THESE principles are technically non-partisan. I write specifically to conservatives for two reasons. First, because I’m a conservative myself. Second, because my thoughts are especially relevant to the challenge facing conservatives in the wake of the terrorism in Charlottesville.
When you formulate a response to current events, or ponder whether to critique or commend a politician, please do so (as much as possible) without regard to the prevailing narrative from the left. I ask this for two reasons.
First, your principles demand it. Your philosophy is about justice, not political expediency. You aspire to call balls and strikes. The screams from one dugout or the other do not change the location of the pitch (no matter how uncouth the screams). First call the pitch, then issue a warning to the benches.
Second (and it’s a distant second), honest commentary is actually good for your party. Mincing words or selecting alternative facts in service to a narrative (or a person) can secure short-term political power. If the cost of electoral victory is the political credibility that is necessary to govern or the moral authority that is necessary to unite, the cost is too high. An authentically conservative party can help heal this country (and salve the social disintegration that has fueled the alt-right). Majority control of the federal government achieved through sacrificed principles cannot.
I say this as a staunch opponent to the progressive agenda. I say this knowing that much of what is said in the media grossly misunderstands, misconstrues, and maligns conservatives of every stripe. But what does it matter if political adversaries say unfair things about us, if even fair coverage would reveal hypocrisy and sycophancy?
We have a great opportunity. The only hope the alt-right has in political viability lies in conservative acquiescence. The left cannot stop the alt-right—it thrives on their opposition. We, however, can bury them, and in the same excavation can lay the foundations of a conservative revival.
If we have the courage.