“With friends like these, who needs enemies?” – Joey Adams
Some time ago I was listening to a radio program on the American Revolution and the topic of guerilla warfare came up. On a neutral battlefield, there were few contemporary armies that could go toe-to-toe with the British Army; certainly not the American Continental Army comprised of poorly regimented civilians. It was because of this that the Colonials sought to level the playing field utilizing their familiarity with the terrain and fighting a guerilla-style war against the British Redcoats. Rather than lining up and trading shots, they would fight from the trees, fight smaller decentralized skirmishes, and raid British encampments to catch them off guard. It is because of this unconventional warfare that they were able to achieve success. Rather than fight on the terms of the superior British Army, they played by their own rules.
A parallel can be drawn between this guerilla form of win-at-any-cost warfare and the politics of the American Left. Love them or hate them, the Left play a fundamentally different game than that of the American Right. Too often the Right is lining up for a gentlemen’s war to trade shots while taking fire from the brush, and this is the reason that the Right loses. Republicans don’t fight. There are very few times where the American Left will let a political opportunity go to waste. Even when they aren’t unified on any given subject ideologically, more often than not they will seize the opportunity to push their greater agenda through. The Left is disinclined to make policy as a matter of ideas and more inclined to make policy as a matter of wins and losses. You’re less likely to see an impeachment of a Democrat President with swaths of Democrats disaffecting to side with the opposition party than vice versa. And you’re even less likely to see a Democrat Legislature pass legislation, only to be vetoed by a Democrat Governor.
This executive override is precisely what Republicans have seen in the past few years, even here in Idaho. It was only 4 years ago that Governor Butch Otter vetoed the Republican legislature passed repeal of the grocery tax. In 2013 Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah vetoed a permitless concealed carry bill that was passed by their Republican legislature. More recently Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, caved to political pressure and declined to sign Republican passed legislation she once committed to that would prohibit biological males from competing in female youth sports. Not long after that, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed medical protections for minors against chemical castration and other gender-affirming actions that risk permanent harm to a child. Most recently, Doug Ducey of Arizona vetoed 22 Republican passed bills in one fell swoop. Regardless of how you feel on the subjects, these are very popular positions across their constituencies. What we see repeatedly is Republican-held legislatures teeing up legislation for Republican executives, only to be unilaterally whiffed on to appeal to a voter base that isn’t putting them in office. This practice of caving to vocal minorities is not a winning strategy.
In 2020 when we saw BLM riots in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Hollywood and the Democrat Party sprung into action creating a bail fund to keep their rioters and looters out of jail and in the streets. Even President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris got in on the action, donating to and vocally supporting these bail funds. How many Republicans know or care that dozens of non-violent veterans, first responders, and journalists are sitting in jail today for entering the Capitol premises on January 6th? Lone pleas to the public from bankrupt and scared family members often go unheard. Do we still believe that rioting is the language of the unheard, or does that only apply when the accused has a certain letter next to their name? You don’t have to agree with entering Capitol premises in protest to see that targeting disillusioned veterans and taking their earned benefits to make an example out of them is morally bereft. What’s worse, holding them in solitary confinement for months on end.
All of this reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies. If you’ve seen Braveheart, then you are familiar with the famous speech at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, where the protagonist William Wallace pleads with his countrymen to fight for Scottish independence from the English crown. He asks them if they will stay and fight with him? In response, they say that they choose to run and to live. This cowardly response is reminiscent of the ethos of modern-day Republicans. Recently when asked if he will run against Trump again in 2024, Joe Biden questioned whether the Republican Party will still exist in 2024? This is a glimpse into the mindset of the Democrat Party leadership. Given the Republican lack of unified defense, I’m inclined to ask this question myself?
“Fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live…at least a while. And dying in your
beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance – just one chance – to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they’ll never take our freedom!” – Mel Gibson