January 27, 2012
“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.” -- Oscar Wilde
A friend once told me he couldn’t watch a sporting event without being fervently for or against one of the teams, even if he had to attribute his fierce partisanship to having noticed a player “pick his nose” (his exact words) during the national anthem.
Now, even sensible, common sense women will seize upon that story to joke about how irrationally men react to sports.
But being honest, levelheaded thinkers, those same women will readily admit their simply humorous intent and acknowledge that, in harmony with Wilde’s insightful observation, the anecdote illustrates one of the universal truths about winning and losing.
The fact is, then, that regardless of sex, humans are not just disposed to take sides on issues, whether the leanings have to do with politics, sports, autos, soft drinks, cosmetics, or fashion, but to do so with powerful feelings, their fighting in “battle,” rejoicing in “victory,” sulking and blaming in “defeat” regularly exhibiting excesses that deserve to be described as extreme.
This reality about human nature comes to mind these days because the Republican Party is currently taking its turn to host a primary season whose fractiousness carries with it the potential to create deadly schisms, a possibility that raises this question:
While the primary battles will inevitably engender feelings of angry combativeness, even vindictiveness, among supporters of the four remaining Republican candidates, what can we conservative voters do to avoid behavior that dooms the eventual nominee to defeat in November?
One answer to that question is this:
While acknowledging our emotions as a fundamental aspect of human nature, we must summon up the courage to keep in the forefront of our minds the notion that an election is not a game but rather an activity so crucially important it may properly be termed a sublimation of war, about which Douglas MacArthur said this:
“In war, you win or lose, live or die, and the difference is just an eyelash.”
To grasp just how apt the comparison is, especially in this election, we need to begin by thinking about the profound importance of the major themes emphasized by the four remaining Republican candidates:
...The need for policies that put Americans back to work earning good wages in private sector jobs.
...For policies that begin a wise and steady reduction in the size and power of the federal government, a task that ignored, as it has been by the current president, inevitably leads to disaster by debt and all the excruciatingly ugly economic and social pain that comes with it.
...For policies that lead to the greater good for the Constitution’s We the People, not the one-tenth of one percent of the people rich and powerful enough to by off Washington’s politicians.
...For policies that recognize the need for a moral reawakening as the only real solution to many of the nation’s serious problems.
...For policies in accord with the reality that the nation’s survival depends upon maintaining a strong, effective military and instituting a foreign policy based upon hard realities, not the illusions of megalomaniacal Pollyannas.
...For policies that reject the belief the nation can have all the restrictions of personal liberty it wants, all the nanny state programs it wants, all the printed money it wants, all the Federal Reserve Bank secrecy it wants, all the military welfare to foreign nations it wants, and all the undeclared and therefore unconstitutional wars it wants without destroying the America the Founders breathed into life with the Spirit of ‘76.
...For policies that mark the beginning of the end for the de facto judicial oligarchy that liberal activist judges have created with the insidious, power sucking stealth Thomas Jefferson warned us about.
Having thought about those critically important issues, we can complete the task of grasping the appropriateness of the election/war metaphor by considering these facts about Barack Obama:
...He has never proposed real, substantive cuts to the federal government but has continuously used the language of class division to propose expanding it, for instance, by adding 15,000 IRS agents to enforce his healthcare plan.
...He appointed a bipartisan debt commission only to summarily dismiss proposals offered by its bravest members, who accepted the job despite the often vile, perfectly stupid criticism they would receive.
...His 2012 budget contained a ten year plan proposing trillions in new taxes and an increase in debt from $14 trillion to $23 trillion or 65%.
...He was honest during his campaign to say that as president he would meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions but not so honest to inform us he would insult Israel’s prime minister by walking out on him in the White House.
...He has appointed two liberal activists to the Supreme Court, devotees to the kind of judicial “empathy” that now has the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment hanging by one vote.
The list of Barack Obama’s perverse ideas for a better America could go on. But what has been presented is sufficient to establish the validity of comparing an election to war, certainly when the social, political, and economic life of the nation is at stake.
Finally, there is this truth about the primaries:
The loser in November establishes no national economic policy; institutes no foreign policy; selects for approval no judges, cabinet members, or diplomats; signs no bills or vetoes any; and serves not as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief or its most visible, most powerful elected official.
That’s why just as General MacArthur was right about war, William F. Buckley was right when he said in primaries he voted not for the most conservative candidate but the most conservative candidate capable of . . .winning.
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