Because of this, I think that Mark may be able to appreciate the following in the spirit in which I write it: a humble and benevolent attempt to gently correct a long-held error in principle that is both profound and profoundly dangerous.
You see, if you are a conservative, Barack Hussein Obama is the culmination of all your political dreams.
I don't mean this in the crass and cynical way, so often the subject of accusation today, that people need an enemy, and so Obama is the lightening rod which will unify you in opposition, energize your base, and catalyze real change.
He won't do that; you're not capable of any of that. Your philosophical principles have rendered you impotent to take up an effort so serious, so utterly dependent on abstractions, on principles. It's not that you don't have any, you do, and you're to be commended for not just having them, but also being explicit about what they are, and doing all you can to actually live them, to put them in practice.
It's that you have the wrong principles. The harder you try, the deeper you dig the pit into which all of us in this country have fallen, from the depths of which the likes of Barack Obama rise up to grab at our ankles and pull us into the muck.
No, I mean that he is, not a means, but the end to which all your hopes and dreams have pointed. Because Barack Obama is a Marxist. That's not news to anybody who has been paying attention, it's certainly not news to Mark. It's also irrelevant, except for the fact that it is what makes Obama the most qualified to see your dreams through to their logical conclusions.
To you conservatives, Obama represents the worst disaster imaginable. And, indeed, he is. You wonder why, after reading so many things saying basically the same things the above linked editorial says, after radio hosts like Mark Levin reaching millions of people each day with the same message, with all your efforts to explain to your less politically astute friends, and even some of your enemies, what Obama represents... how can they not see it? How can they let a man like him get so close to taking the reins of such an awesome power as the United States government?
You should learn to be careful what you wish for, because you may be about to get it, good and hard. You forged those reins that may be about to be handed over to him. You don't realize that people do see it, and they want it. Your horror at the apparition doesn't mean you didn't want it, you just didn't want it in quite such a terrible form.
Despite your insistence on "small government", you've never really disagreed with even the most liberal Democrats, nor even with Marxists, about how much power the government should have. You're content to quibble over how those capabilities are used, whom they are to be directed against.
Did you really think your mere preferences would hold sway over those who also long for power - and want it over you? Over those who want money, property, and prestige that they never earned, but are more than willing and able to take from you by force?
Did you really think that you could make a "nation of laws" that would supercede the individual reason and judgement of men without rendering reason and judgement helpless against it? Did you really think that words on paper would not be subject to interpretation, modification, and just plain disregard by the men empowered and entrusted to interpret, modify, and implement them on your behalf?
Did you really think that you could create a government powerful enough to effect a "war on drugs" and not have it turned against your homes, your property, via eminent domain?
Did you really think you could create a government powerful enough to build bridges and roads and plumbing with your resources without that same power being used to build a welfare state with your resources?
Did you really think you could create a government powerful enough to compel your children to attend their schools from early childhood right through early adulthood and not have it turn your children against you, against your values?
Did you really think you could create a government powerful enough to tax and to regulate private economic activity without limit and still be able to stop it from creating economic incentives and disincentives powerful enough to sway the choices of millions of voters?
Did you really think that once that happened, you would fix the problem by voting?
You're collectivists, despite your claims to want individual rights and responsibilities. You want us all in this together as much as any leftist. You want us to be united as much as any Marxist does. You want us all subject to a common moral and political authority as much as any bleeding heart or neighborhood busybody.
You just prefer that we unite behind your goals instead of Obama's goals. I'm sorry to tell you this, but "we" are not in anything together. "We" are not united behind any goal. "We" are not subject to the same moral authority. I reject togetherness, unity, and external moral authority, whether it is yours or Obama's.
Obama may yet be kept out of the White House. But if so, don't think you've won anything. You'll have dodged a bullet, but that bullet will circle around again, and again, every time new ballots are printed. You'll never escape it until you change your core principles. Because those principles are what that bullet is made of. You can't run, you can't hide, and most of all, you can't stand up against it, because that bullet is you.
I know that individualism, rights, freedom, and personal responsibility are not your core principles, because you throw them under the bus whenever they conflict with what is really important to you: collectivism and moral authority vested in the state. Make them your core values, pursue them to the ends of the earth in their fullest meaning, and you can dodge that bullet for good. Until you do, I say, let Obama take the reins of power. You worry that he would destroy the Republic, and he would. Let it be destroyed. Let us have it gone all at once in an orgy of misery, depravation, moral collapse, and poverty. It would be better than the generations of slow deaths of a thousand cuts you'll have us suffer through with your lesser of two evils candidates and promises that they'll use the power for good. Power over others can never be used for good, and the lesser of two evils is still evil if he wants that power. Let anyone, anyone at all, have it and the best you can hope for is to spread the pain, deprivation, and moral collapse across the decades with the hope that you can die of old age without it hurting too much.
Until you conservatives start following what you claim to believe in, following it where you are most afraid it will lead, the Republic is dead anyway, a zombie staggering through history, slowly shedding its human trappings in a decrepit trail that shows only where it has been, not where it is going. Because where it is going is oblivion.