Friday, November 7, 2008

I have not yet begun to fight!

On September 23, 1779, John Paul Jones fought one of the bloodiest engagements in naval history. Jones struggled with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis, and although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Jones would not accept the British demand for surrender, replying, “I have not yet begun to fight.” More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered and Jones took command.

This most famous phrase “I have not yet begun to fight” has been coursing through my mind since the election of our newest President Barack Obama, and the complete takeover of the House and Senate.

The general consensus is that the Republican Party dropped the ball and so suffered a devil of a whipping Tuesday night. I agree with this simplistic assessment wholeheartedly and make not a single excuse for the failure of the Republicans, of which I am one, to gain/retain seats in Congress and lose the Presidency. They were out campaigned, out played, and out spent across the board.

As the Republicans wander amidships trying to put out the fires and asses the true damage, let them not despair overmuch for the fight for this country and the traditional values that made her great is by no means over. Even from the jaws of defeat can victory be snatched, it will take time, energy, and the same steadfast determination that Captain Jones displayed 229 years ago.

The question on everyone’s mind is “How?”

The Republican Party needs to remember and adhere to its basic principles of less government, the free market, and the Idea that the Constitution is inviolate and not to be toyed with. The concept that moderation is the way to victory and that the prostitution of one’s beliefs and values is what the electorate wants has been disproved. I for one respect no one who does not stand up for that which they proclaim to believe. This is basic to most Americans, we don’t trust those who backslide, we perceive it as weak, and dishonest. The Democrats played on that weakness with great skill.

The Party Leadership will have to either be replaced by those of more fortitude, or begin fighting for a complete restructure and overhaul. Status quo will work no more than the quid pro quo arguments of Bi-partisan moderation that created this mess to begin with. By returning to the basics the party will then begin to rebuild the confidence of the people and those people will reward the party by contributing time, money and effort on the Republicans behalf. The party needs to become accessible to the general population by which I mean, one should not have to call the Party Chairman for information on subjects because the Town, and County committees are not available. Lastly Republicans need a solid plan of action, a vision, and a strong voice advocating Fiscal conservative values. It does no good to organize large blocks of voters for rallies and meetings if there is no follow through for, once the voters leave the fold out chairs in the hall, they need to know what to do next. They need to feel that they can make a contribution to the cause no matter how small not just that they are “Informed” on the issues.

I suggest that each and every one of the battered and smoke smeared sailors on the Bonhomme Richard (Jones’ ship) felt a bit of despair as the British guns pounded away at them, killing and maiming their shipmates. I am sure that some felt that all was lost and that surrender was imminent. However, with great conviction, determination and strong leadership, the tide of battle turned and those same weary patriots were rewarded for their efforts. Each and every man on that ship had to redouble and then treble his efforts, they had to improvise, adapt and overcome all obstacles in order to subdue the enemy and claim victory.

A lesson of the ages lies within this naval engagement.

But will the Republican Party leadership learn from this Historical event, or will they squander the opportunity, and continue on with their non confrontational and moderate path and ignore it? I hope the former and not the latter to be sure, however only time will tell. What I can say is that the moment has come for all of us, to get involved and start redefining the Party from the ground up. I will be contacting my town Chair this week to see what if any plan is available going forward. If he has nothing then I will continue to climb the mysterious dark ladder all the way to the top screaming bloody murder the whole way. We need to begin banding together and formulating strategies for local and State elections now! And to make a stand for the values and principles the leadership should have been expounding. Seek out others of like mind, and find candidates of solid fiscal conservative thinking then try to get them into any office available. Don’t wait for the Party to do it for you; don’t rely on the good nature and common sense of others, or on the wisdom of the party leadership. On all counts they have failed, and need to know this!

I just started to fight! what about you?



Noah said...

John Paul Jones was fighting a mortal enemy. Two countries fighting for land and resources. Are you implying that the Republican party is at war with the Democrats and there can be only one absolute victor? That bloodshed and hatred shall see each party through? Have you neglected to notice that we are all now on the same ship? I am proud of what John Paul Jones accomplished, he allowed me to have freedoms that a British rule would not allow. Those freedoms have been recorded in our constitution and our bill of rights. Both those documents should now be protected by Americans, whether they be Democrat or Republican. We are not fighting a bloody war, we are fighting perceptions, and all the “warriors” need to have the same goal, the total and absolute well being of this country and its people.

Now each party may have its own ideas about what is best, but that is where we have an American people vote to choose who leads.

