Saturday, February 08, 2014

Failing the 11th Commandment

Articles: Memo to Conservatives: Republicans Aren't Your Friends:

and Reagan said: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican".

The linked article completely fails at that commandment, as are MANY failing that on all sides in the current Republican party. We need a "Luther" to tell us "What does this mean"?

The article rightly points out that there is a lot of dissension in the Republican party right now, this is correct, but it is NOT new! Republicans are the party of "Conservatism", which means basic fundamental PRINCIPLE .. rule of law, the carrying on of the culture and tradition so that men are more than "the flies of summer" in Burke's words.

To be conservative is to "put principle above politics", BUT, it is ALSO to understand the extreme limitations of politics. Politics is "war by other means" ... the "other means", selling, cajoling, forming coalitions, and yes COMPROMISE. Republicans are to be BOTH principled but also very pragmatic, just like Christians. The situation of conservatism int he world is much like Paul expounds for us in 1 Corinthians 9

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

"We serve a higher power". In the US, that used to be The Constitution (and it's under-girding wisdom and documents), the Truths that we once ALL agreed were "self evident". Conservatives still do believe that. 

The Democrat Party are not "our enemies" as the article says, although we are often THEIR enemies. Conservatives believe in "first do no harm", and the humility of understanding that no one person, no group, no generation, or even no small set of generations contains anything CLOSE to the "wisdom of the ages", and that is WITHOUT taking the Divine into consideration -- which a large majority of conservatives also believe to be critical as well.

Democrats are perfectly willing to do what they see as "short run harm", with BOcare being only one of a whole myriad of examples. Indeed, their signature modern program, Social Security, was put in place as a known Ponzi scheme to buy the votes of the present with the sweat of future generations. 

The MOST dangerous path at this time is for people that want to think of themselves as "conservative" is to demand "drastic change RIGHT NOW", even if that change would be in "the correct direction". As in life, we can't turn the nations clock back to "1900" and "restart". A number of very erroneous changes have been made, but they can't be UNmade via short term politics, and it isn't conservative to believe that they can. 

There is no other way but "forward" in time, which is TOTALLY different than "progress", which is FAR from assured. It is the meaning and understanding of cultural, religious, political and even artistic wisdom that conservatives use to temper the hubris of "change". Time will pass without our help, and it definitely will "wound all heels" as well as at least partially "heal all wounds". Let's not be heels. 

Conservatives need and should encourage strong and open discussion of what the basic principles of economics, human nature, real science, history, etc mean in the current context, and make CORRECT predictions of what the errors of hubristic strident "liberal" policies will result in. Reagan calling the end to the USSR and turning us from an economic situation nearly as bad as the current BO hole to a period of boom did more for the standing of conservatives than any current words or fighting will. BUT, he had to WIN politically to be able to do that! 

We now need to "call the ball" as to what current policies are and will result in. This is relatively easy -- the principles don't change, so the "change agents" always screw up. We will have continued economic flat-line to decline, the continuation of the disaster that is BOcare, the continued decline in the family and the social fabric due to "gay marriage", abortion, and other destructive policies.

We need to provide sober reality based CLEAR statements of REAL AND OBSERVABLE consequences of the current failed policies AND the alternatives. This ought to be "easy", the Reagan example is only 20-30 years old. Within the lifetime of MUCH of our population, and in the lived memory of many. The principles never changed, we just failed to follow them.

It is easy to "lose faith" so that the Republicans in power move to "Democrat lite", forgetting that principles really matter even on the timid side, and others "go zealot" as the Tea Party is wont to do, DEMANDING an entire loaf of IMMEDIATE change or they are going to take their votes and go elsewhere. The linked article thinks it is a "good time for civil war" in the Republican party, but right now, I don't see it as a time that we can WIN the war!

The South fired the first shots in our Civil War. Had they not, and had they not made the aggressive but failed advance that ended at Gettysburg, they would likely have "won" ... in that secession would have happened, they would have probably controlled a lot of at least Mexico and South America, and a whole other raft of "maybes". Slavery would still be gone as the dying institution it was, but States Rights would still be alive!

"Democrat Lite" is WAY less damaging than "going zealot" and LOSING a war. Going zealot exposes conservatives to the same failings as "progressives" -- the supposedly brilliant "quick fix", "big change". Countries and cultures are most successful with incrementalism IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!

With limited humans acting in the limited domain of politics, "the lesser of two evils" is OFTEN (if not ALWAYS, which I virtually never say) is the best that can be hoped for. Shoot for "pure best", and one gets Slick Willie over HW, BO over McCain, and BO over Romney. Significant movement in the WRONG DIRECTION over potential "holding the line", or incremental change in a positive direction. 

YES, we need to "police our own" ... if Chris Christie wants to hug BO a couple weeks before the election, he is either a RINO at heart, or so narcissistic, clueless, or Machiavellian that we certainly don't want him as a presidential candidate even if he can win ... the bridge just seals the deal. Not going to war with your fellow Republicans is not the same as having no standards as long as there is an "R" on the label. The conservative life, like the Christian life is not simple -- it is a constant battle of reference to principle, thought, meditation, considered action, and yes, prayer!

It is "D" that means that you sign up explicitly to have NO STANDARDS other than total and completely firm D loyalty, no matter how hypocritical or inconsistent the position.  Thus, human babies, kill them all whenever for any reason, ... snail darters, owls, etc, preserve them at all costs; deficit under R, scandalous, destructive, "unsustainable ... 5x the deficit under D, too small, great policy; Guns, terrible, destructive, ought to be banned ... Drugs? Doesn't the Constitution declare a CLEAR right to them in the prenumbra of the privacy clause right next to abortion? ... and on it goes. 

"Thinker" needs to do some more studying and THINKING relative to their views in the linked article. As we all do, always. The "D" way is the human way, into which we fall without prayer and grace. 

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