As the Primary season begins to heat up, conservatives need to remember what the wisest and best of all men said, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Further, let’s also remember a great Republican president who was, in turn, quoting the wisest and best of all men, when he said “A house divided against itself cannot stand.“
And that is, right now, our greatest threat. It comes in two flavors, those that feel as though they have been driven into a corner for so long, that they believe the only reasonable response is to lash out in defense of their candidate. Understandable. Noble. But wrong. And then there are those who believe that others are supporting the wrong candidate, and that will cost us the election, so they lash out at those candidates and their supporters. Understandable. Noble. Also very wrong.
The temptation to retaliate against people on your own side will be strong, because we conservatives have been losing ground for decades now, falling back, time and time again, as the march of progressive leftism has pushed ever forward by radical authoritarian collectivists, aided and abetted by an establishment political class that has become entrenched and more interested in continuing their political authority rather than preserving the liberties of the People that put them in office.
In the face of this adversity, we must remember that we are a civil society that subscribes to the primacy of the individual and the rule of law. We have an election process that is based on these civilized assumptions, and this process was put in place by the Founding Fathers in order that we have an opportunity to chose a leader based on his or her qualifications and personal honor. If we believe in this system, then we must adhere to the values of civil society and observe civil restraint when we conduct our discourse. If we do not believe in the system, then we need to do as Jefferson suggested and take up arms and alter or abolish it once and for all.
To those who are not storming out of their front door and joining the nearest militia, let’s come to an agreement. Let’s try to respect the best intended choices of candidates of our fellow conservatives, whether they are soft and hard conservatives. As we respect the Primacy of the Individual, we must defer to the right of other individuals to choose those candidates that best fits their conscience and temperament. When we discuss the positions of the candidates, don’t take such discussion as personal attacks. The position of the candidate is their right, and it is the right of the voter to want to discuss it. Approach one another with respect and an open hand, because there will be plenty of time for fists come the general election.
Make no assumptions or inferences of insult, because every conservative, soft and hard, has their own priorities of issues, and their tolerance on one issue, while intolerable to another, may be because they consider another issue (for example: personal liberty or Constitutional principle) much more important than another issue (for example: immigration reform or foreign relations). We don’t have to cut each other’s throats over political matters. Once again, if we don’t trust the process, then it’s time to start a revolution.
In the end, come November 2016, what we cannot have is a third of conservatives so utterly alienated by the political bickering that they refuse to show up to cast their ballot. We also cannot have the ballot split between the Republican candidate and a third party candidate who refused to accept defeat in the Primaries, enabled by supporters so fanatically attached to that individual that they put their devotion to a politician before the interests of the People and necessities of the nation. We have been down that road before, and we know how and where it ends.
Everything will be in vain, if we cannot behave civilly and be mindful of the mistakes of the past. Because, ultimately, if it’s a choice between a candidate that will listen to some conservatives and none, obviously it is better to at least have some influence. We are already living with the consequences of a president with no conservative values.
Authors’s Note – After three months of trying to have meaningful dialogue with the individuals I’d hoped to bridge the gap with, only to find myself blocked, shut down, insulted, and openly defamed by them, I no longer believe this position is tenable. True to my position in this article, I believe that the Second Amendment (peaceful armed resistance) has become the only legitimate political path forward, at least until a Convention of States can be convened.
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