We, as conservatives, are under a microscope. Progressives on both sides of the aisle are watching us, just waiting for us to err. They are waiting for us to misspeak or misuse a word. As members of the conservative laity, we must present ourselves, our candidates and our Cause in the best light possible. One of the ways that we do this is with our words. We must be reasonable; we must be logical; and we must be meticulous. Sometimes we’ll use incorrect grammar. Sometimes we might use a comma when a semi-colon is more appropriate. What should never be in question are the words we use and their intent. Words have meanings and we should, as our Founders did, say what we mean, and mean what we say. Words are the tools of persuasion and must be used properly and carefully if we are to further our Great Cause. Recently, we have seen someone that has been considered to be a Conservative stalwart commit an act, albeit unintentional, of sabotage against the Conservative movement.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit to you that I have been a Glenn Beck fan. I have read many of his books, I watched his great television show on Fox and I listen to his radio show every morning. I have defended him to my friends and family when they said he was crazy, but recent statements made by Mr. Beck are indefensible.
Glenn Beck has stated that Newt Gingrich is a big government progressive and that Mr. Gingrich is no different than President Obama. I would like to go on the record here and state that I am not necessarily a Newt guy. I have not donated to his campaign, and I am far from sold on the idea of a Gingrich presidency. Having said this, while it may be true that Mr. Gingrich has some progressive tendencies, we must not forget that he has also done some very good things for our Republic; he led the charge in the House of Representatives to balance the budget, and he fought for and passed welfare reform.
Mr. Beck has stated that he would vote for Ron Paul as a third party candidate rather than voting for Newt Gingrich in the 2012 Presidential elections, should Mr. Gingrich receive the Republican nomination. Mr. Beck has received some deserved criticism from the right, Tea Party Conservatives included. Tuesday morning I tuned into his radio show, as I often do on my way to work, while Mr. Beck was railing against this criticism. He could not believe that we were not on his side on this one. My question is, “Why would we be?”
Regardless of what Mr. Beck says, the Tea Party is principled. By and large, we hold many of the same principles that Mr. Beck has stood for: Limited government, states’ rights, fiscal conservatism and the restoration of the United States of American to the Constitutional Republic that She was founded as. What the Tea Party seems to have, that Mr. Beck is missing, is a sense of pragmatism. We understand that no candidate is perfect (http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/11/were_not_electing_a_messiah.html) and that we don’t always have the luxury of putting forward our ideal candidate. Most claiming to be Conservative understand that our Republic cannot withstand four more years of President Obama. Most of us also agree that should we split the Conservative vote between the GOP nominee and a third party candidate, we will have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on November 6, 2012.
William F. Buckley once said when asked who the wisest Republican choice would be “The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win.” I believe that if we combine our Conservative principles to Mr. Buckley’s pragmatism, we will undoubtedly achieve victory in 2012.
I understand that Mr. Beck may have been making a point; however, he has given the liberals, Democrats and progressives ammunition to use against the Tea Party, Conservatives and ultimately the Republic. Had Mr. Beck been more careful about the words he used, this controversy would have been avoided. Already the left wing media is having a field day with the careless words of Mr. Beck. George Washington cautioned that “Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.” How can we expect to successfully defend our principles if those on the front lines of this ideological battle willingly give up territory? I have myself been careless with my choice of words at times, but this incident is a wakeup call for me and, I hope, for all Conservatives. We will be in a far better position to defend Conservatism if we will all do our best to think before we speak.