Beware the Pit of Despair

pit of despairIn the past few days, as Reince Priebus’ “autopsy” of the Republican Party is sinking in, so, it seems, is despair among American “conservatives.”

(Really, there’s no real intent on conserving what we currently have.  These people want a reset to the beginning, or what they think the beginning was.)

Those who want something other than what the Obama regime is offering – but just want to complain about what is offered – are not happy with the alternatives available.  As one pundit put it, there’s pretty, young, different faces, but no new ideas.

(Well, duh, it’s the tried and true, older ideals that are going to dig us out of this pit.  That and discipline which is just not part of the culture at this point.  It’s the messaging or finding a new way to say it that’s the real problem.)

The complaints from the right seem to be that no one is verbalizing a large-scale vision of the future, a la, Ronald Reagan’s Shining City on the Hill; there was nothing inspirational about the speeches at CPAC and compromise of conservative principles is in the air; the current crop of young, up and coming politicians are more interested in their careers than American exceptionalism, and on and on.

(And constant complaints and despair is more attractive?  I have friends whose marriages and long term relationships died because one side or the other complained too much about various things (mostly jobs) and the other half would not help them get them through the crisis, whatever it was.)  

There’s a couple realities that need to be digested here: first, Ronald Reagan was one of a kind.  He happened to be a man honed by the circumstances of his life and, remember, was elected president in what should have been his retirement years.  Another Reagan is not going to come out of young faces with far less life experience who silo themselves from the vice and the big boys of business.  It just ain’t going to happen.  (Which is one reason that the rebranding is not going to work at first.  Give it time.)

The second, whether we want to believe it or not, is that the Republican Party morphed into what it is in order to gain political control for more or less personal gain of its monied members.  It has not always been the party of pro-life, or of smaller government.  Yes, the party was formed to stop slavery and help business thrive, but the Republican Civil War era legislation bears no resemblance to limiting government aid, and at one time, Republicans were all for giving farmers free land.  This period was even the origin of the central banking ideas – from the Republicans.  Things changed after that and we saw resistance to what we now  know as socialism, but the roots of the party were not conservatively ideologically pure in any way.  At least not in the way we think of conservative ideological purity.

To be blunt, people calling themselves conservative and wanting the Republican Party to fulfill the desire of purity and who despair for the lack of an ideal, are seeking something that really never existed.

This is the way of the world.  It just is.  As a “new” form of republican government, the United States does stand alone – so long as we can keep it.  Historically, worldwide, not many republican governments lasted longer than a few hundred years, if any.  There’s a reason the US is the oldest current republican government on earth.  That’s another stark reality.  But it is not reason for despair.  It’s reason to step back, take a look at where we are and regroup.

Back in November and December after the disaster that was election season, several pundits and authors, me included, called for an analysis of the failure, like a business SWOT.  At the time it was obvious that many conservatives weren’t  ready for it (and now, they don’t want to hear it).  In any communications or business failure, this sort of analysis should happen.  To the credit of GOP leadership, a formal report was done less than six months after the debacle.

In his “autopsy,” Mr. Priebus has handed Americans who believe in doing what is best for the country an opportunity to change messaging in order to gain the upper hand.  By all reports of those not reflexively dismissive of it, his autopsy is the analysis necessary for the examination of conscience that must occur before any further steps are taken.  Rick Moran claims that those who really need to read and think about it are the very ones outright rejecting the paper.  Each of us should judge for ourselves, but that can only be done after reading the piece, and not expecting that Ronald Reagan is going to rise from the dead and solve all our problems.  Face it, people, he’s gone and what’s left of the coalition that made his vision happen are some of  the very RINOs bemoaned.  (Hard to believe, isn’t it.)

To do otherwise, to loll around in despair and self-pity, is to deny that there is any hope at all for the USA.  And there is plenty of real hope.  It just has to be thoughtfully harnessed.

P.s. The real title of the “autopsy” is the Growth and Opportunity Project.  Here it is:

Growth Opportunity Project

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Categories: Conservatives, Politics, Republican Party

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6 replies

  1. Well, the GOP needs to get with it, check! And despair won’t do it, check! From there, seems to me the need is to retire the leaders that steered the party to where it wishes not to be and replace them with some of those young governors or equivalents. You can’t change the course until you change the driver, I think. And as to the need for that, AMEN!

    • Jack it’s the generation my age that’s pushing the SWOT ideas. It’s sort of like GM waking up one day and realizing that Ford actually did all the business work necessary to stay alive. It needs to be done. Not everyone will be happy, but that’s the same in all sorts of decisions.

  2. You’re right of course in that the origins of the Republican Party have almost no resemblance to what what we as conservatives believe. Conservative roots really trace back to Jefferson and Jackson and the Democratic party not the Whigs of Hamilton and Lincoln. To claim otherwise is just silly. Has the world turned upside down? Yup, sure has, but it is what it is, we’ve got the Repubs to work with and it has a fair amount of heritage of being a constitutional party, since Coolidge at least, and that will be enough.

    All we have to do is utilize it properly, like that’s simple.

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