The Conservative Mandate
I’d like to think that this election was a referendum against passing bills before we find out what’s in them.
Okay, okay, we still have to deal with Barney Frank; chalk it up to America’s need for comic relief.
Am I excited that Jon Runyan is one of New Jersey’s newest Congressmen? What good Eagles fan wouldn’t be? But we need to remember that this midterm election wasn’t a game. This is as much of a mandate for conservative voters as it is for conservative politicians. 2012 is only two short years away and there is still a lot of work to do.
Election Day was a national holiday when I was growing up, and that isn’t just because we were off from school. It had nothing to do with being political. Simply put, Americanism was our way of life. My mother did not simply wave the flag; she collected them. My father proudly installed an in-ground flagpole in the center of our front yard and gave me a glimpse of his Air Force basic training as he taught me how to properly hang and fold a flag. On the Fourth of July, my grandfather would announce our arrival by blasting John Philip Sousa from his Hi-Fi at 8 am for the entire neighborhood to hear. Lest anyone wonder where those 76 trombones were coming from at such an ungodly hour, he would stand in front of the open garage door conducting the orchestra.
So, today, it felt only natural to me to dress in red, white, and blue, and to don my flag pin with pride. My husband, who grew up going to socialist camp every summer, looked at me like I was nuts. After we voted, he told me that he wrote me in for Congress. I asked him why he wouldn’t just vote for our current representative, especially since he had such a strong track-record for supporting Israel.
“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know anything about them.”
“But I told you about his record just yesterday. Admit it; even though the guy is a staunch supporter of Israel, you couldn’t bear to vote for a Republican.”
He gave me that knowing, “Yep, you’re right,” grin and followed it with, “Oh, I don’t know about any of them. They’re all rotten.”
Can we call it the Jon Stewart Effect? When you’re smacked in the face with truth, just give up and don’t care because, even though it is the truth, you can’t cross the status-quo.
Conservatives, we have our work cut out for us.
Conservative Generation-Y’ers, I’d suggest you head out to your local garden center and pick up a supply of those kneeling pads, because we’re going to spend a lot of time talking to God over the next two years. (If it’s any help, I’d like to think that at least He listens when we speak.)
The Senate is still a toss-up as I write this article, but I have the feeling even that will be a struggle. As Conservatives we have a responsibility to hold our elected officials accountable, not to march to the center of the aisle and beg, but to stand firm and refuse to cower in the face of, dare I quote Robert Reich, “bullying, name-calling, lying, intimidating, or violence,” or Cap and Trade, or any other thinly-veiled socialist legislation that comes their way.
Yet, as young Conservatives, we also have a deeper and even more pressing responsibility–to continue restoring the sense of Americanism that the majority of our generation has, perhaps, never even known. We must stand up against the apathy that plagues our peers. Thomas Paine wrote of summer patriots; today, we don’t need to worry about cold weather, we need to worry about cold hearts and minds frozen by an endless stream of career politicians, community organizers, stoned professors and pop culture elites who willfully encourage the youth of America not to give a damn, not to take responsibility for their own lives, and not to get involved in the world in which they live.
You cannot inspire leadership, but you can cultivate leaders who inspire. The Conservative movement has less than two years to generate a candidate who has the ability to inspire young Americans to think and do for themselves, to embrace the liberty 2010’s voters have felt slipping away since January of 2008. What Generation Y needs to find are the leaders within and to do that successfully they need role models to guide the way.
That is the real Conservative Mandate of 2010: Leadership. As James Monroe once said, “Political interest [can] never be separated in the long run from moral right.”