While the results of the 2006 election represent a temporary set back to me and other conservatives who labored to advance our cause like U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, if we become too focused on the vote tally alone we risk missing out on the fruits of the struggle. In fact, we did good work for causes that were worth our time and efforts. And as a consequence, not only did we leave our respective communities better than we found them, but we are personally improved and better prepared for the next battle.
I think about the considerable personal and political setbacks endured by Abraham Lincoln before he ascended to the presidency. The death of a child, unsuccessful business endeavors and several election losses shaped his perspective but did not dampen his resolve.
Lincoln understood that life is about struggle – wins and losses. He refused to be defined by defeat because he was driven by hope and a belief that we can improve the human condition.
I like what Elie Wiesel wrote: “When He created man, God gave him a secret—and that secret was not how to begin, but how to begin again. It is not given to man to begin; that privilege is God’s alone. But it is given to man to begin again—and he does so every time he chooses to defy death and side with the living.”
Our conservative causes are just as true and worth fighting for as they were on November 6 (the day before the election). So, we must keep perspective, and continue. We must encourage others to also remain engaged in the struggle – to be a force for living change. In more than thirty years of pubic service one thing I have learned is that the only way a cause is truly lost is if the army is scattered and resolved to defeat.
As citizens united in conservative principles, we are called to unite and to be a force for change. We are not defeated. Indeed, there is still work to do.