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“You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well, I’m not licked. And I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause.” – “Sen. Jefferson Smith” (played by actor James Stewart)
In the classic 1939 Frank Capra film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Jimmy Stewart portrays a lone citizen-legislator who “goes to Washington” and changes the nation, armed with little more than common sense, uncommon courage and perfect integrity.
Well, right now – surveying the ongoing demolition of their beloved nation – Americans are yearning for lots of “Mr. Smiths” to get elected this November, and then go to Washington and straighten everything out. (Or at least, the roughly 50 percent of Americans who haven’t yet been hoodwinked, bribed, brainwashed, dumbed down or drugged are hoping and praying for such an outcome.)
They want representatives with enough courage, clarity and moral authority to succeed in reversing Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America” and igniting a mass awakening – a prairie fire of truth and freedom that spreads over the whole land.
Hold that thought, please.
At the very same time, however, we’re being told by Republicans across the board – that is, by the moneyed GOP establishment, by Republican advisers and strategists, and by calculating moderates comfortably nestled in Washington’s elite society, but also by “libertarian-leaning conservatives” and even by many tea-party spokesmen – that the key to victory is to keep away from those divisive “social issues” that alienate voters. Indeed, this is one point on which many Republicans across the spectrum appear to agree.
May I ask a question?
Where do we suppose this superhuman “Mr. Smith”-type bravery comes from – the uncommon, almost mythic, otherworldly quality we want our elected leaders to possess, which will mysteriously empower them to do battle like Saint George against the all-consuming, fire-breathing Beltway Beast?
Before we answer that, let’s get one fact clearly in mind: America is at war – within her own borders.
Arrayed on one side are the forces for limited, constitutional government, unfettered free-market capitalism, and traditional Judeo-Christian morality; those who desire freedom to succeed or fail, who know that as government enlarges, liberty diminishes, and who believe American exceptionalism – Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” – ultimately is rooted in, and dependent upon, self-governing, self-disciplined, moral and religious citizens.
On the other side are all the people who consider the first group to be unfair, unjust, unfeeling, unrealistic, greedy, selfish, intolerant, racist, parasitic, predatory and probably evil. And it is this side – so full of perceived grievances against the first – that currently dominates American government, media, education and culture.
In this war, our elected representatives – congressmen and senators – are supposed to be our champions, fighting on our behalf in the D.C. arena. We send them to Washington not to become members of an elite, permanent, bipartisan country club, nor to particularly enjoy themselves, enrich themselves or build careers and fortunes for themselves. Like our soldiers and officer class, we raise them up to do battle on our behalf – period. To help bolster and guide them on the right path, and to enable us to better hold them accountable, we have them swear a sacred oath to uphold the rulebook we wrote for governing them, the Constitution.
For conservatives, the battle is brutal right now, as the other side pretty much owns the government and the major media. Yet, with so much at stake, conservatives must don their armor and helmets, wield their swords and shields and head back into battle.
But what should be their strategy? Many people are currently weighing in on that question.
Secret of the Reagan Revolution
My friend, Sean Hannity, often points out that Republicans cannot simply stand back passively and wait for the Obama agenda (especially Obamacare) to implode and hope the electorate then enthusiastically sweeps the GOP into power. Rather, Republicans must formulate – and shout from every rooftop – a powerful and positive vision of exactly where they want to take America and how they plan to do it.
So Hannity laid out a simple, clear plan to revitalize not only the Republican Party, but America:
1) Cut a penny from every dollar the government spends for six years, which he says will produce a balanced budget.
2) Pass a balanced-budget amendment.
3) Limit the amount of taxes that the government can collect.
4) Encourage home-grown energy resources.
5) Replace Obamacare with health-care savings accounts so people can use the money to buy their own insurance in the private market.
6) Enact term limits: six years in the House, with only one term in leadership, and 12 years in the Senate with only two years in leadership.
7) Allow school choice.
8) Secure the borders.
