This is not necessarily a bad thing.
If one will sit back and look at the two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans, there is one stark difference. It is not ideology, it is mathematical division.
Are the Democrats always in 100% lockstep agreement? Of course not, but their arguments usually occur during the primary process and behind the scenes. Then they do a photo op for the press and unify behind the winner, be that a person or an idea.
Republicans frequently air their differences in public, as well as behind the scenes; the leadership will then make a decision and tell the rest of us to shut up and fall in line. This, of course, manifests itself at the voting booth, and this upcoming election is not really anything new. I believe it has the appearance of being worse simply because of social media.
The Democrats and Republicans have a fundamental difference beyond ideology; Democrats band together for the common good of the party, while Republicans do not. This distinction is important. For the most part Democrats like “parts” of the constitution and deplore others, but in general they despise that the constitution restrains, rather than empowers government. Though there is great disagreement within the party as to what to do and how to do it, they eagerly accept the mantra, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The bottom line is they continue to move in the direction most want, the variable is just the speed at which they travel.
The Republicans, not so much. The reason is in the ideology; not all Republicans have the same general ideology. I recently wrote an article questioning who we are, looking at progressives vs. conservatives in the party. There is a distinct section of the Republican Party that is progressive, believing government has answers and should be used to control power and behavior. There is also a constitutional arm of the Republican Party and a Libertarian arm. In many cases the constitutional and libertarian groups overlap considerably, and tend to work together. The constitutional and libertarian arms should not and cannot work together with the progressives because they are diametrically opposed, as in oil and water.
People who hold the Constitution dear and vital to our very survival are under constant attack from fellow “conservatives” since Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee. They are constantly told they have to jump on the train for the good of the party, that to vote for anyone but Trump, or to not vote at all, is the same as voting for Hillary, or whoever takes her place after her indictment. Laura Ingraham has turned on those who find issues with Trump and are loathe to vote for him. Ann Coultermakes a living from being brash and berating those with whom she disagrees; she has been her typical vicious self towards those who indicate that Trump may be as bad as Hillary, or even worse. And there’s Sean Hannity, who claims to be a conservative and not a Republican, but favors party rule over the constitution every time. These are just three of the higher profile pundits among the dozens of editorialists and commentators who incessantly bash those who dare to stick to values and principles, who when given the option of eating arsenic or drinking hemlock tea, say “no thanks” to either.
Do constitutionalists and true conservatives have a valid point? Are the principles upon which they stand legitimate? If we are arguing over whether to build roads out of asphalt or concrete then we need to come to a consensus and get the job completed. We are looking, however, at things far more invasive to our liberties. From forced participation in health insurance to transgender access to school bathrooms and locker rooms, government increasingly forces itself into our daily lives. The problem is, many so-called conservatives actually welcome this intrusion. For instance, does it bother you to hear a candidate say they will repeal and replace Obamacare? Repeal, yes. Replace is just a substitution, swapping one over-reaching government program for another. They defend and even start social programs, such as the Bush prescription drug plan.
Each time government steps over its enumerated powers, it violates its contract with the states and the people. Does it matter how much it violates it? A departure is a departure and exceeding enumerated powers is a departure. If your spouse were to stray and commit adultery, would it matter if they hadrelations with one or three? There is no greater violation of trust in a marriage than that of adultery. Scripture is replete with examples of God comparing Israel to one that leaves its betrothed and goes to a harlot. When politicians promise to be true to the constitution, to honor it, protect it, defend it, and then violate the very essence of the document, is that any different? Do they not “play the harlot” as well? How many hookers or gigolos can our spouse visit before we say enough? And what if before we marry, our prospective spouse informs us ahead of time they plan to have other lovers?
With Hillary Clinton we know exactly who and what we will get. What of Donald Trump? Trump has recently come out in favor of raising a national minimum wage, just like Hillary. This is a clear violation of the enumerated powers of every branch of government in addition to the traditional Republican platform. He said he could and would self-fund his campaign. In reality he “loaned” his campaign money and paid himself back with donations…plus interest. He now says he will use public funding, our tax dollars, for the election process. If while you were engaged to your spouse they had lied in such a way, would you have gone through with the marriage? Trump belittled Cruz for borrowing from Goldman Sachs (against the collateral of his investment account,) as having ties to that “evil” company that Heidi had also worked for. Then he hired a former CEO of a Sachs partner with ties to George Soros, but I guess now Goldman Sachs is a good company with which to align. Now it turns out his tax plan and immigration plans were just ideas, starting points for negotiations, i.e. deals.
“But Hillary will be worse,” we are told. Marry the one who will only have a few affairs on you rather than the one who will have dozens. “But this is not a marriage, you are going to get a president no matter what. At least pick the ‘least bad’ one.”
When will we learn? Ever? Before everything is lost? What if we all fall in lockstep as do the Democrats and vote for the nominee? We need the party unity, our odds are better for Supreme Court nominees if we all just play along. Live to fight another day. I suggest we are at the point when “another day” will not come. If we do not stand on principle, then who? If not now, when? Who will put their finger in the dike? Who will stand in the gap? Someone has to draw a line in the sand and say “no more.” As Molon Labe signifies the second amendment line in the sand, so must a similar line be drawn for the election.
King Leonidas of Sparta lost the Battle of Thermopylae, but he and his fellow soldiers are immortalized for standing against the Persian hordes that threatened their liberty. Had they not stood firm, they would have been enslaved, as will we.