By Ronald Glenn
Along with many other conservatives, I have become embroiled in the battle over whether the answer to the current state of the conservative movement in America is a fight over who should lead the Republican Party, or whether the answer lies in ditching the Republicans and beginning anew. I have previously stated that the Republican Party needs to be fixed but not abandoned because no other entity currently exists that can win an election against the Democrats.
The last few days, however, have provided me with the fuller explanation needed to clarify my position. I attended the latest of a string of political meetings outside the realm of the GOP, this one for a specific candidate rather than a particular party, and it opened my eyes.
When I was a child so so many years ago, I was raised in a typical suburban neighborhood that only divided the religious world into two groups: Protestants and Catholics. The Catholics at that time had many fervent believers, just like today, but there were those who became disillusioned with the church and chose to leave. The reasons they gave for leaving always revolved around the same issues: Organized religion had become too corrupt, too rich, where leaders were too stuck on themselves to truly understand the problems of the members. (The Republican Party?)
Interestingly, when those disillusioned church members no longer attended Mass, they did not join another church. I simply cannot remember one person switching to a Protestant church. They just quit going to church completely. If I asked them whether they were still Christian, they always said, “Of course. I just don’t go to church.” So what exactly did they do to express their Christianity? They became a church of one.
The Protestants often had a different attitude. If they left one church, they would hop to another. I knew of many people who were in churches that split in two over a theological dispute and then later split in two again over some other issue. There may have been more Protestants than Catholics, but they could not all assemble in the same room, even for threats of a re-enactment of the Thirty Years War.
Over the last few years I have attended political meetings of different sorts and varieties that were not associated with the Republican Party. They range from intelligent, well-meaning Americans to a self-help groups for minimum wage psychiatric patients. The groups have much in common with the religious struggles with which I grew up. Some want to form splinter groups based on a purer philosophy than the Republicans have held to, and others wanted to function independently, with no allegiances to anything but Truth.
The variety of individual ideas were extraordinary. Some did not believe in Democracy, since it prevented the individual from true self-expression. Some denied common law. Some denied any laws were valid. Some believed the government was keeping a colossal secret that gave it unlimited power. One man told me he believed all the scientific advancements in America came from NASA’s contact with space aliens.
What they all had in common was a belief in gargantuan concepts like liberty, freedom, and self-evident truths, without being forced to explain how any of these would solve the problems that concerned the average citizen on a daily basis, particularly in light of the fact that no one seemed to agree on what any of these terms meant. Whenever a problem arose, someone always waved a copy of the American Constitution, as if the answers it provides are self-evident. The good thing is, unlike judges who spend a lifetime studying the ramifications of two hundred years of legal history to find an answer, the members of these groups have it all worked out by reading the Constitution during the bus ride to work.
Parties have platforms and force discipline, so not everyone is speaking at the same time, and as a result people are forced to hammer out conclusions and stick to them. If the Republican Party is a continuous failure, I will leave it too, but in doing so I hope my answer is not to spend a lifetime looking for space aliens or screaming that the last two hundred years of American history has become a nauseating failure that can only be fixed by handing out copies of Common Sense and hoping someone reads them.
In the 19th century, Europe had vast numbers of anarchists. At one point, they attempted to have a convention, but the attempt failed because they could never agree on when to have a meeting. The only thing that will defeat the Democrats is organization, toughness, and fortitude. I asked someone last month who was a member of a committee for better government to give me a public statement on a specific issue of concern that I could publish here at America’s Right. The committee informed me they had not been able, as of yet, to even come up with a mission statement.
This kind of failure will keep the Democrats in power for years to come.
Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.