Peter Kirsanow posted this at the Corner today:
Now that president Obama has been given more “flexibility,” conservatives need to pause, recharge, assess, recalibrate.
Conservatives can’t be in denial. The country may very well be at a tipping point. Yes, millions fewer voted for Obama than in 2008, but it’s astonishing and disconcerting that tens of millions voted for him with their eyes wide open. They voted for him after four years of 8 percent unemployment, exploding deficits, foreign-policy fecklessness, unsustainable debt, and assaults on liberty.
The electorate may well have shifted politically, and perhaps culturally. That will happen when we cede our institutions to the minions of ”progress,” when our media is biased and political elites cowardly. But human nature has not changed and neither have the principles conservatives — Americans — hold dear.
Obama and the Left will be emboldened. They will continue their effort to “fundamentally transform” America. Indeed, now that Obamacare will go into effect in full, the transformation will take several giant, worrisome steps forward.
That’s why we must fight. Harder, smarter, relentlessly. While we must shrewdly assess what went wrong politically, we don’t have time for finger-pointing and recriminations. Those inclined can do so later.There are too many perils at our doorstep.
There is no time, either, for the traditional post-election honeymoon. This president has already enjoyed one for the last four years. We have principles and values to defend and we must defend them vigorously. For on the immediate horizon are galactic problems: Defense cuts, a nuclear Iran, an entitlement catastrophe, tax increases, energy restrictions, Supreme Court appointments, a bellicose China, suffocating regulations, amnesty for illegals, chronic high unemployment, just to name a few.
Obama won last night, but we rejoin the fray today. Fight every attempt to spend us further into oblivion. Fight every attempt to further redistribute wealth. Fight every attempt to entrench a new entitlement. Fight every attempt to weaken our military. Fight every attempt to bury Benghazi. Fight every attempt to curb our religious freedom. Fight every attempt to revise history. Fight the enervating imposition of political correctness.
Fight for American exceptionalism. Fight for what’s best about America.
I am reminded of Churchill’s epigraph:
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity.
The great man also said:
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Well, resolution didn’t carry the day, and so magnanimity is off the table. That leaves defiance.
When you’ve done your best to stand up to a bully, but have been beaten to the ground, dazed and bloody, defiance begins with the simple act of picking yourself up to your hands and knees, shaking your head, refocusing your eyes, then narrowing them as you remember what you are fighting for and why. The alternative is submission, and the death of the spirit.
This is a hard one, though. Some on the Right are already pointing the finger at Mr. Romney and his campaign — blaming his vagueness and inconsistency, and his team’s inability to counter the Obama “ground game” — but that isn’t why we lost.
In a time of deep and persistent economic misery, and with fewer people employed today than were working four years ago, we put up a decent, likable man, a seasoned executive whom a majority of Americans thought would do a better job of restoring the economy than the incumbent — and were beaten nevertheless.
After four years of bitter division and intractable malaise, after Fast and Furious, the stimulus, the bloody partisan imposition of Obamacare, after Solyndra and Benghazi, after four years of trampling the separation of powers and the role of the nation’s elected representatives in order to govern at the whim of the Executive and his unelected “czars”, we stood up a modest, moderate, cooperative candidate who stood for the idea that the United States can still be a constitutional republic — and were beaten nevertheless.
After four years of withering assault upon the mediating layers of civil society and local government that stand between a radically atomized citizenry and the federal Leviathan, and that have, until this final epoch in the arc of American history, been the most important and most sustaining aspect of the nation’s ordinary life, we put up a sensible man who understood that a happy and healthy society emerges from the bottom up, rather than being imposed willy-nilly by a distant, central authority — and were beaten nevertheless.
At a time when a runaway culture of dependence and entitlement has degraded and infantilized an ever-expanding proportion of our citizenry, and has brought what what was once a virile and vigorous nation of free and self-reliant individuals to the point of almost certain spiritual and fiscal ruin, we put up candidates who understand that this is the path to national extinction — and were beaten nevertheless.
No, the problem isn’t that the GOP allied itself too closely with “extremists”, or that Mitt Romney was too much of a flip-flopper, or that he didn’t go after Mr. Obama vigorously enough in the later debates. The problem is that, as the founders understood so well — and tried their best to prevent by lacing up the government in the Constitution — democracy naturally descends into tyranny, and the rule of the mob. America has now crossed the event horizon, and the singularity lies ahead. Before we reach it — and although “there is a lot of ruin in a nation”, the acceleration will now be brisk — the tidal forces it will exert will soon begin to tear the nation to pieces.
The problem here was not Mr. Romney, or even Mr. Obama. The problem is that the American people themselves are no longer what they were. Mr. Obama spoke of “fundamentally transforming” America, but to imagine that he has done so is to confuse cause and effect. Had the fundamental character of this nation not already been transformed, he never would have succeeded.
So: America gets the government it wants, and that it deserves. We have chosen “equality” over liberty; free lunch over freedom; reassurance over responsibility. It will not last: it is utterly unsupportable. It will quickly be the death of America’s greatness, and will lead soon thereafter to the death and decomposition of America itself. But this is what we, the people, have chosen.
Defiance? I suppose. But it’s hard to believe that lifting ourselves from the mud and staggering to our feet again will, from this moment forward, ever change a thing.
Sorry to be so glum, readers. I’m sure I’ll perk up a bit as time goes by. Right now I’m still on all fours in the dirt, spitting out teeth.