Olive Branch Politics

Getting Slapped in the Face by the Olive Branch in Your Hand

In The Mentality of Conservatism; The Conscience of America, I proposed that conservatism in government—particularly on the federal level—is no longer an option for us if we are to keep our Republic. Rather, conservatism is the necessary solution to so many of the issues that habitually and consistently plague American Exceptionalism—like government infringement, excessive taxes, fraud, waste, and abuse—all of which stem from prevailing liberal or progressive mindsets in Washington.

So, if we know conservatism works, why is it not the standard rather than the exception? Why is the conservative mentality not mainstream and permanently part of the American government psyche?

Simple. Republicans who think that “extending an olive branch across the aisle” is more important than standing for what they know is right have put conservatism on a political leper colony and made this all-important mindset something that most are afraid to touch—let alone embrace—and bring into mainstream political circles. We’ve found out that “reaching across the aisle,” when it comes to defending a conservative principle seldom amounts to anything other than a compromise—and while conservatism is strong, bold, and, in many respects is the very essence of Americanism, it is simultaneously fragile and easily damaged by compromise. Unless we’re extending our arms toward the left to jointly battle the evil triplets of fraud, waste, and abuse, Republicans should no longer be surprised that seeking cooperation from across the aisle in hopes of advancing conservative principles will always lead to us being slapped in the face with the very olive branch being offered.

Trying to Hit a Target We Can’t See

For those of us interested in solidifying a conservative mindset in Washington, however, we need two essential elements: 1. an unshakable vision that defines what the end state should look like, and 2. a modern day Elliot Ness and a band of conservative Untouchables who are willing to carry our ideology forward and not be moved off task by special interests, political correctness, or any other diversion that has successfully derailed previous efforts to reduce the size of government and eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse.

Right now, we have neither of these. Our efforts are like trying to hit a target we can’t see. Without a clearly focused vision, we’re shooting in the dark toward an area where we believe our target to be; without the right leadership, we have no chance of ever illuminating it. Worse yet, this present situation leaves us relying on hope that some current band of GOP hopefuls will step up and unabashedly clear the minefield of “politics as usual” so America can boldly move forward to new heights of clarity and exceptionalism. Unfortunately, as E Pluribus Unum points out, this oftentimes results in disappointment.

My Vision, My Goal

Liberals and Progressives have built a rosy vision around big-government, socialistic programs. Everything’s equal. No one is without health care. No one is hungry. No one is poor. No one has to work too hard, and no one exploits the efforts of anyone else. If it weren’t unrealistic and totally unsustainable, it really would sound great—for a little while, anyway. Then, when the laws of economics and nature take over and we find that the natural state of societal equilibrium will always be found in how well we manage the state of disequilibrium—and that the harder government tries to control this, the less control it actually has—the tenets of socialism once again succumb to the same fate that history has consistently chosen for it: complete failure.

My vision for the conservative movement in the United States, on the other hand, is realistic and is wholly sustainable. It’s based on the principles of liberty espoused by John Adams, the faith in self-determination that was tirelessly argued by Thomas Jefferson, the uniquely American confidence expressed by Andrew Jackson (“One man with courage makes a majority.”), and the limitless dreams of the human spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is the core of what conservatism stands for…and it’s the foundation from which we built a great nation.

My goal—our goal—is to resurrect conservatism…dare I say “Americanism”…from these tenets and once again make this the way we are, not just the way we were.

Bringing Conservatism Into the Light

The dilemma we face with respect to making this vision a reality is that “conservatism” has been stained by the mediocrity of “olive branch politics.” Americans haven’t seen—or experienced—REAL conservatism in at least a generation…if not more. When GOP lawmakers—the proclaimed vanguards of conservative principles—sacrifice conservatism at the altar of bigger government with the misguided hopes of bringing the left to “our side,” the American public is burdened with the consequences. This, in turn, sets a precedent that transcends generations, framing the “conservatives” in American politics as spineless, wishy-washy compromisers…

…and there’s nothing sexy about that.

The fact is, however, that when we show America—when we demonstrate to the world—the strength outlined in the vision of conservatism mentioned above, it will be widely embraced here at home and reverently respected across the globe. Done properly—that is, in accordance with the core principles of true conservatism and with leaders willing to fight the battles worth fighting—it will be unflappable in the face of social, economic, and ideological threats, and it will eternally remain the single greatest tool in guaranteeing the long-term growth of American Exceptionalism.

And what of the olive branch? I suggest we cut the tree down, remove the stump, and plant the seed of real conservative leadership in its place.

It’s our time to deliver this message. It’s our moment to lead. I’m ready to go…who’s with me?