Why a Conservative Victory is not Enough

V0040807 Two men are using a plank over a large log as a see-saw. EngThe latest elections proved beyond a doubt that America is a conservative nation.

Despite everything, conservative ideas still resonate strongly with many Americans and definitely have a future. But a simple victory is not enough.

This is because the present victory does not explain everything. While conservatives just won in 2014, they lost in 2012, and 2008. The nation is polarized and we experience the see-saw cycle of elections that violently oscillates between the two major parties.

The problem is that America is a conservative nation but not necessarily a traditional one. We like to “conserve” and rightly enjoy our comfortable and prosperous way of life. We desire to “conserve” frozen and immobile a vision of America where all agree to get along while each freely pursues his own happiness. The left and right both present their own version of this America. Thus the see-saw battles of the last decades represent a “conservative” phenomenon regardless of who wins.

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The country might be likened to a boat. When liberals bring everyone over to their side of the vessel in an election, it starts to list dangerously to the left. This prompts the ship’s passengers to pull to the right in the next election to stabilize and keep the ship balanced and comfortable.

As long as the ship was in calm seas and shifts small, such an arrangement appears to have worked well. Prior to the seventies, the two political parties, although different, played by the rules of not rocking the boat too much. They managed to maintain the balance that allowed for smooth navigation and good times aboard.

However, beginning in the sixties, America started to navigate in troubled water. The consensus to play by the rules was broken. We lost our moral compass and the ship was left dangerously adrift toward chaos. Violent shifts on the left destabilized our American order which led to strong and very essential reactions on the right. Polarization has set in as each side reacted to the other with greater intensity. Every election becomes a must-win proposition; each one more important than the last.


Thus, see-saw battles take place. When conservatives call for sacrifices, less deficits or moral restraints to remedy liberal excesses and license, electorates often pull back and embrace the liberal cause anew.

On the surface, this seems to have happened in the 2014 elections as Obamacare and other issues represented a violent lurch to the left and the public reacted with a massive shift to the right to restabalize the country and return to normality.

However, this was not a normal election. Neither port nor starboard captured the imagination of the electorate. The electorate was sullen, stupefied, and absent. There was a profound and fundamental discontent in all sectors against all parties. Voters questioned not just the angle of the deck but the rudderless course that the nation is following as we head into a storm.

One could sense fears in the electorate that go beyond ship deck politics. On the horizon are the storms of ISIS, Ebola and economic collapse. There is moral decay in the family, community and Church that is the cause of much affliction. Above all, there is the unsettling sense that the comfortable normalcy that we have tried so hard to “conserve” over the decades has been hollowed out – and there is nothing to replace it.

And that is why a conservative victory now is not enough. Conservatives need to address the important issue of where we need to go—the course of the ship. We do not need the safety of value-neutral employment schemes or financial stimuli that are already being promised by opportunists capitalizing on the elections.

We cannot continue sidestepping important moral issues that are essential to the survival of the nation. We must free ourselves of the illusion that victory consists of avoiding anything controversial.

Now is the time to reflect and debate ideas as to the course we must choose. If we take this time to articulate those principles, ideas, and moral values around which we might rally, we will position ourselves to weather the storms and return to order.Subscription11

If however conservatives fail to plot a course, they will condemn themselves to yet more see-saw battles where the electorate will award the prize to the party that gives them the most advantages—whether it be tax breaks, entitlement benefits or any other modern “bread and circus” programs.

We need to have the daring to transcend the “unheroic” standards of our comfortable materialism.

Americans want direction not ambiguity. The future belongs to those with the courage to brave unpopularity, take calculated risks and reject political correctness. They must be willing to admit there is a moral right and wrong. Above all, they must not be afraid to get on their knees and ask God’s help and blessings upon America.

  • jrj90620

    Many,maybe most voters aren’t even qualified to be voting.They haven’t a clue about how an economy works or what a govt should be.They just vote their short term greed.As long as this continues and probably gets worse,there isn’t much hope.