My question for you is, did this election bring out more Democrats to vote, or did more Republicans choose to “switch sides”?

You also allude to the member of Jones’ ship needing to redouble and treble their effort. Those were men fighting for their lives, not fat dumb and happy Americans trying to get gas prices lower. Again, the parties are not at war with each other, and if they were then you would be lucky to find many at all willing to give their theoretical “life” for it. American is now the home of the hamburger, large soda, cheap immigrant labor and gas swilling SUV.

I admire and respect your fervor for your beliefs, but just because there is one person in an office instead of another does not mean that your “war” is lost. Those who truly want things to be better need to find a way to be persuasive to those who have the ability to change things. Race, religion nor political party should sway you from presenting your beliefs to the people who can make them happen. If you can present your opinions with proper thought and validation, then people will listen.

The current presidential leadership has given a black eye to politics as well as the republican party. Like it or not we live in a world where more and more people feel that violence is not an acceptable solution to issues. President G W Bush has been given the appearance by the media as being a war monger who enjoys pushing countries around using armed men and women of this country no matter the cost of lives on either side. This appearance has damaged the viability of the product you are trying to sell. Do I have a solution for that? No and honestly I am glad I do not need to try and justify one.

If everyone focused their energy on making things better where they lived, and not just opposing each other for the sake of being able to say they were right and the other person was wrong, we could all benefit and then we could all fight together on the same ship rather than against each other.

Blighter said...

Very nice to read your lengthy reply to my post, I doubt I will be able to respond in such a way that answers all of your questions, but I will try to touch upon, what I see as, the most important ones.

I am in no way implying that the Republican Party is at war with the Democrats. I am using the example of the Victory over Serapis as an analogy and nothing more. It is an example of determination, Steadfastness, and strength of character, one that fits well with my belief that if the Republican Party elite had displayed such characteristics these years past the defeat suffered at the ballot box would not have been so great. I also feel it is a wonderful lesson in “not falling to despair”.

I do not disagree with your contention that we need to have the same goal, that being the preservation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. However, the idea that we are at war with mere perceptions is off the mark. I do not believe that the values and ideals of those very same documents are open to interpretation. They are very clear and concise in their meaning and direction; these are not perceptions but reality. The rift I see between myself and the new administration is this: I view the Constitution and the laws of this Nation as inviolate, the majority party views them in a more lax manner. This very “conflict of visions” is what drives me to fear the new administration and Congress.

The question as to how many republicans “Switched sides” is something I chose not to discuss in my original for; anything I would have written would have been conjecture. The same as to whether or not the Democrats brought out more new voters. The data for that is not in, and even if it was I wouldn’t trust it, I know not how my Neighbor voted or why unless he chooses to tell me, the same goes for him. So am I to guess? Am I to theorize as to why you voted as you did as well as everyone in your community? I do know this, The Republican Party FAILED and failed big. I contend that much of this failure if not all of it can be attributed to their own actions and inactions these past 2 years and the new breed of Republican Party Elite that vote for Big Government, Bail out packages, Stimulus checks and the socialization of our free market society, has weakened the Party greatly. I daresay if these self same elite had stuck to the principles that they so claim they represent, and had not compromised away every value and belief which they purport to have then the defeat of last Tuesday may not have been averted, but may have not been so big.

This is why I advocated for a complete overhaul of the Party in my original. Will it be easy? Not at all for, as you point out America is not what she was when Captain Jones fought that heated battle. We are what I call a “McCulture” a people so enamored with fast food and instant gratification that they have not the foggiest idea what it means to “Sacrifice”. But I must cling to the hope that, there are some who are willing to come to the fore and stand up for the conservative values that made this country great. That is the true message, which is what we as a people really represent deep down, and all must be reminded of that simple fact.

Through out your response you imply I am advocating violence is someway or another. That is as far from the truth as possible. I am not foolish enough to call for an armed rebellion simply because of the recent elections. I may be a voice of the minority but that status diminishes not my love for the institutions and traditions of our fine country and I would never try to destroy them by force of arms or otherwise. However, through all legal means at my disposal, I must stand my ground for those ideals that so make up who I am. Failure to do so would make me weak and cowardly, which is something I just cannot have.

I do not dissent or argue for the sake of it, I have long advocated for reason and deliberation in all things political. That being said, the concept of Bi-partisanship legislation is, though popular, a moot point when one side has a complete majority, this we see in the Maine House and Senate.