This has been the most grueling election of my life. Granted, I’m not that old. However, I can assure you that through the years of being in the political arena my convictions have been tested. But, I’ve never been tested like I’m being tested now.
I’ve never been more aware of how easy taking the path of least resistance could be. The cost has been high. I wake up with it and I go to bed with it. And I’m seeing previously staunchly principled conservatives either wobble or cave from the pressure.
As a lover of history, I’m reading the life of Thomas Jefferson and his daughter, Abigail Jefferson. It’s been a poignant and devastating reminder of what our Founding Fathers sacrificed in order to build this shining city upon a hill. They surrendered lives of comfort, abandoned successful careers and fortunes, left the contentment of their homes and their loved ones, and resigned themselves to death…all for the sake of liberty.
And then I reflect on how this election has been a pruning. The smaller branches went first. Many of the previous “Tea Party” leaders who used that platform to build names for themselves, some with well-lined pockets, and book deals that came with their Tea Party pulpits were some of the first to whore out their principles.
These people were the exact opposite in character for “what made America great”—not the faux-orange-tinged prototype slogan used to grab easily manipulated voters obsessed with celebrity personality.
No, these men and women were the paradoxical versions of our Founding Fathers. They traded their principles for fame, fortune, and celebrity. Some did it for a large paycheck, others did it for seats at the White House Correspondence Dinners, ‘surrogate’ positions, dozens of weekly hits on national television, and spots in Glamour magazine.
These people…these men and women?… No, they will go down in history- NOT as lovers of liberty…but as lovers of self.
And then we had the high hanging limbs. Those who resisted strongly to fall in line with populism during the primary. They were the ones who said, “We’ve got your back. We will never support this fraud. He is a ‘cancer’ to our party.” And within seconds of the primary ending, began envisioning their possible new home in the Vice President’s mansion. Men who were former Governors, sitting Senators, and now struggling to stay relevant saw themselves in important and comfortable Cabinet positons.
And one by one, they caved. Chris Christie. Rick Perry. Rand Paul. Bobby Jindal.
They had spent months mocking and deriding Trump supporters as being conned and easily manipulated voters without conservative thought or principle and now they have joined their ranks, becoming one of the pandered to. Proving to American voters, exactly WHY we don’t trust them.
Sellouts. Leaving us wondering… Where have all the good men gone?
Well, the good men are still here. The tree is now solid. The branches are cleaned of dead debris and fruitless wood. The branches left are strong and tested.
I’m in proud company. Ranks of men and women who have been put through hell and are standing strong. These are the people who didn’t cave to peer pressure, who couldn’t be bought off with promises of deals and popularity. They are who you want standing with you when the going gets tough, blood has been drawn, and the wounds run deep.
Why? Because one day this will be behind us. The Republican party may disintegrate. The former planks once worth fighting for (even though imperfectly represented at times) will have been redrawn and re-branded into something shameful and unrecognizable.
But the Conservative movement will rise again. And there will be a new generation of conservative leadership emerging. One that is credit-worthy, proven, and dependable.