"Maybe the American people will wake up"

Human Events and WorldNetDaily have teamed up in the form of this editorial from WND editor Joseph Farah:

...John McCain won't get any help from me. He won't get my vote. In fact, to be honest, if the Republican Party is ever going to recover itself and become the party it was under Ronald Reagan, it will happen faster if John McCain is beaten. It will happen faster if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton gets elected and implements the Big Brother, socialist agenda they both endorse.

Bring it on. I'll do my best to expose it. Maybe the American people will wake up and rediscover the meaning of freedom after tasting elitist, top-down, command-and-control, centralized socialism.

We all are going to experience it in the next four years. It's simply a question of who is going to be force-feeding it to us. I'd rather it come from the Democrats so the American people know who is to blame.

Maybe the American people will wake up?

Had they been given the chance, they would have gladly reelected Bill Clinton to a third term. As it was Al Gore nearly won in 2000.

I don't know where these people get the idea that Americans will "wise up" if only they are punished enough.

I have no illusions about McCain, but voting involves not merely whom you vote for, but whom you vote against. After reviewing Robert Bidinotto's thoughts on the subject, Kim du Toit concluded,

"I'm voting against Socialism" should be our slogan in November.
I also like Clayton Cramer's observation:
Do you want someone is wrong half the time, or someone who is wrong all the time?
Depends on whether you're one of those people who believes America has to become completely wrong in order to become completely right.

This type of thinking is quite old, and it's popular among activists. I remember a similar argument back in the 1970s on the other side. I know I'm repeating myself, but here it is again:

...behind the thinking is the idea that if the country is ruined by intensifying the pace of socialism, open border policies, multiculturalist rot, draconian gun control, terrible schools, etc., that the voters will finally "wake up" and realize that the only answer is to be found in far-right conservatism. Left wing tyranny will bring about a backlash resulting in sudden majority support for far-right politics.

This reminds me of a political debate on the left in the late 1960s -- a time when Weather Underground types and their supporters believed in radicalizing everyone -- and their violent tactics were intended to do just that. More mainstream leftists, while agreeing with the general Marxist philosophy, believed that such tactics might very well cause Richard Nixon to put America under martial law and bring about a fascist state. To this the far left replied that "If it takes fascism, then bring it on!" They believed that if America went fascist, the great middle would suddenly see the light and become Marxist. Now I am not comparing today's conservative right to the 1960s far left; for starters the right wing's tactics are not violent. I mean to highlight the logical fallacy involved in thinking that helping to bring about an abhorrent government will cause ordinary people to "see the light." Ordinary people not being activists, they don't see the light in this way; they hope only that they will be left alone. Thus, assuming the Clintons return to power, this does not mean voters would suddenly be more likely to vote for a far right conservative. To the contrary, they'd be more likely to vote Hillary into a second term. And, while the party purists in the GOP might wring their hands in despair of what has happened to this once wonderful country, they'll be stuck agreeing with each other, and blaming the RINOs for their loss.

This brings to mind another reason for sitting it out and letting Hillary win. McCain -- and the "RINOs" -- can then be blamed for Republican defeat, and the right wing can then have their "turn" at running against Hillary. I'll vote for them, of course. And they'll probably say that the reason they didn't win is because of the RINOs. But winning isn't everything; it's about party principles.

I have principles too, and I don't expect them to prevail.

(I mean really. Stop socialism, legalize drugs, defeat Islamofascism? Come on! What's next? "End the Culture War"?)

That was written back in January, when I still assumed the candidate would be Hillary Clinton, but the same applies to Obama.

In terms of outcome, I don't think this conservative activist strategy of masochistically supporting the Democrats will do anything more than help the Democrats.

Well, I suppose it might generate a little more conservative despair. Is that supposed to be a good thing?

UPDATE: Via Glenn Reynolds, an excellent analysis by Andrew Stuttaford, who calls this phenomenon "revolutionary defeatism":

I'm struck by how, to use an old Marxist term, a variant of "revolutionary defeatism" appears to be emerging within some sectors of the right. Under some circumstances, Lenin was indeed correct, the worse was the better. Thus using this logic, an Obama presidency ("the worse") would be "the better" because it would both rally the conservative troops, and by reproducing the errors, say, of Clinton 1992-4 or the whole miserable Carter saga, create an opening for a revived conservatism. Sometimes, however, the worse is just worse. That, I think, is the danger here.That, I think, is the danger here. I would not be at all surprised if the Obama presidency proved to be a policy disaster, but a political success....
Rallying the troops against a political success would take the form of "fighting the good fight." Maybe a sort of Long March.

Assuming another Reagan comes along, I suppose it might lead to an election victory in a decade or two.

posted by Eric on 05.15.08 at 12:02 AM


They are putting their Model 1911's to their temples, pulling the trigger, and hoping to wind up with a quickly healed flesh wound.

Sadly they really believe that will be the case.


M. Simon   ·  May 15, 2008 1:48 AM

In a way, there's a certain logic to it.

The assumption is that either way, America is dead. But McCain is like sitting in the garage waiting for the exhaust to catch up with you, while Obama is like the aforementioned 1911 to the temple.

At least Obama will get it over with quick.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but I really believe that the majority of humans would prefer to live with a boot on their neck than have to endure the uncertainty of liberty.

brian   ·  May 15, 2008 9:33 AM

I agree. The idea that we can force the country to endure badness so that it will want goodness is not only arrogant, it's silly. This brand of conservative has a fantasy of how things are going to play out. There is no basis for the fantasy.

It reminds me of the Buchananites explaining how Pat was going to be elected a few cycles ago. If we could just get a threshhold number of cultural conservatives to get on board to make his candidacy credible, then the union Democrats will sign on, and... They are peddling an alternate reality, and blaming others for not getting it. Sort of like the Obama supporters and the Good Ship Hopeychange, actually - not the reality that is, but the one they would rather have.

Rubbish. The question now is not when the country will wake up, but when dream-world conservatives will. Wake up, you buffleheads! We do get it. We do see and understand what you hope will happen. We're telling you there is no reasonable expectation that it will happen, and if you're wrong, the results could be catastrophic.

Actually, to the Obamabots, same message.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  May 15, 2008 9:35 AM

Another important aspect is that, if Obama is elected, much that he will do has the effect of reducing our ability to push back. The Democrats absolutely hate, loathe and despise talk radio. They will move to kill it, with their so-called "fairness doctrine." They will Federalize health care, so that they can say that if the Republicans are elected they will take away your "free" health care. (See also, Social Security.) The Congress will hold endless hearings about the perfidies of Republicans, and, if possible, people will be indicted and tried for, essentially, being Republicans, e.g. Lewis Libby. They will, of course, appoint judges to the various courts, to make everything attempted by a subsequent Republican administration, if there ever is one, is illegal and unconstitutional.
Remember, just the fact that Democrats were in charge of elections in four counties in Florida made it possible for them to try to steal an election. These people do not play fair.

Michael   ·  May 15, 2008 10:45 PM

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