Conservatism Was Defeated In The Presidential Election; Now What?
If you, like I, consider yourself a conservative, then you feel you suffered a great defeat in last night's presidential election. If you identify with those that hold fast to fiscal responsibility at all levels (family, local, state, & federal government); those that hold fast to individual responsibility; individual rights, freedom, and liberties; those that believe a smaller government is a better government; those that believe America's greatness is found in the people and their freedom to achieve without hindrance from an overpowering government: if you identify with those types of Americans, then you feel just as defeated as I do. In the face of such a defeat, we must ask ourselves what do we do next. You must certainly be asking yourself that very question, I know I've pondered it since about 10:30pm on election night. Well, I'll be transparent and say that I've yet to confidently identify what to do next, however I'm very certain of a few things that the conservative base in this county should not do. And, of course, I'd like to share those with you here.
Do not threaten to leave this country and become an immigrant in another country.
First of all, let's be honest, for most folks this is simply an idle threat that is not backed by real feasibility. Therefore, let's focus our time, attention, and discussions on next steps that are viable. Second, any statements made regarding love and commitment to this great nation are totally discredited by threats of leaving. We can't say that we love this country in one sentence and that we want to leave it in another. There is a word that describes such actions well, hypocrisy. Within a family, at least within my family, there are difficult times; even very difficult times. I love my family, therefore the idea of leaving my family is simply not an option. I am a husband and a father that loves my family, therefore I will remain committed to my family. You are an America that loves your country, therefore remain committed to your country and avoid any suggestions to the contrary.
Do not start beating the war drum of cheating and scandal.
We were defeated on election night, let's all just be honest out loud here. We are all adults here and we should act accordingly. We should certainly analyze why we were defeated, however it benefits neither us nor this country as a whole when we cry foul and make excuses. Suggestions and discussions related to cheating and scandal simply make conservatives look like cry babies that don't have a strategy based on principle. The election was not stolen from conservatives, we simply lost. We could not ask for a better situation in which to demonstrate the merits of conservatism, yet we didn't capitalize on that situation.
Do not stick your head in the sand and assume it will all work out in the end.
This is undoubtedly to most important action that conservatives must avoid follow such a defeat. In fact, it could easily be argued that this lackadaisical attitude is the reason for our defeat. We must avoid the idea that all will be well in the end and we'll be back here to do it again in four years. Yes, Lord willing, we will have another presidential election in four years, but we can't sit around and find ourselves ill prepared in 2016. The election results suggest that victory was determined by the ground game; people taking action to turn out the vote and persuade voters of the merits of their political strategy. That being the case, we can't afford to stick our head in the sand. Instead, we must take action. Not just water cooler discussion or casual conversation, we must get involved with organized efforts to education the electorate on the merits of conservatism.
Let me also take this opportunity to address those that, like me, are reaching to a spiritual faith for the answer to the question of what do we do next. I totally believe in the power of pray and completely rely on my faith - specifically in my relationship with Jesus. However, I'm convinced that such a devotion to faith and prayer should likewise compel one to action. It is simply not enough for us to make statements and facebook postings that Christ in still in control and that we are praying for revival and renewal. I'm sorry if I offend you, but those statements and those prayers have no credence if they are not backed by action. You may view prayer as the only action you need to take, but I'm certain that if you pray to Jesus for something, His answer will likely be "I've empowered you, now go do it".
Well, now that I've said that I feel a little better. Now that I've outlined what conservatives should not do next, I'll try to devote the next blog post to what we should do next. That one will require more thought, thought that isn't clouded by the raw emotions of such a great defeat.