It is Time for Leaders on the Right to Act Worthy of Themselves

On the fifth anniversary of the Boston Massacre, the young, talented physician and great son of liberty, Dr. Joseph Warren, stood before thousands of Bostonians gathered in the Old South Meeting House. As he looked out over those gathered, Warren said,

Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rests the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.

We stand today in a similar moment of uncertain future. We have no guarantees that in this struggle we will win and set things right in this constitutional republic.

But one thing is certain: we need more men and women of true conviction to stand up and fight, and in word and deed, act worthy of themselves.

Yet every day it feels like Republicans and the heads of Conservatism, Inc. sit by and do nothing as madness descends on America. And if they do anything at all, it is to denigrate and sell out the base and the Constitution. Why? Because neither we nor the Constitution was ever really among their priorities.

Actions authenticate beliefs. If you want to know what someone values or believes, don’t listen to his words: watch his actions. 

Black Lives Matter are avowed Marxists who proclaim their wish to destroy capitalism and the Western nuclear family. In the thousands of others marching, looting, demanding the defunding the police, tearing down statues, BLM has found fellow travelers who, on some fundamental level, are ashamed to have been born and raised in the freest, most diverse nation in the history of the world.

Now, this minority, this mob, seeks to overturn and re-write the fundamental history and principles of America and her founding and deny her social progress over three centuries, so that future generations are more likely to be ashamed of their heritage than proud. The mob sees America as illegitimate from its founding and argues that it therefore must be destroyed. 

Like other leftist revolutionaries of the past, they are convinced of the rightness of their cause, facts be damned. But we may be sure that their actions validate their beliefs, however devastatingly misguided they might be. For them, and for many on the Left, politics is their religion as they seek the perfection of humanity through the state. They seek power to achieve that perfection; it is a fool’s errand in an imperfect world filled with imperfect human beings, but such considerations neither trouble their minds, nor diminish their fervor.

On the other hand, Republicans and conservatives tend to go to D.C. because they think it might make for them a cool career. Many serve in Congress hopeful of becoming wealthy lobbyists. As long as they can make a good living, they are happy to toss out the crumbs of platitudes to the base about how they’ll drain the swamp, all the while doing whatever leadership tells them to do. 

Others come to D.C. in order to work inside the ecosystem of Conservatism, Inc. so that they can stroke each others’ egos while exchanging ideas inside a self-validating echo chamber. They do this while proclaiming their hero status as conservers of the republic even as they move among the moveable feast of events. 

This is madness. We cannot defeat a movement of religious zealots hellbent on the destruction of the American Republic with a bunch of feckless careerists looking for banquets and their next paycheck.

By their actions, Republicans and Conservatism, Inc. members, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James, are validating this point by slandering us and selling us out because their priorities are money, power, and prestige. 

I tell people all the time if something seems to make no sense in D.C., follow the money for clarity. There’s money to be made in compromise and appeasement. Principles are negotiable as long as you get funding for your reelection, money for a new building or a marble bathroom, or the right invites to the right parties.

Republican officials seek funding from their corporate cronies and then set about working to make them happy so they can get the next check. Conservatism, Inc., embodied in places like Heritage and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), are really more about securing sinecures than actually winning the political battles they sell to their mailing lists. Seriously: how are they going to beat the Left? Swat them away with their white papers?

But in many ways, this is also about ignorance: take for example Big Tech. These tech collaborators—people and organizations taking direct cash contributions

from the tech companies like Mike Lee, Heritage, AEI, and even National Review—are either dangerously naïve about what tech is trying to achieve, or they’re in on it; neither scenario is a good one for America’s true patriots. If you think tech’s censoring of free speech is bad, wait until you understand Silicon Valley’s goals with general AI and singularity.

We have arrived at a moment when “the worst are filled with passionate intensity” and the supposed best lack all conviction and courage. There’s no real conviction among a lot of our so-called leaders on the Right. Sure, they chase the ephemeral things like money and powerbut they are hollow men and women who have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Their actions, or lack of action, demonstrate this.

Those who have no real conviction have no will to fight. They will bend the knee to almost anything.

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About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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