A Serious Op-Ed by Nick Taxia, Duh Progressive
Anyone who knows anything about the human immune system knows something of how HIV/AIDS works. Roughly, once a T-Cell gets infected with the virus, it mutates, turns toxic, produces the virus again, and dies. Other T-Cells that rush to combat the infection suffer the same fate. In essence, the immune system enters a sort of civil war, a war that renders the human body unable to defend itself against diseases and germs, leaving a person so vulnerable that catching a simple cold could spell death.
This past year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was by far the most contentious out of the four I have attended. I left CPAC 2012 wondering how we could ever win in November. …Now, nine months later, I realize: we have a virus. We are sick. The Republican Party … has AIDS.
In fact, the entire political Right has AIDS. And just like the real virus, ours is also behavior-driven, self-inflected, internally deteriorating, and is leaving us with no ability to defend against outside attacks from “hostile elements.”
At 2012’s CPAC I saw the virus of discontent, even hatred, not towards the Left, but towards ourselves; Santorum supporters marching around trying to out-shout the Newt supporters; Ron Paul supporters running around decrying the Santorum supporters; Romney’s people hating Newt people; (not to mention the single issue folks; flat-taxes vs. lower taxes; pro-life vs. pro-pot, etc.). People who agreed on 90% refused to coalesce due to the 10% they disagreed upon. It was mass political suicide on display. I was witnessing the death of the Right’s immune system. We were so divided that we came to display the favorite trait with which the Left charges us – intolerance. For every angry, red-eyed “infected” person someone tried to level with, that person too became infected, expelling the same frustration, anger, and inability to unify. The Right had come down with a case of political AIDS.
Obama did not win so much because his supporters were united as we lost because we were divided; too busy fighting amongst each other to come together and defend ourselves from those who wish to crush our values, our wealth, everything that made America great.
Despite massive crowds at Romney rallies and predictions of a Romney win, 3,000,000 Republicans stayed home November 6th. To the libertarian wing of the Right, Romney was a candidate to vote for “if I get around to it” (if to vote for at all). To many Evangelicals, Romney’s Mormonism caused unease and so also turned him into a “if I get around to it” candidate. To single issue voters, Romney’s history on issues such as state–run healthcare, gay marriage, Israel, abortion, the war on drugs, illegal immigration, etc., left him not worth voting for. And I say: boo-freaking-hoo! Never until November 6th have I seen so many willing to throw away so much because someone representing them disagrees with them on so little.
Political AIDS: Aftermath, Treatment, Perhaps Even a Cure?
We did not lose a war with the Left on November 6th. We lost a war with ourselves. The unprecedented polarizing presidency of Barack Obama has splintered us into paranoid shards of party and movement, each becoming ever more distrusting and disdainful of the other. Social conservatives vs. fiscal conservatives, libertarians vs. GOP moderates, moderates vs. the Religious Right and libertarians, Tea Partiers v. “the establishment” … This is anarchy! This is political AIDS.
Liberals have united, they know what they want. Conservatives have divided; we no longer know what we exactly want or how to get it. Can we even agree on what “conservatism” is anymore?
We on the Right must (a.) reach a general consensus on the issues of the day, (b.) rediscover our maturity; re-learn how to enthusiastically support someone we may not always agree with, and (c.) find a way to market our vision to groups that have leaned Democrat for generations — the young, the college educated, women, minorities, etc. For I hate to break it, but gone are the days when dressing up as Continental soldiers, waving Gadsden flags and talking about the Founders makes average Americans teary-eyed.
If there is one thing Nov. 6th showed us, it is that Americans no longer are voting out of love for America; they’re voting out of love (more like pity) for themselves. To the average voter, dressing up as a Minuteman and talking about the Federalist Papers is not an expression of patriotism (to the extent they recognize and appreciate patriotism). Contrarily, it comes across as creepy, elaborate swan songs of a movement and people whose time has passed; the majority being older, Caucasian, non-urban-dwelling men (i.e. people who share the ethno-cultural heritage of the Founders and thus are more inclined to relate to their ideals).
Reality: we’re going to have to do a better job of branching out to those who bear no ethno-cultural likeness to George Washington, and persuade all peoples that our beliefs can benefit them personally, instead for the ideological/love-of-country reasons we would prefer. It is not pandering; it is a matter of rewording, rebranding, and marketing them to people who descend from backgrounds unrelated to the (Western) culture which promulgated them. Such is the price of political survival under multiculturalism.
However none of this “rebranding” can happen if we don’t, ironically, first reevaluate what we believe ourselves. Personally, I think it will take at least another generation for the Right to regroup, find that consensus, end our civil war, and unify to where we can again persuade the politically apathetic, moderate, and soft Democrat to our side. But before anything, our civil war must end. Unlike the real virus, ”GOP HIV” can be cured; our immune system restored, our unity rebuilt.
We can either cure ourselves of the virus of disunity and survive, or remain fractured and go extinct. It’s up to us. Can we do it?