OK, great policy prescriptions – but what about tactics for implementing them in an exceedingly hostile political and media environment?
In his new book, “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again,” radio talker Steve Deace lays out his battle plan, explaining his “10 Commandments of Political Warfare”:
1) Never trust Republicrats.
2) Never attack what you’re not willing to kill.
3) Never accept the premise of your opponent’s argument.
4) Never surrender the moral high ground.
5) Reverse the premise of your opponent’s argument, and use it against him.
6) Never abandon your base (unless they are morally wrong).
7) Define your opponent before they define themselves, and define yourself before your opponent defines you.
8) Always make your opponent defend their record/belief system.
9) Stay on message.
10) Play offense.
This is all great stuff. Compelling and positive vision. Aggressive and effective tactics. All in all, a great, reality-based war strategy for taking America back.
Just one thing, though.
To champion a bold yet common-sense vision like Hannity’s, and to pursue it aggressively and with tactical intelligence, as Deace prescribes, requires real courage and integrity – including a willingness to suffer deprivation and defamation, to be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” to be hurt financially, reputationally, professionally and perhaps worse.
Now to our question: Where will such transcendent courage and integrity come from?
Clearly, they come from within – from God – from our commitment to something higher and more important and precious than just our own lives.
Which brings us to the dreaded “social issues” – issues that revolve around morality and transcendent values, marriage and family, faith and freedom – you know, the kinds of things that define and determine the very fabric of our civilization.
Here’s a memo to all those brilliant Republican strategists who say they want to re-elect another Reagan in 2016, but advise that we ditch those divisive “social issues”:
Fact: The ground troops that got Ronald Reagan elected in 1980 and ‘84 were largely evangelical Christian, pro-life Americans. Roe v. Wade had been imposed on all the states just a few years earlier (in 1973), and the Democratic Party had become stridently pro-abortion. In fact, in 1984, both Walter Mondale and his running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, were hardcore, outspoken “pro-choicers.”
During the ‘80s, the people who registered others to vote, stuffed envelopes, held coffee clutches in their homes, canvassed door to door, made endless phone calls, worked the long hours, drove little old ladies to their polling places on Election Day – in other words, the tireless ground forces in the war, and the beating heart of the Reagan Revolution – were Bible-believing evangelicals and pro-life Catholics! Indeed, Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority is credited with having registered millions of evangelicals to vote during the Reagan ‘80s.
The people who got Reagan elected were not those who, first and foremost, were angry over Jimmy Carter’s high inflation and unemployment rates (the highest “misery index” in U.S. history), or even over his dangerously inept and appeasing foreign policy. Yes, those people voted for Reagan, but the volunteer soldiers – the people who actually propelled him to sweeping electoral victories – were those who didn’t want to see innocent babies slaughtered, ripped apart limb from limb or chemically burned alive. These were the life-and-death people – marching off to war to rescue the innocent, to save lives and redeem their country from the moral hellfire into which it was rapidly plunging.
Today, with abortion still taking as many American lives daily as died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, with Kermit Gosnell-like criminal atrocities occurring all over the country in late-term abortion clinics, and reports like the recent one in the London Telegraph revealing that hospitals have been incinerating aborted babies to heat their facilities, the Republican Party is being advised to pretend this issue doesn’t exist?
‘Ruled by tyrants’
Excuse my contrarian streak, but now I’m going to dive with both feet into the other big “social issue,” and the one Republicans are most often warned to stay away from – the “gay” issue.
While conservatives claim they want to reverse America’s progressive transformation under Barack Obama, most are too intimidated to talk about the most toxic, far-reaching and irreversible part of that transformation.
That’s ironic, considering the recent ouster of tech prodigy Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla, a company he co-founded, simply because he donated money to help preserve traditional marriage. The event was so chilling and over-the-top that it has been universally condemned by both right (Newt Gingrich called it the “new fascism,” Charles Krauthammer called it “totalitarian”) and left (Bill Maher called it the “gay mafia”) and even by well-known gays (Andrew Sullivan said it “disgusts me,” Tammy Bruce blamed the “gay gestapo”).
