Outwardly the situation looks bad. Republican party identification is down. The White House and Congress are in the hands of far left Democrats. The Republican party appears to be drifting aimlessly without direction during a national crisis.
The 2008 Presidential election was a shock to the system, because it wasn't the kind of national election that was supposed to happen in America. The popular wisdom went, that agree or disagree with a candidate, but whichever party he represented we could assume that he would be a serious and fully qualified candidate.
Instead the 2008 election was won through massive voter fraud, racial identity politics, cults of personality and mass media propaganda. This kind of thing wasn't supposed to happen in America. Latin America maybe or Europe, but not here. We don't do this kind of thing, we thought. We don't name schools after newly appointed leaders. We don't have worship press coverage of a candidate. We don't have an election where the fraud is so shameless and open that no one thinks twice about it anymore.
Except that we do. And we did.
As shocking as 2008 was to so many people, it didn't come out of thin air. The 2008 campaign was a radical leap, one that had been carefully planned and structured many years ahead. But everything that Obama and his people did, was built on existing structures and precedents. It was shocking only because for the first time, the masks had come off.
2008 was a slap in the face but it was one we needed, just like a car accident victim may need it to avoid falling into a coma. For almost a century America had been boiling slowly in a pot, the temperature rising gradually enough so the change wasn't too alarming. When the temperature changed too suddenly though in the 60's, it was a shock to the system that no one could miss. 2008 was another shock to the system because the slowly rising temperature suddenly went up a lot faster. We're no longer at 80 degrees. Suddenly we're at 102. And we can smell the burning flesh.
Like the 60's, 2008 was a wake up call, showing us just how much power the left had accumulated and what they intend to do with it. We can see now what an America remade in their ideological image will look like. And beneath all that are the root causes of why.
The 60's was a show of cultural and political power by the left. The political power imploded, but the cultural power remained which moved America much further to the left. The American consensus changed. The unacceptable became acceptable. Republicans and Democrats both became far more liberal than they had ever been. The country seemed to become more conservative, but that was only by comparison to the leftist explosion that had come before. But in contrast to what had been all along, the country had swung further to the left than ever.
The cultural dominance of the left had become a fact, in education, in literature, in film and all forms of popular culture that were twisted to repeat a leftist message. The radicals may have put on suits, but they only did so to gain more power and control. In 2008 they showed us just how much control they had accumulated and what they intended to do with it. And most importantly they showed us just how they had changed America.
If the economy continues to malinger in ways that upbeat media coverage can't cover up, the Republican party might begin winning Congressional seats in 2010 and maybe even win a national election in 2012.
But it will still be as much defeat, as victory. A "new" rebranded Republican party that tries to imitate Obama, pander aimlessly and be nothing more than a paler version of the Democratic Party, will be a moral and ultimately a political defeat for all of us.
2008 could not have happened without a consistent willingness by Republicans to steadily move to the left. A victory in 2012 that paves the way for a much worse repetition of 2008 in 2016 or 2022 will be a case of winning the battle and losing the war.
There are two possible lessons to learn from a political defeat. One is to try and be more like your opponent. The other is to offer a sharp and consistent contrast to him. The first may succeed in the short term, but will always lose in the long run. The second may lose in the short term, but offers the chance for an enduring victory in the long run.
The Republican party cannot have its own Obama, and wishing for one in the form of Jindal or Steele will result only in mockery and failure. We don't need our own Obama. We need our own Roosevelt or our own Reagan, not as hollow imitations, but as models of leadership. As reminders that we should not run from who we are, but embrace it and raise it high as a banner overhead.
In the words of George Washington, "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God"
The country has been moved to the left, but that is an artificial motion. Country by county, Americans remain fundamentally conservative. Conservative ideas about freedom, responsibility,war and government resonate far more with the average American. That however is changing as each generation grows up with a consensus that has been pushed further to the left, is thrust into an educational system governed by left wing paradigms and is exposed to a popular culture aggressively working to imprint him or her with ideas derived from left wing ideology-- treated as national morality.
It means that time is running out. 2008 was a wake up call showing just how close to the darkest hour of midnight we are. We aren't finished yet, but there are only so many chances left. Our institutions have been corrupted, our culture has been hijacked, our country has been hijacked. The toxins accumulating in the body of the nation will kill it, given time.
2008 was a sign that the walls had come down, the old consensuses we had been counting on, the fond belief that this was all a reasonable debate in which both sides had the general welfare of the nation at heart, that media bias, left wing educational imprinting and occasional regional fraud and racial politics were things we could live with-- are dead. We can recognize that they're dead, or we can keep on trying to live in a pre 11/08 world.
The fact of the matter is that we're on the losing side of a culture war, and its winners intend to wipe us out. Perhaps not physically, but as Americans, as free thinking individuals, as believers in something and anything other than their political dogma. We have the choice between offering up a tentative political opposition while learning to speak Newspeak, or we can begin fighting back.
Forget trying to grasp the center. The more we try to grasp the center, the more it moves to the left, so that even when we win, we lose. We need to make the center come to us, by pushing the country to the right.
That means formulating and communicating a positive vision for America, one that is relevant to the lives and needs of a majority of Americans that states clearly and decisively where we want this country to be in the next decade. A vision that we can and will begin carrying out immediately, in and out of office, in public and private life.
The inverse of that will be a negative vision of America under the left that is equally relevant to the lives and needs of a majority of Americans. One that will invert every single left wing virtue to show its ugly side and its negative consequences.
Institutions currently occupied by the left are hostile institutions. They must be pushed to the right, if possible, made inert or destroyed, if not. In many cases it is better to create new institutions than to try and reform enemy occupied ones. Uncovering corruption is an excellent way of attacking such institutions, discrediting them, and then working to reorganize, disable or destroy them.
Individuals in daily life can make institutions inert by disempowering them. Home schooling is one example of individually disempowering a hostile institution, while at the same time engaging in counter-programming. Collectively reducing funding for public schools, school voucher program and/ or creating alternative school systems that teach American values are examples of collective ways of disempowering hostile institutions while pushing education itself to the right.
It is important to remember that the left has bored down in great detail into the component systems of political and cultural institutions. It takes a great deal of attention to detail and insight to block and reverse their insinuations. But such an effort cannot be purely reactive. We must offer a positive political and cultural vision based on America's root consensus, and transform that consensus into fact.
Similarly turning the function of immigration from a left wing one to a right wing one requires shifting the emphasis on the nature of immigration and the type of immigrants accepted, from one that benefits the world to one that benefits us. And to do so in the name of the security, welfare and prosperity of the American citizen.
We should not shy away from being controversial. We should not however be controversial for the sake of being controversial. The former is the way of Rush Limbaugh. The latter is the way of Ann Coulter. Red meat is always tempting, but getting things done is what really counts.
The defeats in 2006 and 2008 have left the Republican party shaken and confused. That is a bad state for the party, but it is also an opportunity for transformation and growth. Hitting bottom is a chance to rebuild yourself and rise again. For the Republican party that will require replacing fear and indecisiveness, with resolution and a relentless plan of action.
The times ahead will be tough, but those difficulties are a chance to shed the fat and build muscle for 2010 and 2012, and the elections ahead. The fluff will sooner or later fall away in the hard times. The celebrities that too many Republicans eagerly solicited have mostly gone already. So have the likes of Parker and Buckley. And that is good. Going from the bottom to the tough is a job for the principled and the tough minded. We have a long road and a hard fight ahead of us.
Welcome to the fight.