Nearly exactly one year ago, I shared a scene from a movie with you all, trying to illustrate my internal political battle.
It was from “Hook,” where, as I noted, the Lost Boys had (since Pan’s departure) gotten a new leader in the younger, fiercer Rufio. When Pan appears and there’s debate as to who rules the roost, the other lost boys run back and forth between the original Peter Pan and the new leader of the pack as Tinker Bell and Rufio each try to convince them who they’re supposed to follow.
Beyond being quite funny, it was a perfectly spot-on depiction of the inside of my brain at that time.
I didn’t know what to do. I knew (and wrote about) the dangers I saw in a President Trump—someone I didn’t believe to be a conservative. I also knew (and wrote about) the dangers I saw in a President Clinton—someone I knew wasn’t a conservative.
I battled. Back and forth…on and on I battled—taking flak from both sides.
I thought, “Do I end this ridiculous cycle of voting for the lesser of two evils by writing in a candidate or not voting at all?” Or, do I hold my nose and vote for the guy I once opposed?
It ended up being Daniel Lapin who was my tipping point. His story went like this (and I’ve paraphrased): You’re on a ship that’s unequivocally sinking. Do you take the lifeboat with the holes in it, or the one that’s under a cover at the moment?
I knew what Hillary was going to do. Trump was promising to do the opposite. Repeal Obamacare, stack the Supreme Court with Constitutionalists, end illegal immigration, reform the progressive tax code … and so on.
I held my breath and trusted that maybe, just maybe, the life boat under the cover was worth something.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing in the towel now. But I am sounding warning bells, precisely as I promised to do. I promised to do 2 things—and I encouraged all constitutional conservative Never Hillary voters to do the same:
1) Be an instructive corrector.
2) Hold my ground.
“First, we need to be instructive correctors. No, Donald Trump is not the conservative candidate we wanted … by a long shot. But it’s not just about pointing out what’s wrong with some of his stances. You know those bumpers that you can use in a bowling alley to keep the ball on track? I’m saying we be those to the Trump campaign. Be the people that we’re hoping he surrounds himself with and listens to for sound policy and principled direction.
Which brings me to No. 2:
Second, we need to stand our ground. Resist the temptation to begin rationalizing policies we’d otherwise recognize as wrong, simply because they’re being peddled by ‘our’ candidate. Because here’s the deal—if Trump actually beats out Clinton in the end (and we avoid the certain death that a fully stacked leftist Supreme Court would bring), we certainly can’t stand up for the right direction if we spent the election cycle rationalizing away the poor choices this candidate has made.”
Against all the odds, he DID win. And I’m convinced that had it not been for quite a few of us who held our breaths and held onto the hope that he wouldn’t be as bad—I wouldn’t be writing this today.
And today, as now-President Trump has openly attacked precisely the conservative base that helped elect him, it’s time to get a few things straight.
Mr. President, we didn’t elect you to get on “your team.” We didn’t elect you to just win, winning, winningest at any Machiavellian cost. We didn’t elect you to treat us like former President Obama did, when he told us we could come along for the ride, but that we’d have to sit in the back. By actively targeting the Congress’ Freedom Caucus members who stood up to a bill that did precious little more than partially take the edge off Obamacare (and misses the point of getting the federal government the heck out of the insurance business), you’ve just threatened to kick us off the bus entirely.
We elected you because you promised to drain the swamp. And that swamp, Mr. President, is nothing more than a slimy pit filled with shades of left-leaning gray. Attack the few bright lights of true constitutional conservatism in there, and you’ve thrown out the only thing that has a prayer of making any real difference in restoring liberty to this country.
I’m not stupid: I know you don’t get where you are without knowing how to give a little and take a little. I get it. But there are some things you just can’t give in on—and it’s precisely those things (and THOSE THINGS ONLY) which will truly make America great again.
I and so many other conservatives have fended off the raving lunatics who claim that “Make America Great Again” is nothing more than, as I wrote a few weeks back, “a call to return to the dark days of Jim Crow; to slavery and racial inequality; to chemical castration of homosexual men … or something.”
I realize that’s now how you view it. I genuinely think you’re in this to build up the country like you’ve built up a wildly successful life for yourself. But Mr. President, while your business acumen in decidedly important in this conversation, this isn’t a round table confined to the four walls of some board room on the 90th floor. You’re running a country now; a country which was uniquely founded (some might say, once “made great”) by certain core principles; principles that for millennia the world never could quite seem to fully grasp.
Principles, like how our rights don’t come from government but rather from our Creator; how government was supposed to have a limited purpose (to protect all, not provide for all); how a truly free market is the best engine of prosperity ever devised.
The very people in the Freedom Caucus you’re threatening are the allies you have in the House when it comes to preserving these principles.
Not only are you threatening those who hold some actual principles in the swamp you claim to want to drain, but these are also the very same people who defended you when the GOP side of the aforementioned swamp didn’t want to touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot-pole.
You claim to want to “Make America Great Again,” which seems to indicate you know it once was—and that we’ve fallen from that greatness. Why have we fallen, Mr. President, if not for the very things you’re doing today? Succumbing to personal ambition, throwing principles out the window—aligning with whoever and whatever as a means to an end.
I’m still glad you won, Mr. President, and that we’re not sitting here talking about President Hillary Clinton’s expansion of Obamacare and her swiftly approved Supreme Court nominee. Your election gave us a huge opportunity housed in a very limited little window of time.
Let’s not waste it.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, M-F, 3-5. ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree