Challenge Us

In the wake of The Rout (thank you Dick Armey), GOP types in Virginia and across the country are seeking that magic juju that will make all the bad things go away and put them back on the road to victory.

A lengthy list of Virginia bloggers are calling for the head of RPV chairman Kate Obenshain Griffin in the wake of statewide losses in 2005 and 2006. My colleagues at Mason Conservative, Bearing Drift, BVBL, Elephant Ears, and Too Conservative are clearly willing to head up this auto-da-fe.

In comments on other boards there have been comments that the GOP just needs to nominate candidates that are a little less conservative…in a post at elephant ears Jack Landers (of Rule .303 fame) suggested on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being ultra conservative, nominate 4’s instead of 5’s.

You folks have it wrong. You see, if this election is one that the GOP lost more than the Democrats won, then both sides are lacking something important. Whack a leader, try to moderate…these ideas have been tried before and not always successfully. I suggest, to quote Abraham Lincoln, that “the dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present”. .

Mr. Lincoln is again right. the old nostrums are inadequate to the complex world we live in. As it happens, it is a lot simpler than that.

We need to be challenged.

We need candidates who understand they need to lead, and personify what Americans want. Not what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Not the language that is calculated to win votes, but the language that will win hearts and minds. We cannot bring back Ronald Reagan, but we need someone who, like the Gipper, recognizes what is great about our people and gives it voice.

Americans are optimists. We belive we can succeed. It is part of our DNA, and the reason why this country is the preferred destination of everyone in the world who wants to get ahead and have a better life. We believe we can do bizarre things like conquor a continent, cure disease, better the world with industrial invention. We accept great challenges -and we do it no matter how difficult the task. Challenge us to change the world, and we will follow.

Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative. These are just labels, words with meanings that can change. What is needed are leaders who challenge us, who demand that we follow “the better angels of our nature” and not fall into the slimy, soul sucking pit of special interests and the ultimately unsatisfying shark pit of wedge issues.

Offer us direction. Offer us inspiration. Offer us integrity and conviction, and the people will respond. Speak to us as if we were neighbors and not members of a demographic group. Challenge us to do better by veing better, and we will respond. Challenge us to face the future with vigor and excitement, and we will respond. Challenge us, don’t patronize us, and we will respond.

We are the children of liberty, the descendants of folks who came to this country in first class and in steerage, in yachts and in row boats, in planes, trains, and automobiles, who wanted a better life and came here to make it happen.

This is not about position papers, focus groups, left, right, red, blue. It is about finding candidates who are willing to speak from the heart with conviction and a clear voice about things that matter to us and affect our lives.

Look at us and speak to and for us-do not look by us and speak about us.
Challenge us-don’t coddle us.
Raise the light of liberty and lead us-don’t raise the spectre of hatred and racism.
Lead us up the hill, and not into the mud pit.

It is really simple.

Challenge us. Challenge us to work together and not apart. Challenge us to be better than we are, to be all we can be and accomplish all we can do.

It can be done, and the party who will do this will cause a realignment that is based not on geography but in hope, a hope that takes root in the heart and in the head.



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