At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Abraham Lincoln spoke these words to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois in 1838. They have been much on my mind lately. The election victory of a man like Barack Obama, with views that contradict all the self-evident truths our Constitution is based upon, portends the suicide of democratic self-government. Now the Republicans have elected a national chairman whose utter indifference to those same principles confirms the suicide of the Republican Party. Consider the following exchange:
WALLACE: You are one of the co-founders of something called the Republican Leadership Council...
WALLACE: ... which supports candidates who favor abortion and gay rights.
WALLACE: Does the GOP need to do a better job of reaching out to people who hold those views?
STEELE: I think — I think that's an important opportunity for us, absolutely, because within our party we do have those who have that view as well as outside.
And my partnership with Christy Todd Whitman was an effort to hopefully build a bridge between moderates and conservatives in the party. I'm a pro-life Roman Catholic conservative, always have been.
WALLACE: You also support a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
STEELE: That's right. And the reality of it is this, because I don't think we should muck around with the Constitution. We can deal with that at the state level, OK? That's my personal view.
But the reality of it is the party has to recognize the diversity of opinion that's out there. And we're not going to get everyone to agree with the — Ronald Reagan said it best. If you agree with me 80 percent of the time, I think that's good enough. I mean, I think we can move forward on that 80 percent.
So there are some 80-percent issues out there that we can work with those within our party and outside our party and create a new bridge and a new opportunity. That was my involvement with the RLC, and I'm very happy about that.
WALLACE: But just to press on this...
WALLACE: ... if you believe — if someone believes in a woman's right to choose, if someone believes in gay civil rights, where's the 80 percent agreement with the Republican Party?
STEELE: It could be — it could be on our — on economics.
WALLACE: No, but I'm talking about on those issues.
STEELE: Well, you know, see — now, Chris, you've just defined — you've just defined the world in which there are issues. You've just narrowed — you've just narrowed my scope to two issues.
WALLACE: No, I'm just saying on those issues, is there 80 percent agreement?
STEELE: Well, if there — if that's the 20 percent they disagree with us on, let's work on the 80 percent where they agree with us. That's my point.
I'm not going to allow anyone to define the issues for us and say, "Well, these are the only two issues that really matter." There's a whole range of issues out there in which we can address the American people and the American people can come to our table.
Michael Steele proudly proclaims his role in founding an organization dedicated to supporting candidates who favor abortion and gay "rights." Though he calls himself a "pro-life Roman Catholic conservative" the new GOP chair shows no sympathy with the reasoning that justifies the moral views associated with the label. In his world, some people feel one way, some people another, with no sense or reason for what they do. Though he later declares "you don't give up on your basic principles," and speaks of "the core principles of this party" he cavalierly belittles the issue of respect for the unalienable right to life, an issue that directly involves the core principles of justice the United States is founded upon. Steele speaks of the deepest issues of moral concern with all the blithe indifference of a confirmed moral relativist. This attitude is characteristically liberal, not conservative. Its appearance in him tends to destroy the credibility of his conservative claims.
Are no issues more important than others? Was Abe Lincoln wrong when he broke with the Whig politicians who professed to oppose slavery, but supported slaveholders' rights? Was he wrong when he opposed the U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision depriving enslaved black Americans of the right to escape their oppressors? Would Steele chide Lincoln for wanting to "muck around with the Constitution" rather than "deal with that [slavery] at the state level." How can it be that the black American's unalienable right to liberty must be decided as a matter of national principle, but the unalienable right to life of every mother's child can be left to the will and whim of majorities at the State level?
Lincoln thought the issue of unalienable right involved in slavery so important that it justified a grievous war, even if that war continued "until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid with another drawn with the sword." What then of the unalienable right to life, and the millions of lives taken by gruesome abortion? Michael Steele apparently thinks that such issues of principle aren't worth losing a vote over. So Lincoln must have been mad or evil to ask so many to risk and lose their lives.
But if Lincoln was wrong, what about G. W. Bush? After 9/11 he embarked on a war against the practitioners of terror declaring that "It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated." He said that the terrorists "hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other." He saw them as "the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies."
