This past election cycle was certainly the most divisive in my lifetime. I looked forward to some peace once the election was decided and the nation moved on. Maybe I should define peace as I mean it in this context-- it does not mean universal agreement between all people or some sort of Utopian society. For example, I have friends from the “other side of the aisle, ” and we can be cordial with each other and have reasoned discussions. We can understand each other's points and sometimes we can be swayed on a point because we have open minds looking for fact and truth. That is the peace for which I search, likely in vain at this point.
As I write this, I am about 24 hours away from my departure for Washington and the annual CPAC convention. I have never attended the event in any capacity, and my attendance as part of the press will allow me some unique access. In years past, I have watched many of the speeches online. There have been some memorable ones-- both good and bad. But it is our system allowing the free exchange of ideas within the framework of the Declaration and Constitution that makes our republic unique.
In the aftermath of the election, I haven't really seen a decrease in the animosity expressed, not only between “sides,” but within the “right” or “Republicans.” In all fairness, not all on the left or Democrats are part of the community organizations backed by the likes of Soros and Obama. The difference seems to be their silence as the radicals paid to march with professionally made signs make the nightly news.
Today, the accepted method appears to be throwing rocks into packs of dogs, enjoying the yelp as each rock finds its mark. Provocateurs such as Milo gain great attention and fame for stirring the pot, but to what end?
When I wrote the novel Spare Time, it was an effort to wake people up to the essentials of our republic, and that we care for someone past ourselves and work together so as to make any of the social programs the government might do would be irrelevant.
My grandmother simply said, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Who could I possibly win over to my side with insults? It serves only to motivate and cement those with whom I already agree. We cannot save the Republic from its slide into the progressive abyss with this sort of rhetoric.
After CPAC had announced that Milo would be a speaker, there was an immediate division within the “right.” I saw comments such as, “CPAC is dead to me” in response to the booking. Now, Milo is not one I would book, but then neither is Mitch McConnell who has spoken in the past or even my own Governor Brownback who is scheduled to speak this year.
In the end, I feel it is best to err on the side of more free speech rather than less. In light of the revelations that Milo has been disinvited which is a good thing, the discussion needs to be over conservative and constitutional solutions, not someone's personal issues.
I am anxious to see what is said. I know I will agree with some and not so much with others, and I plan to report the best I can how I see things fit with a restoration of a constitutional republic. I have researched with interest the early 20th-century progressive movement and very populist and nationalist election of 1912.
I see a very great danger, and we are in another period very similar to the early 20th century. Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were both committed progressives. While we view Wilson as a progressive, most forget that Teddy was running against him as the Progressive Party candidate. Both of them ran on the idea of returning power to the people, and that they were the one who could deliver. In so doing, they convinced the people it was in their best interest to vest more power in the presidency. Coolidge and Reagan are the only exceptions in the subsequent years.
If we are to return to a constitutional republic, it is impossible for a president to do it for us. By definition, if a president has that sort of power, we cannot have a republic under our constitution. As we see more and more people educated by 140 characters at a time or less, as in memes, we are further and further from a republic and much closer to the abyss of socialism or fascism.
I hope that rather than “throwing out the baby with the bathwater,” people will listen to what is said, build on the good, and offer better options than the bad. Burning everything down, whether on the right of the left, is not a valid option. There is a lot of toxicity out there. Be careful what you take in and most certainly carefully consider what you dish out.