Good government will not come from bad people, it will not come from cruel people, and it will not come from foolish people. Our government will never be better than we are; and I have to say, there are a lot of bad, cruel, and foolish people out there, with their mouths open and their minds closed. Spend a few hours with the news (if you can stomach it) and you’ll see what I’m talking about – we’re getting what we deserve.
I am perfectly happy to listen to reasonable debates for and against changing the definition of marriage to include homosexual relationships. What I am not willing to tolerate is gay-bashing or people bashing the Christian Church. I am perfectly happy to listen to reasonable debates about systemic political and theological problems in Africa and the Near East. What I am not willing to tolerate is Islamophobia or Islamophobiaphobia (the irrational fear of the fear of Islam).
Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen Republicans bashing the ticket (as if this ticket was the lesser of two evils). It isn’t. I’ve seen a paid staffer of one statewide nominee bashing another Republican statewide nominee, but screaming from the top of her lungs that if you don’t show up to vote for one candidate, at least show up to vote for the other. I’ve seen people bashing all Democrats as if all Democrats are prone to Antifa-violence. I’ve seen people bashing Catholics and the Pope. I’ve seen people bashing Millennials.
Aren’t we tired yet?
Listen – do you know how we win elections and establish good policy? We find the best candidates we can and we put them through a primary. Then, we work within our communities by showing up to events, knocking doors, and making phone calls. We drum up support for the ticket. We make that support visibly loud and clear. Then we raise money off that excitement. Then we spend that money on political advertising and GOTV. Then we all show up at our precincts and we promote our Republican ticket. They get elected. Then we pressure them to keep their promises and stay true to their campaign message. We pressure them to work with the General Assembly. At the federal level, we pressure them to work with Congress or with the President. We save the data. We start over again.
If at any point we fail to do this – if we spend more time barking at each other or spewing hate on Facebook and Twitter than we do productively working to build a strong and conservative Republican Party, then the enthusiasm fades and the money goes away. Who wants to donate to a Republican Party engaged in a nasty war within itself? A war where none of the sides respect any of the others?
I’ve wanted to see a more conservative government for ten years. I’ve stood by the conservative movement as we’ve worked our fingers to the bone for change within the party. What did we learn from our failures?
We shouldn’t have been trying to destroy the party we wanted to change. We shouldn’t have been hating the party we wanted to change. We shouldn’t have created an image of conservatives as a class of angry old white men. We shouldn’t have tolerated people who quietly or vocally sympathized with White Nationalism and White-Identity-Politics.
Most of you are fantastic – but I know some of you are just as guilty as I am of turning a blind eye to the morality of the men and women standing next to us in our fight against “the establishment.” That’s right – I wanted to win. But what the hell did I win?
Good Governance starts with us, with our relationships with one another, with our respect for one another, and with our tolerance for one another. Good Governance starts with putting aside our pride and recognizing that big tents aren’t myopic little echo chambers like the ones we’ve built on Facebook and Twitter. Good Governance starts with dialogue, with a handshake after a lost election, and with our commitment to Federalism, to Capitalism, and to Republicanism. That is the bare bones of the Republican Identity. We can build around each other from there – from this point of common denominators.
You know…we all tolerate too much wretched behavior on social media. I know I’ve looked for alternatives to Facebook and Twitter out of a desire to get away from the mean-spirited and hateful rhetoric. Look, the Democrats have all the problems of the Republican Party and then some – but I’m reaching the end of my rope.
We have an election on November 7th. We need to get working on promoting Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel, John Adams and all of our Republican Delegates. These are the only people standing between us and higher taxes, more regulations, and judicial activism. These are your best friends right now. For those who want to whine about our candidates, save your breath. Viciousness doesn’t win elections. Crudeness doesn’t win elections. Offending Catholics, Homosexuals, Hispanics (whatever that means), Muslims, Jews, Moderates and Independents doesn’t win elections. Being mean doesn’t work in politics.
You know what wins elections?
Money does. Organization does. Grassroots effort does. Kindness does. Optimism does. Intellectual honesty does. Commitment to core-principles does. Many of us are so committed to core-principles that we’ve forgotten that a handful of purists never changed the world for the better.
We all need to join our Republican committees, work county-events, knock doors, make phone calls, donate money, and for the love of God……behave with some self-respect on social media. We want to change the world for the better…and we’re going to need friends, neighbors, and allies. I can’t think of a good reason why we can’t be these things to one another.
I’ve been reading the blogs. Monuments…Racism…Antifa…History. We’re focusing on the wrong things. We’re letting Democrats and White Nationalists control our own agenda. We need good government that works to create an economic environment that is good for business, that funds our local governments and our school districts and promotes common-sense public policies there, and that looks to stimulate growth instead of simply punishing wealth.
This is a come-to-Jesus article. We need to refocus. Those that can’t – well, maybe we shouldn’t have been letting them distract us in the first place.