Wednesday, January 25, 2012

At Long Last, the Awakening Masses

And the Scales Fell from Their Eyes
Here we are on the dawn of a new revolution, albeit one a bit tamer than the one of our inception, yet one no less dependent on the extraordinary courage of its participants. After all, this time the stakes just might be higher than 240 years ago, while the combatants include not only ideological enemies but allies gone somewhat awry.

Conservatives have been under attack for the past half century, and have only recently mounted an effective counter-insurgency in perhaps the last decade. Some of the key players in the climb back to respectability have been cult heroes such as Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter, and others of their ilk. And while they deserve much credit for the arousal of the right, something happened to them along the way, something that seems to happen to leaders of all stripes at some point; a sense of self-adorned majesty apparently crept into their minds, one that refused to accept defiance.

We have had our favorite commentators since the Clinton presidency, and we have allowed ourselves to fall comfortably into the warm folds of their embraces, somewhat secure in the notion that they shared our core values. What we have seen in this primary season is not so much a betrayal of those shared values, but a sudden veering off the road to their achievement. We're now sharply at odds with the voices we not long ago cherished over the proper course to our nation's revival, and our alleged leader-pundits are not at all happy over our detour.

Ann Coulter -- who I love dearly -- has become apoplectic over the possibility that Newt Gingrich could become the republican nominee to face Obama. No, she warns, only Mitt Romney can save us! Once upon a time, many of us would have fallen into lockstep with Ann's decrees, but the times, they are a-changin'.

A Crowd of Motivated TEA Partiers
Thanks in part to the TEA Party, we are poised to see a record number of voters turn out for a presidential election. More importantly, however, is the fact that many more people are actually engaging early and making their wishes known, and clearly. Traditionally, perhaps half of the electorate hibernates throughout the primary process, relying on sound bites and campaign ads and emerging on Election Day like Punxsutawney Phil to cast their votes for -- or against -- whomever the eventual nominee may be.

Not so this time around. People are angry, frustrated, fed up with this failed president, and disgusted with the mainstream media for its malfeasance in  reporting accurately on it. To top it all off, we have learned to stand on principle rather than probability, making the voices of our side less crucial to the decision making process.

This is why Newt has done so well; we know of his foibles and frailties, and they are not that important now in the face of the task we must undertake. That is because we also know of Newt's strengths. We are no longer going to meekly offer up a candidate we are told can garner the most votes. We are prepared to put up the candidate we believe will be the most effective, and then we will vote for that candidate en masse.

Timidity is what gave us John McCain in 2008, and that was slightly more palatable than today because we had only a speculative notion of Barack Obama. Now that we have experienced three years of Obama's "leadership", the urgency to be rid of him has aided in our boldness.

It seems we are more than sufficiently motivated to grab the reins of our own destiny in this election year, even if it does cause some past heroes a bit of agita.

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