I sit here drinking an Acme California Pale Ale and watching Casino while my son takes a nap, as I am wont to do, and I’ve been reading through the archives here on The Children Of The Revolution (I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, by the way, and I hope all of you did too). I published an article on Monday, A Republic Corrupted, that has drawn a bit of attention and scrutiny, not least from me. I prefaced the article by saying that I had hesitated to even publish it, which is very true, and as I look at the response it has drawn, I now regret having done so. I don’t regret it because it has drawn criticism (what the hell kind of conservative would I be if I cared about criticism?), but because the response has been entirely focused on how we continue as a movement, how we win the national debate, and how we rescue our republic from the slow, wretched death that I predicted in the article itself. I was wrong to have taken the low road and thrown up my hands in defeat. I was wrong to despair. And I was wrong to write an article that was essentially a bunch of whining. The article was a betrayal of the spirit in which this blog was created in the first place.

This is not to say that I retract everything I said in the article. I wouldn’t have written it in the first place if I didn’t feel that a large part of it was true, and it is. Our republic is in mortal peril, and it may well end up on a slab if we continue on our current trajectory. I am gravely concerned about it. There are undue limits to our freedom that have become institutions in our country, and I still believe these wrongs may never be righted. We may never return to the level of freedom that our Constitution is meant to safeguard. Nevertheless we have to stand up for what’s left of our republic, because if we allow it to slip away, we’ll find no such promise of freedom in any other corner of the world. We cannot and should not walk away from the fight that is required of us in order to prevent disaster. If we do that then we guarantee the loss of our country. That is unacceptable.

Some of you, including contributors to this very blog, were quick to counter my misery with words of encouragement and hope (I hate that that word has become so cheapened by political pageantry). This encouragement wasn’t a simple pat on the back, empty and unreassuring. Rather, it was reasoned and intelligent advice as to where we go from here, how we stem the tide of corruption that is eroding our collective freedom, and what is required of us as conservatives. I reveled in this response. I loved it. This is the heart and soul of our movement: cautious optimism, intelligent debate and dedication to the preservation of liberty. And I understood that, without this blog and other blogs (that is to say, the open discourse between us that these blogs make possible), I may well have turned into a
crass and bitter nihilist (with or without a marmot). As it is, my optimism is building. Why? Because if a conservative in San Francisco whom I’ve never met can keep hope alive, then we all owe it to each other to pick up the standard and march on.
And that's the point. Whatever the best way to advance the cause of freedom going forward, the one certainty is that we'll have to do it together. We must be unified, if not in absolute ideology (pro-life or pro-choice, religious or atheist) then in the ultimate goal of enabling Americans to make as many decisions for themselves as possible without undue interference from our government. To those of you out there who have a blog and are like-minded, if only in the pursuit of open, respectful debate, I encourage you to network aggressively, linking to those blogs that you feel have something of value to offer (check out COTR's "Blogs of Note" section). Let's keep the conversation going and include as many people as possible.


littleCog said...

We all lose the faith from time to time. Real conservatism requires grit, hard work, and constant debate. We cannot make laws about what we believe, we must convince, cajole, and challenge our peers to accept it. We cannot fall into the trap of writing to the choir, we cannot become arrogant or cynical or we risk losing our audience. Keep up the great work. If you need to set it down from time to time, that's what the rest of us are for.


littleCog said...

Oh, and this was my response to your earlier article