Bush appeared to believe, as Lincoln did, that the defense of unalienable rights deserves the highest priority, especially against those who are "sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions." But now it seems the Republican Party has abandoned that sense of priority. Now it seems, the rows of white crosses in our military cemeteries do not mark the graves of those who gave all for truths that deserved their all. Rather they mark the graves of patriot suckers who went all in with the odds at twenty percent, for issues that shouldn't stand in the way of winning the next election.
The Republican Party was once the party of national principle, rallying those who sought to preserve the truthful sense of justice that gave every person a claim to government based upon consent, government constrained to act within limits defined by right, not might. Contrary to the malicious caricatures used to malign their positions, this was the source of the Republican preference for limited government, not greedy selfishness and calculation. Politicians lie when they promise a government that provides for our needs. But even if they could fulfill the promise, the concentration of power and control assembled to achieve such a result would crush the rights and therefore the initiative and enterprise of the people. Consider the devastating effects of welfare on the family structure, work ethic and general moral character of the communities government claims to help. (I do this at length in my book entitled Masters of the Dream.) Is it an accident that politicians seeking that kind of pervasive control over the nation take positions on critical moral issues that encourage selfish hedonism and moral lassitude? People preoccupied with themselves, and their endlessly clamoring passions, give up the firm character needed to sustain their liberty. They then pose few obstacles to ambitious elites who manipulate their fearful desires in order to distract from the degradation of their spirit, fortitude and courage. Thus does government of, by and for the people perish from the earth.
The people who claim to agree with the Republican preference for limited government, but who reject the moral principles that justify it, are either woefully ignorant or skillfully disingenuous. The experience of the last twenty years suggests that it's the latter. The very people who abandoned the principles of liberty when it comes to protecting the unalienable right to life have now supinely surrendered to the march of socialist economic policies that will consolidate government control of the economy and put liberty on the path to extinction. They falsely declare their readiness to defend every leaf and branch of economic freedom while quietly collaborating with the liberal assault on our national principles, an assault that will destroy such freedom at its root.
Michael Steele represents and speaks for them. Even their supposed pragmatism is deceptive. Steele quotes Reagan about people who "agree with me 80 percent of the time." Steele says "I think that's good enough. I mean I think we can move forward on that 80 percent." But what people is he talking about? On the immigration issue, for instance, 80 or ninety percent of the American people oppose the amnesty approach and want our borders secure and our immigration laws enforced. But in 2008 the Republican Party chose a standard bearer who disagreed with them, siding instead with globalists and economic special interests, who doubtless agreed with McCain on this "80 percent issue" though opposed by 80 percent of the people. A similar majority of the people opposed the failed 700 billion dollar bank bailout, but the Republicans in the Congress abandoned them, siding instead with the globalists and economic special interests who doubtless agree with the Congress on this "80 percent issue" though opposed by 80 percent of the people. Steele speaks for the 80 percent, alright, but its 80 percent of the arrogant, self-serving power and money elite who seem intent on toppling government of by and for the people.
The bailout represented a giant leap into socialism for America, but the Michael Steele Republicans hadn't the backbone to stand against it. Now that socialism is underway, they hope to win votes by posturing as the opponents of the pork-laden stimulus plans intended in fact to consolidate the dependency of our people upon government largess. But when the real crunch comes, I suspect the "80 percenters" will once again find a way reluctantly, regretfully, predictably to surrender. Steele says his business is winning, but how can the GOP win when it refuses to fight for and represent a winning majority of the people on issue after issue? There is a victory to be won, but only by leaders who will stand 100 percent for America's principles, America's sovereignty, and American freedom.
The Michael Steele Republicans are the obstacle to this victory. How long shall we indulge them with this two-party charade? The two parties actually cooperate to serve one goal- a controlling power elite that can run rough shod over the majority on any issues that contradict its will to power. Though the Republicans claim to battle for the things so many believe, their purported display of political martial arts has become a predictable routine of bluster, retreat and surrender. Tragically, steel is exactly what they lack. They're not fighting the Democrats. They're dancing with them, and it's a dance of death for liberty, for conscience and for truth.