Klinger: An open letter to Pitkin County Republicans
There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
Brutus today would be alluding to the wave that currently is bearing candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson at its crest, and whose undertow has swept House leaders Eric Cantor, John Boehner, and Kevin McCarthy out to sea.
The question that I ponder is whether you will ride this wave — this zeitgeist, if you will — to its destination, or whether you will say, as Al Sharpton once put it, “Resist we much”?
Here’s why you worry me:
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Just a few scant weeks before Trump soared like a rocket, simply for having observed that a nation without borders is not a nation, I attended the Lincoln Day dinner in Snowmass, where I heard nary a word from either Paul Ryan or Scott Tipton about curtailing lawless immigration.
Not a priority, I guess.
Nor did I hear a word about defunding Planned Parenthood, but then what politician would risk the vituperation and browbeating that the Susan G. Komen Foundation endured in Aspen a few years ago when it briefly withdrew its support from this sacred bastion of “women’s health”?
Clearly not a priority, even though this is the only issue to have moved the needle for Carly Fiorina.
My point is that Republicans haven’t been delivering much of what millions of us have expected of them, and I hope you’re getting the message.
One of the things that we don’t want to see is yet another candidate who talks gobbledygook about what “the American people” want, or about advancing “the people’s business,” or about “showing that we can govern.”
Govern what, and to what end?
And what is the people’s business? Fulfilling the wish list of Tom Donahue’s Chamber of Commerce? Expanding the size of the government trough and the national debt?
And who are “the American people” in a country where there is less agreement about what America is and ought to be than at any time since the 1850s?
Face it, America is at war with itself, and we had better get behind a warrior — better, say, than we got behind Sarah Palin, the Idaho-Alaskan Amazon who was thrown to the media wolves during the dreadful campaign of ’08.
We need someone who won’t pull his punches like John McCain (except when he’s attacking “wacko birds” in his own party), or collapse in a “Candy Crowley moment” in a rigged game.
Such a warrior is at hand. I hesitate these days to employ a biblical analogy, even among my fellows in the Party of Lincoln, a man who derived most of his understandings, convictions and moral courage from “the Book.” But here it goes.
If you seek to understand the power of Trump, then consider that Trump is to Palin what the prophet Elisha was to his mentor Elijah, from whom he received a double dose of Elijah’s spirit and then went on to heal a leper, restore sight to the blind and raise the dead.
The New Testament reprise involves the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, a Palin-like “grizzly” eating locusts and wild honey, who preceded the barely more sophisticated figure from Nazareth that so enraged the Pharisees and high priests, just as Trump upsets the Republican establishment, which is reported to be on the verge of spending millions in order to “put a bullet in him.”
Apparently they don’t recognize what folly it was to have crucified the man from Nazareth.
But can Trump raise the dead, meaning the Republican Party and a sick and dying nation? Polls and media attention show that he is already doing so. I, for one, haven’t been this uplifted since Reagan said “You’re fired” to the nation’s striking air-traffic controllers.
He also is restoring sight to those of us who are blinded by political correctness, which both he and Carson hold in open contempt.
It can and has been argued that the progressives who control our culture are the new Puritans, a thoroughly intolerant and censorious bunch who tell us what we can and cannot say and how our history can only be viewed as a record of oppression. (Personally, I find the comparison demeaning to the Puritans.)
In contrast to the progressives’ enforced equality between inherently unequal cultures, individuals and ideas, there is the common sense and Protestant ethic embodied in both Trump and Carson, which is greatly invigorating to a wide swath of the American public.
It also should be regenerative to a party that now seems rudderless and adrift, gradually melding into what is sneeringly called “the Uniparty,” or in Cruz-speak “the Washington cartel,” which is enabling a lame-duck president to wreak more havoc than ever.
In his closing remarks in Boulder last week, Trump noted that America doesn’t win anymore. Is that because Republicans don’t win anymore, or act like winners even when they do?
Chad Klinger lives in Basalt.
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