And yet this is the issue we’re not supposed to discuss, let alone oppose?
Consider this: Before the 2008 presidential election, Sen. Barack Obama said: “I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman.”
Likewise, pre-2008 Hillary Clinton was on record saying: “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage always has been, between a man and a woman.”
That’s because, just a few short years ago, supporting homosexual marriage was considered such a deranged, perverse, off-the-charts position that even Obama and Hillary – both Alinskyite progressives and long-time gay-rights supporters – saw the need to publicly voice opposition to same-sex marriage.
As everyone knows, both of them did whiplash-inducing about-faces. (Their positions had “evolved,” they said.) But now watch the surprise twist in this story:
Two years after Obama’s election, by mid-2010, the traditional party roles had reversed and, as the homosexual newspaper the Washington Blade put it, conservatives had “taken the leadership role in achieving marriage equality.”
That’s right. Not only had high-profile personalities like Glenn Beck, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Laura Bush, Dick Cheney and others publicly come around to endorsing same-sex marriage, but some on the right were actually leading the charge.
Case in point: George W. Bush’s solicitor general, Ted Olson, dedicated his time as one of the two lead attorneys who successfully challenged California’s Proposition 8, which had enshrined in the state’s constitution marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.
Indeed, proclaimed the Blade, when it came to the battle to legalize same-sex marriage, it was conservatives who “have achieved the most important success so far as they are the most willing and most able to take the case to the Supreme Court.”
Margaret Hoover, long a Fox News contributor and Republican pundit, explained her enthusiastic support for “gay marriage,” saying, “Discrimination is deeply un-American. When the government sanctions discrimination against a group of citizens, it gives permission for other citizens to do the same. This isn’t a partisan issue.”
And S.E. Cupp, a popular young conservative columnist and television personality, said, “Conservatism and gay rights are actually natural allies. Conservatism rightly seeks to keep the government out of our private lives, and when you strip away the politics of pop culture, it’s this assertion of privacy and freedom that the gay rights movement is essentially making.”
Actually, S.E., that’s libertarianism you’re talking about. Conservatism – at least, the kind America and Western civilization were actually built on – is something entirely different.
Let’s take a look.
In fact, how about, just for a moment, we set aside all of the various reasons for and against same-sex marriage. Instead, let’s clear the air and focus on something even more basic – but which many of us somehow never seem to consider.
Dennis Prager, the respected Jewish talk host and author, explains it very well, so I will quote from his award-winning article, “Why Judaism rejected homosexuality.” Prager folds the petals back to unveil the very heart of the flower of Judeo-Christian civilization:
When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world.
It is not overstated to say that the Torah’s prohibition of non-marital sex made the creation of Western civilization possible. Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism, and later carried forward by Christianity.
The revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.
By contrast, throughout the ancient world, and up to the recent past in many parts of the world, sexuality infused virtually all of society. Human sexuality, especially male sexuality, is utterly wild. Men have had sex with women and with men; with little girls and young boys; with a single partner and in large groups; with total strangers and immediate family members; and with a variety of domesticated animals. There is little, animate or inanimate, that has not excited some men sexually. …
Prager goes on at length to catalog the “wild” sexuality of the non-Judeo-Christian world, and shows, region by region, how the almost ubiquitous perversity and wanton sexuality, including homosexuality and sex with children, that has dominated most of the world throughout history – and which continues to this day in some areas – has served to degrade, subjugate and enslave entire cultures.
Judaism, he explains, and later Christianity, “placed controls on sexual activity. It could no longer dominate religion and social life. It was to be sanctified – which in Hebrew means ‘separated’ – from the world and placed in the home, in the bed of husband and wife.”
