I was going to post a reply to Utah’s “Here I am, Stuck in the Middle with You,” but, after reading the comments, I thought better of it. Contrary to popular opinion, I do listen to what others say. Where I suppose I fall short of what they would have of me is that I do not accept irrational criticism. With that, I’d like to offer a few observations by way of question. But first, I want to explain where I came from so that how I arrived at the point I am now might be made more clear for those who care.
For many years, I called myself a “conservative.” I considered myself to be on the side of the founders, I was convinced I believed in the same things, valued the same ideals and supported the same principles. I also accepted the arguments of conservative pundits such as Limbaugh and Hannity. This mean I believed conservatives were rational, supporting their positions with sound reason. Conversely, I believed liberals were irrational, and reacted out of fear and emotion. I say I used to believe because I committed a cardinal sin: I started to actually think for myself. And that started with another unforgivable sin: I stopped listening to the talking heads and started reading history. Oh, how my eyes have been opened since I made that mistake.
Now, let me ask my conservative friends some questions. These are serious questions. I mean for them to be taken seriously, and given serious answer. I am demanding sound reason – not some canned Party line. I will reject anything that rests on a fallacious foundation as being irrational. So, if any of these questions make you feel uneasy or cause you distress, feel free to get upset with me if it helps. Just know this: if you are as rational as most conservatives believe themselves to be, any unease my questions may cause should be an indication that the true problem does not rest with me or my question, but with the answer and the implications which follow from it.
My first question is simple: “What is the conservative mission for the 2012 election?”
I have heard it is to get rid of Obama. I have heard it is to elect a Republican to the Presidency. I have heard it is to get a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress AND in the White House. And all of these are fine goals, but which one is the mission? What is the primary purpose for which a conservative should be casting their vote both in the primaries and in the general election? I’d like you to think about that one and give me an answer.
My next question is: “If any of the above is the mission, how do we achieve success in that mission?”
This is not such a simple question. If the goal is to beat Obama, then how do we do that? If the goal is a majority in the House and Senate, then how do we do that? How do we do both? Assuming the mission of the 2012 election has something to do with the suggestions I listed for my first question, is the way the candidates are running their campaigns and the pundits are treating the candidates really the way to achieve that mission? Or is there a better way, or a different plan of which I have not yet heard? Where is the plan for success?
My nest question is: “Who do we support in pursuit of this mission?”
I know this will rub some people the wrong way, but, if the mission is to get rid of Obama, who do we support? Do we vote for the person we believe is most likely to beat him in a general election? Why not support someone to run against him in the Democrat primary? Why not Hillary? And if she loses in the Democrat primary, why not convince her to switch Parties and then support her? National polls have suggested she could win against Obama, so why isn’t this an option? I am serious: who should conservatives be supporting in this mission and why?
My last question is: “Assuming we get a Republican President and/or majorities in either/both Houses of Congress, how do we prevent them from repeating the policies they implemented under George W. Bush and the 6 years of Republican majority from 2000-2006?”
Here again, this is not asked lightly. If we somehow achieve whatever the mission is, what is the follow-on plan? If, by some miracle, we achieve whatever this mission is, what do we do next and how do we do that?
Now, here’s the admonishment to all of my conservative friends: if you think these are frivolous questions, they’re not. They are crucial to whatever your political ambitions may be, and you can be sure your liberal/progressive opponents are light years ahead of you in working on these exact same questions – only in reverse. You see, if they are anything, the liberal/progressives are planners. So, if you hope to have any chance of beating them, you need a plan, and any sound plan should – I would think – include the answers to my questions. So, if you don’t have answers to my questions, then you don’t have a plan, and no plan is a plan for failure. And if your plan is failure, how then – or better yet – why would you expect anyone to follow you?