DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE
By Geoff Metcalf
August 6, 2008
“Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.” --Thomas Henry Huxley
I was flooded with excoriating email in the wake of my suggestion we are compelled to accept the lesser of available evils and vote McCain.
It was bad enough I wrote it, and meant what I wrote, but various editors changed the original headline (‘Reluctantly Responsible’) to make my sins appear even more heinous.
“Again we’re faced with the lesser of the evils. But it’s still an evil,” was pretty much the common denominator to the criticism that was printable.
McCain is a RINO. He is accused of being a collaborator with 32 tapes made for NVA. He is the only Keating Five Scandal survivor still in office. He blocked release of Pentagon documents on 90,000 POWs…etc.
Fans of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr all argue for ‘their’ guy being the solution to the cancer eating away at the GOP and the republic. If only that were true…
Many of the more abusive emails sounded a lot like reading Geoff Metcalf (circa ‘91/’98/’2000/and even 2004). I have been called a very comprehensive variety of nasty names and had my intelligence, insight, manhood and patriotism challenged.
I understand the vitriol and the frustration and the primary counter to my column. Frankly, I wrote much of the same during the Dole/Clinton election. I even quoted Aaron Tippin and Buddy Brock, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything"
However, let’s not ignore Sun Tzu. You may have to lose battles to win a war.
“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.”
• “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war,”
o “While defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
• “All warfare is based on deception.”
I don’t like it, but have come to accept incrementalism as an annoying reality.
The republic has been eviscerated over time by chronic liberal incrementalism. It is politically impossible to restore the republic to a pre 1913 or pre 1865 condition with the flick of a light switch. Critics will attack me for endorsing ‘evil-lite’…and they are right. However, the incremental objectives should be to get evil-lite lighter and lighter.
Principles do matter. However, when faced with bad weather, bad terrain, superior enemy forces and inadequate logistics, it is not an abandonment of principle to change strategy and tactics.
King Leonides is revered for his heroic stand at Thermopylae with his 300 Spartans, but it was Pausanias who defeated Xeres Army at Plataea.
Despite the flood of protestations to the contrary, MY principles are not compromised. MY beliefs are not abandoned, and MY recognition of the desperate need to restore the republic to the framers model as an imperative is not shaken.
However, reality cannot be ignored. Hate it, revile it, refute it, and make believe it ain’t so, but it WILL happen. Either John McCain or Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.
I really wanted to support Bob Dole but, on many issues important to me, there really wasn't any difference between Dole and Clinton. My conclusion was, if we continue to reward Republicans for doing bad, we are going to continue to get offered bad Republicans. I once asked Bob Novak how do we get over that hurdle?
He said, “God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. If they don't do that, they have no useful function. The second element is an overhaul of the IRS system, the flat tax replacing the graduated tax. But I have seen the difficulties in getting a flat tax and I have come to the conclusion that if you are going to have a radical change in the system, you might as well do away with the income tax entirely and go to a national sales tax.”
I also asked Novak how do you counter the apparent and ubiquitous media bias against almost any (real) Republican idea?
He said, “The problem is not that the media beats-up on the conservatives but that the conservatives are so weak-kneed and indecisive, retreating in short-order whenever someone turns on them.”
Once upon a time I had a colleague who said “let the libs have it…let them create the catastrophe…only then will the people wake up and fix it.”
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I still disagree. Mortal wounds tend to be mortal. Yes, the lesser evil is still evil, but would you rather get hit in the head ten times or three?
George Eliot once observed, “... it is one thing to like defiance, and another thing to like its consequences.”