As is usually the case after an election, those who were defeated are feeling morose and those who won are rubbing it in. It’s not a very fun time for those who are engaged in the nation’s never-ending political debate, but it’s not a reason to give up on that debate.
The election nationally, for Republicans and conservatives, wasn’t a good one (to put it mildly). I’m getting a lot of messages from readers who are sounding very defeatist, seeing little point to keeping up the fight.
This message from a Facebook fan of SAB, sent to me privately, was perhaps the most poignant:
I have decided to take a different direction with my life after this election that does not include social media. As I go forward, I am unhappy with the thought of the system that is slowly being put in place by our president, senate, and house of representatives. Since I cannot change the direction of the world as one person on facebook, it is has become time to worry about my family first and it is has also become time to prepare for the hard times I feel are on the horizon. The America I was born into was a country of hard workers. We now have a government content with borrowing 40 cents of every dollar spent to provide for people who, in my opinion, do not want to work—they just want. Unfortunately this is the America my children and I will have to live in.
I can understand the frustration, and the feelings of helplessness. But one election isn’t a good reason to give up on good ideas. If we know that bigger, more expansive, more expensive and more powerful government doesn’t work then we, as citizens in this republic, have the duty to oppose those policies. That is the price of living in a society with participatory government.
“Never give in,” said Winston Churchill during a speech in the midst of the Nazi bombardment of England. “Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
We are not at war with our friends on the left, and they are not our enemies. But we are in a battle of ideas, and we shouldn’t shrink from that battle because we some races on election day.
Change your mind? Find different values and priorities? Sure. We all change over time. But don’t stop engaging. Don’t stop talking to your friends and your family. How our nation – how our states and counties and townships and cities – are governed is of the utmost importance.
Participating in that isn’t a hobby. It isn’t a game you play on blogs and Facebook. It’s your civic duty. And the battle of ideas will go on, whether you participate or not.