Are there times when losing, regardless of the repercussions, is preferable to winning? We are a society which has stopped keeping score at our children’s athletic events. Instead of MVP awards we hand out participation trophies to everyone. Yet, there are segments of our culture where winning is prized above all else. On one hand our children see use say everyone is winner and no one fails, while on the other hand we seek to crush out opponents by any means necessary. Losing with grace and honor is a thing of the past. But, should it be, and did we miss an opportunity to show our children what an honorable loss looks like?
Caleb Howe wrote a terrific article on Thursday, over at Red State, titled The Flight 103 Presidency. I would encourage you to read it. His position is that the game of Russian roulette, that was the 2016 Presidential election, we got a gun with every round in the chamber. There was no chance of drawing a blank and living to spin again. Caleb says the bomb on board is going to blow, now it’s just up to us to determine where we are going to be when it blows, not if it blows.
This brings me back to my opening question. Are there times when it’s just better to lose? Can there be more honor in losing and maintaining some amount of dignity and honor. Is discretion the better part of valor? Is it better to take some hits, but live to fight another day?
The election of 2016 was just such a decision making opportunity. It was very apparent during the primaries, and subsequent general election, that Donald Trump had struck a nerve and ignited people’s passions. Those opposed to the left’s radical agenda feared Hillary Clinton and the continued policies of the last eight years. You know the story, and I won’t repeat it here.
Trump won, despite his historically low approval ratings and despite his complete lack of any moral compass. We have had some bad presidents in our history, but I’m not sure we’ve ever had one who so completely lacks any moral, or ideological, identity. The only consistent thing about President Trump is that so long as you praise him, you are good. If you don’t, you are bad. That is the one thing you can put money on with Trump. Nothing else matters. But, it didn’t matter. We had to win. We had to win at any costs. Well, now we are seeing the costs.
So, what are the costs and were they worth it to avoid a Clinton presidency? This administration has accomplished nothing other than Justice Gorsuch and rolling back some regulations. To be honest, we could have gotten that from a President Jim Gilmore. Hell, insert any republican name behind “President” and we would have at least gotten that. And for those victories, what has been the costs?
Seven months of complete dumpster fire. Every Friday, we wait for the next shoe to drop. A different position from every administration official who opens his or her mouth. Every republican elected official having to decide if it’s more beneficial to defend Trump or distance themselves and risk awakening the wrath of the Twitter Monster that is President Trump. I haven’t even gotten to the latest with the race issues. Like it or not, the Republican Party, and candidates, with spend the rest of their existence fighting allegations of racism and collusion with the alt-right. All at a time when the party was supposed to be expanding the base and becoming a “Big Tent”. Personally, I’ve never been more confident in my decision to leave the party in May 2016, and more proud to have found a home in The Federalist Party.
The argument by some, in conservative circles, during the election was that the Republican Party would be in a better position had Hillary Clinton won. I tend to think they were right. With a Republican House and Senate, she would be opposed at every turn (perhaps). They could have held the line on judges, funding, and any number of issues. (I say this hypothetically, because they really showed no spine during the Obama years) With all of that said, at least there would be some moral authority left, however slight. That is gone.
This is beyond the point of fixing. The President’s inner circle in now void of any right leaning voices. He is surrounded by life-long democrats. If you have been unhappy with the way the first seven months have gone, I anticipate it only getting worse. As Caleb Howe said, the bomb is going to blow. There is no stopping it. The only question now is whether those who are in the Republican Party, and those of us who already left, can admit that we must disassociate with this President and live to fight another day and take the high ground.
“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
― Samuel Adams
Jacob is the provisional State Chair, Federalist Party of NC