In short, he explains, “Judaism’s restricting of sexual behavior was one of the essential elements that enabled society to progress. Along with ethical monotheism, the revolution begun by the Torah when it declared war on the sexual practices of the world wrought the most far-reaching changes in history.”
In other words, our sexual mores in large part determine our society’s character and destiny.
Now, fast-forward to America’s founding: It’s no accident that this nation has flowered more than any other in history. But that didn’t happen, my dear “libertarian-leaning conservative” friends and “social issues-avoiding Republicans,” because the founding generation simply resented government, wanted lower taxes and desired to be left alone.
No, America flowered because it was steeped in a faith-based morality and a love of freedom that were wedded together into a rare and priceless alloy the world had never seen.
This is what Alexis de Tocqueville, the famed French political philosopher, found when he toured America during the early 19th century when the republic was young and vibrant – and not yet infested with “progressive” termites boring away at our institutions and faith. In “Democracy in America,” published in 1835, Tocqueville described with admiration and astonishment what he observed during his travels here:
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other … Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.
If America’s unique magic was combining “the notions of Christianity and of liberty” to produce the greatest nation in history, today’s libertarian-conservatives seem to have lost sight of half of that winning combination – the God part – vainly imagining that freedom alone is the answer.
Yet the libertarian utopia – live any way you want, including doing drugs, having abortions or frequenting prostitutes (all three of which the Libertarian Party wants legalized), and yet somehow we can still manage to be citizen-sovereigns ruling over a small, responsible government – is every bit as absurd, illusory and impossible as the utopia socialists forever dream of. Neither has ever existed, at any time or place, nor ever will. For as we all know deep down, there is no lasting freedom without adherence to, as Thomas Jefferson put it, “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Or as William Penn warned, “If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by tyrants.”
Thus, in today’s grand morphing of Reagan pro-life, pro-biblical-morality conservatism into libertarianism, we simply kid ourselves into thinking an immoral society can ever be free.
So, for the Republican Party – whose platform is rooted in the traditional, Judeo-Christian values and sensibilities that created, nurtured and protected Western Civilization – to now say, “We need to declare a truce on these divisive ‘social issues’ so we can regain power,” is folly.
Obviously, there’s a big difference between abject surrender on the “moral” issues of our time, versus a tactical determination that it’s better to deal with certain issues after the 2014 midterm elections. The problem is, many Republicans and even self-identified “conservatives” have already publicly surrendered to the radical LGBT agenda, including same-sex marriage, not realizing perhaps that the unintended consequences threaten to change America more profoundly and negatively than anything else in this age of “fundamental transformation.”
Remember how Reagan famously spoke of the “three-legged stool” underpinning successful conservatism – strong defenses, unfettered free-market economic policies and strong adherence to traditional moral values (“social issues”)? Of course, the point of his metaphor was that the stool could remain upright only if supported by all three legs. Just two (it doesn’t matter which two) would never work.
The bottom line: To elect representatives who will fight and prevail against the godless progressive juggernaut – to send real-life “Mr. Smiths” to Washington – you need men and women whose hearts and souls are burning with the love of the Living God and His Laws. People for whom the biblical words of Joshua – “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” – course through their bloodstream.
And guess what? Those are the very same people who are passionate about the moral issues that define the soul of America and the happiness and well-being of future generations.
I’ll give Dennis Prager the last word about that third leg of Reagan’s three-legged stool: “The bedrock of this civilization … has been the centrality and purity of family life. But the family is not a natural unit so much as it is a value that must be cultivated and protected. The Greeks assaulted the family in the name of beauty and Eros. The Marxists assaulted the family in the name of progress. And today, gay liberation assaults it in the name of compassion and equality. I understand why gays would do this. Life has been miserable for many of them. What I have not understood was why Jews or Christians would join the assault. I do now. They do not know what is at stake. At stake is our civilization.”
The preceding article is excerpted from the April 2014 issue of Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE WAR FOR THE GOP: How conservatives plan to take over the Republican Party and stop the Obama juggernaut.”
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