citizens are feeling. Anger has always been a catalyst for historical action. Conservatives have to find a way to channel their anger into productive schemes to change the hearts and minds of voters. The saying goes that this is how a free people go about revolution; without guns and violence and bloodshed. Free people compete in the arena of ideas. All conservatives are able to take comfort in the unavoidable realization that the truth is on their side.
Throughout history, men presented with adversity have always had a decision to make; compromise convictions by moving to the center (easy road) or stand firm in them and wait for the masses to realize the truth of their positions.
Charles De Gaulle was a French military hero. His love for his country and freedom caused him to speak out against a weak constitutional plan in the mid 1940s. Slick politicians with cunning words sold the French people on a meritless Fourth Republic. The people couldn’t handle the truth. Instead of compromise, De Gaulle retired from politics and waited for the truth to be revealed. In 1958, the weak constitutional republic collapsed, De Gaulle was vindicated and the French people still benefit from the strength his positions brought. Positions that included a new, strong constitution.
Winston Churchill was a British military man. In the early 1930s, he was the lone voice in Great Britain opposing the re-arming of Germany under Adolph Hitler. For years, Sir Winston preached about the dangers of German strength and foresaw a time when diplomacy would no longer be sufficient to curb the German advance. He was right but the British people saw any mention of war as alarmist. Hitler’s strength grew unchecked until the truth of Churchill’s notions was made unavoidably clear when the Germans began to fortify positions on the Rhine (a clear breach of the Treaty of Versailles). By the time the truth came out, the problem required the blood of British and eventually American troops.
Ronald Reagan opposed Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976. Reagan’s message was simple; limited government, low taxes, and a strong defense were necessary. He spoke of the growing Soviet threat and the evils of that power. Americans were not ready for this message. In fact, they swung far to the left in Jimmy Carter in a complete rejection of Reagan’s ideals. Thankfully, the American people did not take long to realize this mistake and brought Ronald Reagan out of waiting in California to Washington. Never did he compromise his convictions for political gain. He just had to wait for the masses to catch up.
Conservatism is playing a similar waiting game. Her basic tenets are built on truth and her fundamentals are, indeed, sound. Now is not the time for compromise. Now is the time to convince Americans of the innate truth of conservative principles. Moral order, limited government, peace through strength, sovereignty of property rights…..
There is no need for wrath. Mr. Obama and his seemingly unopposed policies just might aid in the revelation of what we know to be true.