Ever since I wrote my book “Taking America Back” – and even before – I’ve been challenging “conservatives” to look in the mirror to understand why they keep losing ground.
It’s not that conservatives are bad people. In fact, they may be too kind for their own good and the good of the country – too accommodating, too tolerant, too patient, too forgiving, too busy.
Their reaction to President Bush’s two Supreme Court appointments represents a perfect illustration.
Conservatives have patiently laid the groundwork for this moment in history for the last 15 years. They worked tirelessly on behalf of George W. Bush in two presidential campaigns with an eye to reshaping the courts and ending an era of judicial activism that has turned our country into an oligarchy unresponsive to the will of the people and unaccountable to the rule of law. They recaptured the Congress of the United States after a generation of control by a party that cast them as rubes. And they ignored warning signs about betrayal and compromise.
They forgave and forgot how they were double-crossed in the past – Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, Anthony Kennedy. It could never happen again, they thought.
But what they got from Bush was Harriet Miers – a trial lawyer, a state lottery official, a blank slate, a personal crony, a nominee unlikely to buck the establishment.
Once again, the conservatives have missed an opportunity to take America back.
It’s not the heart of conservatives that is in the wrong place. It’s a fundamental problem with tactics.
I’m so happy that an updated version of my book “Taking America Back” is being republished in paperback at this particular moment in history – because I think conservatives might actually be ready to reinvent themselves and their movement.
That will be an absolute requirement for effectiveness in the future.
What’s wrong with “conservatives”?
Think about it. What are they trying to do? “Conserve.” They are fighting a strictly defensive battle with their political and cultural opponents – trying only to hold on to some of their values and political accomplishments of the past.
When have you ever seen a war won that was fought strictly on defense?
What are the objectives and goals of the conservative movement?
It would appear they are limited to holding back the onslaught of socialism and tyranny, slowing down the trends, placing their fingers in the dikes that are close to bursting and washing them away.
When have “conservatives” ever won a meaningful, long-term struggle in the history of mankind? Never.
Only those who have clear goals and objectives have any hope of realizing their dreams. Stopping the other side is not a goal. Slowing the loss of freedom is not an objective.
We need goals like our Founding Fathers had:
- building a shining city on a hill that would be a light to all nations;
- expanding freedom;
- empowering individuals, communities and states to govern themselves;
- breaking the bands that tie us to the old world and the old way of doing things;
- striving for independence and sovereignty;
- living in peace and in obedience to our Creator.
The Founders were not “conservatives.” They did something no other people in the history of the world had done – threw off the shackles of foreign despotism and put those shackles right on their own new government to ensure liberty would triumph.
There are lessons in what the Founders achieved that are relevant to us today. I would suggest you consider Americans today are under a yoke of oppression from Washington that rivals anything the colonials experienced in the 18th century.
The question is: Are conservatives ready to get radical?