When Barack Obama promises change for America, I graciously assume, for now, that he doesn't mean he will change America to conform to his apparently racist pastor's vision for this country, though that whole subject deserves far more scrutiny. But we should also seriously examine his promise to deliver a more harmonious climate.
It's not just Obama. A lot of Democrats have been pushing the idea of bipartisanship for years. One of the Democrats' earliest criticisms of President Bush was that he didn't reach across the aisle and extend a hand to Democrats.
Of course, the truth is precisely the opposite. Bush, unlike any president in recent memory, genuinely made a determined effort to work with Democrats. Not only did they rebuff him, but they attacked him with a relentless viciousness from before day one. Democrats weren't looking for bipartisanship. They were looking to get their way, even with a Republican president in office. They condemned as partisanship anything short of that, somewhat reminiscent of the Soviet Communists redefining imperialism not as the Soviets' swallowing up of smaller nations but as the United States' efforts to resist such Soviet imperialism.
Understand that I am not criticizing Democrats for being partisan; I'm suggesting they are cynically insincere or grossly self-deceived when they pretend to aspire to bipartisanship. They don't seek compromise; they want the unopposed implementation of their unadulterated liberal agenda, which, of course, is their prerogative.
If I were a liberal -- heaven forbid -- I'd be promoting a liberal agenda, too -- not bipartisanship. Indeed, conservatives and Republicans are foolish if they believe liberals won't vigorously pursue their policies. They are hopelessly naive if they think Obama cares more about restoring harmony than advancing the leftist policies to which he has proven his fidelity. Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, better not fall for the ruse that bipartisanship is remotely likely in today's polarized political climate.
I single out McCain here because he has been boasting of running "a different kind of campaign," one that eschews conflict and negativity. That's laudable if he means he will refrain from dirty politics -- dirty tricks and lying about his opponents. But it's unilateral surrender if he means he will not point out their genuine flaws and the sharp differences he professes to have with them.
From a humane, even Christian, standpoint, harmony and bipartisanship are noble goals. But when you consider that we have opposing parties with radically different visions for the country, is it even responsible for us to place collegiality above principle?
Should we conservatives, for example, place such a high priority on Republican and Democratic politicians making nice with each other that we agree to adopt growth-smothering tax increases? Socialized health care? Retreat-and-defeat in Iraq? Payoffs to trial lawyers instead of monitoring terrorist communications? Civil rights for terrorists? Abandonment of protection for the unborn? Acquiescence to the ongoing assault on Christians in the public square? Continued surrender of academia to America-bashing, atheistic, feminist-preoccupied, history revisionist, liberal indoctrinators? Unbridled open borders with a guaranteed transformation of our culture? The appointment of appellate judges who will continue to make, rather than interpret, laws and amend the Constitution by judicial fiat? Selective suppression of free speech? Imposition of the Fairness Doctrine to eradicate conservative talk radio and restore monolithic media dominance? The surrendering of American sovereignty to the United Nations or to other foreign bodies? Deferential reverence to the false gods of global warming with the guaranteed destruction of capitalism that would ensue? The refusal, for political reasons, to address our entitlement crisis that will otherwise inevitably bankrupt this nation?
With the stakes as high as they've ever been in the upcoming election, we have a duty to fight -- yes, I said (SET ITAL) fight (END ITAL) -- for those policies and principles we are convinced are crucial for the best interests of this nation.
We can, if we choose to, delude ourselves into being swept up in false promises of hope and change and in the idolatry of today's politically correct but grossly distorted notions of tolerance and bipartisanship. But if we do, we ignore at our peril the inescapable reality that we are engaged in a war of worldviews whose outcome will determine the future of this nation.
We should all be civil toward one another, including our political opponents, but we must never forget that getting along and feel-goodism should not be purchased at the expense of our liberties, our security and our culture. Be extremely wary of and vigilant against those who promise or imply otherwise.
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