What a month it’s been for conservatives, during which the most chilling aspect has been the circular firing squad, with conservatives blaming and pointing fingers at one another. McConnell, Cruz, Rubio, McCain, Lee, King, FreedomWorks, HeritageAction, Jeb Bush, Rand… we are, in a nutshell, ‘all over the place.’
The MSM is, naturally, cheering on the infighting, not so subtly proclaiming it a shattered movement with no clear goal.
Circular firing squad and internal squabbling notwithstanding, perhaps now is a good time for a reminder of what conservatives — whether grassroots/Tea Party or GOP ‘Beltway’ establishment — still have in common:
1) ObamaCare. While we may disagree on strategy, or the wisdom of the ‘shutdown,’ we proclaim, in unison, our opposition to this ever-flawed legislation, as well as the need to scale it back as much as possible or outright repeal it.
2) Unions: Find a conservative who loves ’em and I’ll show you a Cuban who doesn’t use their hands when they speak.
3) Stemming the tide of speech-police, politically-correct crowd: whether it’s being the voice of reason the Redskins controversy, or reminding others that Paula Deen probably isn’t evil incarnate.
4) Affirmative action: a policy long-proven to harm rather than help, based on outdated notions of fairness, and preventing us from moving towards a color-blind society, is one we still openly combat.
5) Second Amendment rights: Sure, there are some moderates who would like to see the AR-15 outlawed. But, for the most part, the vast majority of conservatives — including the ‘establishment’ — agree on the sacred right of self-defense through arms.
6) Fiscal responsibility. Raisin’ the roof (debt ceiling) or costly entitlement programs? No, that’s usually the realm of the other side.* (*Bush years notwithstanding — much like Rocky V, in my mind, it didn’t happen.)
7) Taxes. Obvious. Moving on!
8) Class warfare. (See taxes, above.)
9) the man-made climate change hoax. There is still an incredibly united front on refusing to indulge the nonsense of man-made climate change and to pass on those costs to already burdened consumers.
10) Fighting for the right of religious expression. Who’s that battling to preserve a cross in a public park? Usually conservatives, of all stripes.
11) Veterans’ rights. Yes, we’re all patriots, even liberals. But when it comes down to truly fighting for veterans’ rights and our troops, versus discomfort with calling fallen soldiers “heroes,” that’s our realm.
12) Tort reform? Want to really bring down healthcare costs? Why not focus on the out-of-control civil suits? The Right generally agrees — the Left scoffs.
and last but not least…
13) Smaller government.
(Admittedly, there are a few GOP’ers that serve as an exception on each and everyone one of these but, let’s go with an 80%-or-greater-agreement-counts-as-‘unified’ measuring stick, alright?)
Thus, I ask you — are conservatives really that fragmented?
And, should the current circular firing squad be treated with ridicule, or praised as the sign of a movement that does not march lock-step?
What you call a circular firing squad, I call the sign of an intellectually vibrant movement.
Let’s focus on what unites us rather than divides — 2014 awaits.