OPINION –An attractive woman sits at a bar, waiting for her date. A handsome, well-dressed man approaches her and quietly whispers, “I’ll pay you $1 million to spend the night with me.”
The woman looks him over, quickly weighs her options, and says, “Sure, why not?” The man then asks her, “Would you still be willing to do it for $10?” “Of course not!” she snaps, “What kind of woman do you think I am?” The man replies, “We’ve already established what kind of woman you are. Now we just need to settle on a price.”
This tale is similar to the dilemma faced by grassroots Republican voters who are being pressured to set aside certain core values of proper government to support their party’s nominee. By insisting that principle-driven voters consciously abandon certain principles so a particular candidate can win, GOP leaders are making an indecent proposal that benefits only party interests.
Who can forget how these same Republicans were publicly berated, stabbed in the back, disenfranchised, and kicked to the curb by GOP leadership at last month’s convention? After being informed that their views were not welcome, now party bosses insist that Obama can’t be defeated without their support.
Pundit Kurt Schlichter readily admits that freedom-minded delegates were treated badly in Tampa, still, he insists that they have no choice but to support the Republican nominee. As he puts it, “Priorities, people. Nothing less than the Constitution is at stake here.”
Ah, the Constitution. As if merely invoking America’s founding document will get these dissidents back in lockstep with the party.
But blogger Jeremy Hammond’s brilliant rebuttal puts Schlichter’s hollow plea into proper context. He responds, “Priorities, people. Nothing less than the Constitution is at stake here. And I think we can all agree that it would be much better to have a Republican president trampling the Constitution.”
It’s not a matter of hurt feelings. Despite superficial policy differences, both establishment presidential candidates are firmly committed to perpetuating a status quo that is in open conflict with constitutional government.
Nowhere is this more evident than in both Romney’s and Obama’s ongoing support of the 2011 NDAA indefinite detention law that denies due process to anyone labeled an enemy of the state. There can be no reasonable compromise on such matters; our government either abides by the rule of law or it doesn’t.
Voters who are intent upon safeguarding the principles of sound government are absolutely justified in withholding their consent from candidates who support such unconstitutional power grabs. No amount of campaign platitudes can offset the genuine long-term threat posed by unlimited, unaccountable government.
When we choose to compromise our core principles to any degree, we become like the woman at the bar; all that remains is the matter of establishing our price.
Principled voters become such by questioning assumptions, studying the underlying principles, and refusing to blindly follow orders. They understand the power of the word “no.” More importantly, they recognize that surrendering to a false choice keeps us trapped within a narrow political paradigm that ignores the bigger picture.
With both major parties keeping us hyper-focused on the election cycle, it’s essential to remember that long-term historical cycles are at work as well.
In their 1997 book “The Fourth Turning,” historians William Strauss and Neil Howe outline a cyclical pattern of changes or turnings that occur over a roughly 100 year period known as a saeculum. These turnings can be likened to the changing of the seasons and each turning brings its own challenges and opportunities.
The first turning is a high, such as the years following WWII and the Great Depression. The next turning is an awakening in which old ideas are challenged and revolutionary thinking takes hold like during the 1960s. The third turning is an unraveling where institutions begin to fray around the edges. A good example of this is the long boom and culture wars that typified the 1980s through the early part of the new millennium.
The fourth turning is a time of crisis, usually set in motion by a catalyst such as the 9/11 attacks. This is a time of great crisis and upheaval where the societal landscape can change drastically. The American War for Independence and the War Between the States are two examples of crises in which, unlike this election, the very identity of the nation did hang in the balance.
As a society, we have entered a crisis phase once again. The turnings are as unavoidable as the changing of the seasons. But whether the crisis period concludes with positive or negative results depends greatly upon the principles of those who live through it.
Abandoning principle for the spurious benefit of winning an election that changes nothing, amounts to selling one’s soul in a buyer’s market. The wiser choice is to hold fast to our core values and ride out the impending storm with a clear conscience.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not necessarily representative of St. George News.
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