Time To Buck Up, Conservatives
Conservatives are a skeptical bunch. It’s in our nature, and it’s generally a good thing. Over the last several years, though, we’ve turned from skepticism to bitter cynicism. It’s been festering for a long time, but the Obama years, in particular, have turned many of us to outright defeatism. Why? It’s pretty easy to see. Bailouts, cronyism, rampant corruption, the ACA, out-of-control political correctness, terrorism—the list goes on and on.
In retrospect, it seems pretty clear that significant unrest over how Republicans have dealt with these abuses is a big part of what led to Trump’s nomination. People believed that Republicans didn’t do enough to oppose Obama and stop the abuses. The candidate of “Hope” turned us hopeless.
Lost in all of this defeatism was a clear-eyed, realistic assessment of all the hard work Republicans had done to stop the Obama administration. Others have written at length on this, one of the better pieces by Charles Cooke of National Review. But we ignored this. It wasn’t bold enough. It wasn’t fast enough. It wasn’t enough. We were so stirred up with outrage that we lost many of our defining characteristics: adherence to the Constitution, acceptance of personal responsibility, moral courage, and the importance of process over outcomes. So we ended up here, faced with two awful choices for President, both of whom seem determined, intentionally or not, to destroy conservatism.
The most likely outcome on Tuesday is a Clinton victory, and the prospect of that is depressing to many, outright frightening to some. But it isn’t the end of the country as we know it. Too many people think it is and have fallen even further into defeatism—the very attitude that brought us here in the first place.
It’s time for us to start acting like conservatives again. We know much of the media and her supporters will attempt to prop up Clinton and demonize conservatives. But she is crippled by scandal and enjoys neither the breadth nor intensity of support that Obama did. She can be opposed. She can be stopped.
It’s time to pick ourselves up again, take a long hard look at ourselves, and restart the long, difficult process of rebuilding, which begins with a reaffirmation of our first principles: adherence to the Constitution, personal responsibility, moral courage, and process over outcomes. We need to become Happy Warriors again.
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