The sting of 2008 is still felt by many in very personal ways. I’m not talking about the emergence of the institutional left having for the first time truly manifested as a driving force in our electoral process, or even the weakness with which we saw (and still see) the GOP respond. All that’s certainly real and has created several new negative results in several other areas that merit focus, not the least of which include legislatively.
But today I’m talking about the snarky, snobby personal attacks leveled against each of us conservatives — as individuals — from the squeeing left in the hayday of their Obama adoration.
Foremost among these for the purposes of this writing, was this one…
“We’ve got OBAMA! Who’s your leader? Rush Limbaugh? Sarah Palin? I laugh in giddy condemnation at your movement’s fecklessness!”
There were at least a few months where this was the left’s second most prevalent attack line. (The first, of course, being “YOU’RE RACIST!!!1!”)
My response to this attack, which I endured often from loved ones on the left, snuck up on me one day seemingly out of nowhere. In it’s entirety, it sounded like this…
I’m a conservative. And as a conservative I see Liberty not only as a right, but also as a gift. And it’s a gift that comes wrapped every single time in “personal responsibility.” And I’m excited about that gift. I’m grateful for it. I see that gift as being the sole conduit between my life, and my pursuit for happiness. I get to wake up everyday knowing that thanks to Liberty — thanks to personal responsibility — I get to chart my own course. So who’s my leader? I’m my own leader. And that’s kind of the entire point of the political and social movement I’ve signed on to. That you’d be entirely lost were it not for others dictating to and/or for you, is your problem. And frankly…it’s pathetic.
I think few among our conservative movement would disagree with any part of that defense. And I say “defense” loosely because while I used it in 2008 in response to the left’s attacks, today in 2015 I use it to attack/challenge the left proactively.
Still, while few in our movement might disagree with it, I think fewer still have ever really considered the gravity or merit of it. And this is never more obvious than during a GOP Presidential primary season.
From the activists to the media to the candidates themselves, everyone is talking about who will be the better “leader.” Without even auditing I can recall on memory alone having done it at least once myself on this blog, in a piece I wrote explaining why I — unlike the frothing-at-the-mouth media and GOP insider “leaders” — not only don’t hate Trump, but can look objectively and see plenty to like. But I can also recall on memory alone having used the term “Leaders” just as it appears in this sentence; in quotation marks. There’s a number of reasons for that, and within those remains the point of this post: I’m my own leader…
My point is simple: Anyone who loves Liberty should note whenever possible that while some in media may share and amplify our views, and some in DC may share and legislate toward them — we, as individuals, are our own leaders. And that’s really the whole point of our movement, as that’s really the whole point of Liberty.
You may also like a related post on the origin of American Exceptionalism.