    • Phyl

      Economy?? That is not what this election was all about!!! It was the killing of unborn babies! It was the right to marry the same sex!. It was the IRS targeting christian groups! It was the EPA putting animals before the farmers! It was the corruption of the FDA trying to stifel nutrition and good clean farming and giving us GMO’s to eat pesticides. This is just a sampling of what is going wrong./
      On the economic side -getting congress out of the till of the soc. security fund. We need to put decent people in congress that won’t pull another Freddie Mac on the housing industry! It is getting everyone to pay their FAIR SHARE of taxes. and disbanning the IRS. We need to pass the FAIR TAX plan so prostitutes, gambling casinos, drug dealers, and all other illegal activities pay taxes also etc, etc..
      And if someone doesn’t know what’s going on ecomcally – teach them!
      NOW WHAT WE REALLY NEED is congress to wake up and fix these things. The republicans have had their chance before and done nothing!
      WRITE CALL VISIT THEIR OFFICES!! and tell them to fix these things NOW and then PRAY That is the most important thing we all need to do. We call us a christian nation ——-PROVE IT!!!

      • CA

        It’s all those things and more. They’re not mutually exclusive. We MUST protect babies, marriage, families AND stop stealing from the next gen. in the name of “economics.” But our churches MUST start teaching/preaching on all these issues. Economic theft and handouts and dependency on big donors who don’t practice their faith have biased them on speaking out, so the money matters, too.

        We need bold pastors, not silent go-alongs. Taking gov. money is wrong and has biased corrupted our own leaders. Some of the bigger, Cafeteria Catholic NGOs like CRS and NY-Catholic Charities take grant monies, gov monies, rich faux-catholic libs, etc. and hire people who aren’t even Catholic and don’t even preach Catholicism as they help the needy.

        So DO write your pols, but encourage your pastors, bishops and religious leaders too, to lead. Telling them to preach on abortion, marriage, etc. AND stop burning through hard-earned money from already-over-extended faithfuls while remaining silent on abortion, bc, etc.

  • Grizzly

    There are two issues at stake here.

    1. God is in Control. As spoken in the Bible, times like these will come as we slip further and further into drugs, alcohol, sensuality and hedonism – as the Bible cites “rejoice” for your redemption draws nigh.

    2, God has allowed foreign countries to destroy us from within, as a former world leader cited, we as a nation will be destroyed within by a lack of morality as mentioned above starting with our youth.

  • Catholic and American

    America as founded is Constitutional, but not “conservative” per se. It simply acknowledges God and that our inalienable rights come from HIM, not Uncle Sam or EITHER party. It acknowledges the TRUTH that freedom is everyone’s God-given right AND responsibility, American or not. “Pursuit” of happiness, never meant license nor equal outcomes. Our Constitution didn’t dismiss our own individual Catholic subsidiarity and solidarity responsibilities, which we as Catholics must balance and we are not.

    If it can be done locally, it should be, not via “cause marketing,” “mega-groups,” redistribution of wealth, etc. all rampant within our Church. Big gov. Big charity. Big healthcare. Big church double-dipping and taking tithe, Fed money and NGO money for its missions, while not applying orthodox Catholic principles. Too many cooks. Too many chiefs within the Church are part of the problem.

    Departure from America’s founding principles is a problem. But also our own failure to preach, practice and enforce TRUE Church teaching, to promote frequent confession, Mass, sacraments, rosary etc. Poorly catechized, scandalous Cafeteria CATHOLICS elected and empowered unethical pols in BOTH parties. Let’s fix that AND save America as founded, not blame “America or “conservatism” for imposters, weak leadership and problems within our Church.

  • Ryan

    I don’t feel qualified to vote. I’m not a good judge of character. I have trouble telling if I’m being lied to or not. So, I’ll leave the voting for those who can better discern the character of others.

    On another note, the US Constitution mentions “God”, but did the founding fathers mean the Trinitarian God that we Catholics worship or rather some sort of watchmaker god who created the universe, but then left everything up to us? That seems like an important distinction.

