Focus On The Long Game; Not The Thunderdome
...because the Democrats are coming for it all in November.
The Greeks had a word for civil war.
The word is στάσις or stasis. As the name implies, when a polity is fighting within itself, nothing gets done.
The energy that could be spent on the expansion of one’s ἀρχή or archae — a flexible word meaning beginning, but also meaning dominion, rule, empire or influence — is instead spent on the advancement of a particular faction.
So when we practice things such as say archaeology? Now you know where the word comes from and what we are exploring — first things, influence, prevalence, and so forth in the historical record. Which is kinda cool if you think about it.
Safe to say that our institutions — government, media, sports, and yes the factions we call Virginia Democrats and Virginia Republicans — are all in some form of stasis regarding whose archae we are promoting at any given time.
Case in point? Terry McAuliffe is supposed to be marching to an inevitable victory over the rest of the Democratic field. Yet PPP — friendly to the Clintonistas — is trying to put his 42% lead in the best possible light? The fact of the matter is that 27% of the Democratic faithful absolutely do not trust McAuliffe and another 31% aren’t sure.
Which means they aren’t coming along either.
The confession here by abstraction is that those who do not have archae tend to commit themselves to stasis. That is to say, if they had any real influence they wouldn’t commit themselves to fratricide.
So they destroy the institutions until they get influence.
Think of it this way.
In 2005, you had Republicans who refused to support Jerry Kilgore (R) over Tim Kaine (D) for governor — gone fishin’ was the refrain. As a result, Kilgore lost and Kaine proceeded to build on the leftist foundations put in place by Mark Warner.
In 2006, Republicans still didn’t learn the lesson. George Allen was defeated by a whisker by none other than neo-Confederate apologist (but temporarily acceptable because Democrats are like that ) Jim Webb — who was quite eager to work with progressive Democrats during the Obama administration.
In 2009 we temporarily figured it out. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli brokered the deal that would allow each faction of Virginia Republican politics — conservatives, moderates, libertarians, Tea Party — to find a reason to support the ticket. McDonnell won with 59% of the vote against his Democratic challenger.
Just four years later? All of that changed.
In 2013 after bitter confusion as to who was going to run for governor on the Republican side, Democrats chose to nominate possibly the weakest and most eminently beatable candidate in America — Terry Freakin’ McAuliffe.
The payback for 2005 was baked right into the cake. Moderates went fishing instead, and McAuliffe beat Cuccinelli by a few points and kicked off what is now an eight-year romp for the left. What did it cost us?
We lost our “best state to do business in America” ranking,
We lost on the $15/hr minimum wage,
We lost the fight on marriage,
We lost the fight on Medicaid expansion,
We watched the Attorney General of Virginia literally pick up his briefcase and put it on the opposition’s desk rather than defend the Virginia Constitution,
We are losing the fight on Critical Race Theory in public education,
We prioritized potheads over potholes and legalized the Devil’s Lettuce,
We lost our monuments,
We allowed our LEOs and first responders to be hit with bricks, asphalt, Drano, rocks, stones and just about everything a mob could throw at them,
We allowed our downtown districts to be burned out,
We listened in horror as Governor Ralph Northam graphically (yet accurate) described the actual process of infanticide live and on air,
We have a governor who has a strong predeliction for either blackface or fine white linens and hoods (we still don’t know which he prefers more),
We have an attorney general who definitely prefers the blackface,
We have a lieutenant governor who is facing serious allegations of sexual assault (that magically arrived at the very moment Northam looked like he was on his way out),
We have absolutely no idea which bathrooms to use anymore,
We can’t even call our delegates and state senators “ladies” and “gentlemen” anymore,
We have students at the University of Virginia being punished for questioning whether microaggressions are real, then bullied into taking a mental health evaluation (because he dared raise the question?) before being excused from the University after weeks of harassment,
We still have Planned Parenthood being funded in Virginia despite their deep roots in the eugenics movement,
We lost an entire year of public education thanks to the teachers unions (while private and parochial schools moved forward and stayed open),
We have shuttered thousands of small businesses because Northam shut down the Virginia economy,
We watched in real time as Northam bungled the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in a spat between VDH and the Virginia hospitals,
ALL BECAUSE REPUBLICANS COULDN’T WORK TOGETHER AND SEE THE LONG GAME FOR WHAT IT IS.
Heck, things were so bad that by 2017, Ed Gillespie — who nearly beat Warner in 2014 — lost by nine points to Ralph Northam. Ralph Northam. I mean, let the last four years set in. Was it worth it? Do we need another four years to learn the lesson of what happens when we don’t unite behind the nominee?
Does this litany of horribles need to continue? How many more freedoms do we need to sacrifice so that we can stick it in the eye of someone whom we disagree with 20% of the time? Just so that some progressive Democrat who actually seeks to destroy us all can enjoy four more years of unfettered power?
Because that’s what is at stake folks.
Should Terry McAuliffe win? Forget your 2A rights; your 1A rights are on the chopping block. Christian schools will find it impossible to operate. Monuments will come down. Police will be defunded and disbanded. Institutions will be reforged in the image and likeness of the progressive left.
Which means that stasis on the right is in the supreme interest of the left in Virginia.
What is going to fuel this stasis on the right?
Disavowing the election results before they even come in.
Questioning the convention process rather than strengthening it.
Calls for an outside candidate to run.
Stupid or unfair tactics or attacks.
Remember the reason why the small dogs do this. They promote stasis because they have no influence. In short, if they cannot win? They will gladly throw Virginia to the political wolves.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little sick and tired of it.
Bear in mind that we are in a race to the bottom. One of the two major parties is going to crack — and Virginia Democrats are facing far more serious problems than Virginia Republicans when it comes to their BLM/Antifa wing.
At the end of the day, Republicans know how to govern this commonwealth in the truest sense of the word — for the common good. I’ll take most Republicans over most Democrats. But McAuliffe’s coming with gobs of cash, folks. Any race is going to be uphill.
Candidates that can get us to work together? Golden. Candidates who are running on the premise that the only legitimate outcome is if they themselves win? That’s the clue that maybe they’re not on Team America.
We have a golden opportunity in 2021 to actually expand our influence and demonstrate to America that the spirit of the Old Dominion is still very much alive and well.
If there was ever a time for our ideas and values to carry the day? This is our time for choosing. Virginia has led in every American century; we will do it again provided we remember that this is a contest among friends.
Let’s not spoil the unity we will need in November over the next three weeks by treating the convention like an all-or-nothing Thunderdome, right?
Here’s the straight truth.
Conventions are built around rules some people play better than others. Those are just facts. Some folks are bought, most folks stay unbought. Everyone has friends; but people aren’t choosing candidates because they are shills, paid hacks, or dishonest (even though those folks exist).
They are choosing them because of relationships, values, principles, experiences and backgrounds that are different than our own and needed for a vibrant, effective, and influential party.
Otherwise go look at the riots of last year. The Democrats are deadly serious about what they intend for you and your family and can fire that machine back up at a moment’s notice. The Shield and Sword of der Partei is back and self-evident for anyone with eyes to see.
Such are the stakes, folks. If we don’t start playing this game as adults? If we remain in stasis? We lose a lot more than our elections.
Pick candidates based on their virtues (not their vices), rank them accordingly and then let’s go make the case for freedom over fear. And let’s have fun doing it.
Remember what the old man said: Illegitimi non carborundum. Don’t ever let the bastards get you down.
Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.