    • CA

      Just do a little homework in advance. Ask trustworthy sources like Priests for Life, EWTN, ALL, Concerned Women for America, pro-life groups, etc for recommendations. Most print easy Voter Guides and endorsements. Simply call or email, and ask. (Proabortion candidates are disqualified, as abortion is an intrinsic evil.) Here’s a ‘how to’ guide from Catholic Answers: politicalresponsibility.com/voterguide.htm You can also Google “Sample Ballot” for your location and research that in advance. Voting is a privilege and responsibility of living in a free (for now!) nation. America isn’t perfect but a nation founded “under God,” and “in God we trust” is worth saving, but requires, as a founding father said, “eternal vigilance.” That includes informed voting (and not voting for “freebies.”)

      Our founding fathers acknowledged, prayed to and trusted God. The DOCUMENTS were based on natural law and JudeoChristian principles. The key thing was freedom to worship per one’s personal faith and that our natural-law rights came from God and couldn’t be taken by Gov.

      • Ryan

        Thanks for your input, CA.

        • CA

          You’re welcome. God bless.

  • Laureen Holt

    There’s a vast gulf between “conservative” & the GOP–the 2 are not synonymous. The GOP these days is more “moderate” & “centrist” –neither “Left” nor “Right,” but somewhere in between. This isn’t what this nation needs.
    Conservatives are those who want this country to stick to its founding principles of individual responsibility, personal freedom, the presence of God in the citizens’ lives AND in the public square, SMALL & VERY restricted/limited government, LOW taxes, and essential human rights, such as gun, to confront an accuser & property, among others. The GOP can not get this nation back to this state of affairs, as it seems to love big government, regulation, & taxes as much as the Left does. It is conservatives w/0 party affiliation & the TeaPartyPatriots who seem to have such a goal in mind & heart. Libertarians do, but not to the extent that conservs & TPPs do.
    IF we are ever to enjoy the freedoms & rights that were given to us by that brilliant group of men we call our Founding Fathers again, as we have in the past, it is the TPPs & conservatives who have the will, the backbone & mettle to get it done. We are the only ones talking about disbanding the IRS & a # of other bureaucracies, to whittle the federal gov’t down to size & give to the states the right to do so much of what the federal gov’t is doing now, that has no Constitutional authority to back it up. The EPA, the DoT, the DoE, the DHHS/ACA & so many other bureaucracies of the federal, have no Constitutional “right” to exist.
    If & when we can ever pare down & scale back the federal gov’t & give to the states the right to oversee & regulate what they see fit w/in their borders, this country will not have seen a better day in its history nearly since the end of the War Between the States.

    • CA

      Important distinctions. Well said! We need to get away from divisive simplisticc labels or class warfare, etc, anyway, and back to unifying basics, downsizing bureaucracies and asking WHO is responsible. Us. Our families. Our neighbors. Our communities. Local. Not Big Gov. Scale back , retake responsibility for caring for our neighbors and ourselves without gov interference. TPPs and conservatives simply accept America as founded. Since we outsourced “compassion,” education, social services, and teaching the faith to others and the resulting cultural-rot was predictable. We’re no longer salt.

      • Laureen

        Thank u.
        1 thing I KNOW works to effect change, is making, & maintaining, contact with your Congress(wo)man AND Senator. “O, I don’t have time for that…” (note to the unitiatiated: u have the same 24hrs/day that every1 else does; you MAKE the time for things IMPORTANT).
        U MAKE the time to CALL the office–SPEAK your piece to his/her assistant & ASK that your message be passed on/that the Member return your call;; WRITE letters, SEND e-mails, POST on his/her Facebook & Twitter pages–these people represent u & they WILL listen to you & read what u write.
        When it comes to your elected representatives in state or federal offices, SILENCE is not GOLDEN. Let your reps get to know u by 1st name & recognize your voice, MINE DO!