The ObamaCare Ruling’s Natural Application to The Episcopal Church
Just some quick thoughts:
1) For more than fifty years now, the liberal activists in the US have been the more strategic, the more tactical, the more engaged, and the more hard-working. They know what they want, they strategize, they are networked together in pursuit of those goals, and then they work hard to achieve it.
The same thing is true for TEC liberal activists.
2) The Supreme Court ruling is but one of a thousand steps with a thousand “prior causes” on the liberal activist quest.
The same thing is true for whatever next the General Convention approves.
3) The facts in the most recent five years are as follows.
—Republicans elected a man as President who in many ways caved on his *asserted* principles in the last years of his presidency and enacted all sorts of further bloat, central planning, collectivism, and big government expansions.
—Republicans nominated somebody even less conservative as their Presidential candidate and put him up against a very likable man [and yes, he’s likable even to me—I also have far more respect for him as a person committed to his principles then I did for Clinton, too].
—The vast majority of Americans are neither conservatives or liberals. They just want to go to work and think that the government should “do something” about whatever problems they perceive or are called to their attention. This will not change.
—The majority of Americans elected the nominee of the Democrats in 2008—they chose him either *with* knowledge or *without* knowledge, and I don’t think it’s all that important as to which one that is. He is a very committed, principled collectivist.
—Americans have not been happy with the consequences of this double-downed collectivism; the economy has not responded [shocking I know]. Americans also have not rejected collectivism, since they don’t see it and since the Republicans also practice it in spades.
—Unlike what prognosticators say, it’s not the 20% in the middle who make the decisions in any organization, country, or family. It’s the 20% who are the leaders amongst the principled. In America’s case, the 20% are, as I pointed out initially, the liberal activist leaders in the party of the Democrats.
—We have no countering 20% conservative activist leaders in the party of the Republicans. We’re not even close to that number. DeMint was the lone conservative Republican in the Senate until five more were elected in 2010. So there’s six now, out of a hundred Senators, and out of 47 Republicans. Maybe we’ll get a few more in 2012—that would certainly be nice. So maybe we’ll have 10 or so conservative Senators who don’t support collectivism and central planning.
—Time after time after time after time, Republicans demonstrate by their actions that they are *for* central planning, *for* collectivism, *for* big government, and *against* individual liberty, private property, the free market, and the Constitution. They’re just “less so” than the Democrats.
4) The thing that is killing us—killing us as a country and killing us within Anglicanism—is the purported “leadership” on our side. If we got rid of Obama—and all the principled collectivists that the Democrats have stacked up behind Obama in their party—and if we got rid of Katherine Jefferts Schori—and all the principled revisionist activists that the libs have stacked up behind Schori—we would be very little better off. Boehner, and Bishop Parsley, or Boehner and McConnell and Bishop Ed Little, or Boehner, McConnell, Hatch, Bishop Ed Little and the COE’s Fulcrum aren’t going to make the country or the church “all better now;” the decline might come a little slower, but then the lethargy will double down as well, so it’s a wash.
When you look back over the past 50 years, the “leaders” simply dropped the ball over and over and over and over, wherever you found them. They dropped the ball in the ABA, and the AMA, and the APA, and in practically any establishment, recognized organization of note. They dropped the ball in academia. They dropped the ball in the arts and culture. They dropped the ball in business. They dropped the ball in politics, and in the media. They just dropped the ball. They dropped the ball at vestry elections, and delegate elections, and deputy elections, and diocesan conventions, and general conventions, in parishes, in bishop searches, in organizing and networking, in Bible studies and Sunday schools—pretty much everywhere you look where leaders have been in the past 50 years, there is smoldering rubble, a wasted landscape, and a small cabal of weak, directionless, incompetent, complacent, naive, clueless, in-denial, spinning-wildly, as-wise-as-doves “leaders” saying things like “we will outgrow the liberals in our parishes [or insert any other secular institution here] and pay no attention to politics.” One of the reasons why StandFirm bloggers are as hard on conservative “leaders” as on liberal activists is because we recognize why we’re in the mess we’re in.
Nothing’s going to change without excellent, strategic, hard-working, engaged, informed, thoughtful, courageous, principled, wise conservative leadership—and we have far too little of that to make a holistic difference within the Anglican Communion and within the US. Further, without such leadership, the needed education and informing of the 40% “in the middle” won’t take place, in large part because there’s “nothing to see there” for them to learn.
5) Whenever the conservative strategy consists of “and then, a deus ex machina Supreme Court will come down from the clouds and save us from ourselves”—save us from the Republican’s actions, save us from the Republican nomination, save us from the country’s Presidential choice, save us from the Democrats, save us from the dreadful public schools churning out vacuous, irrational emoticons for students—that’s a bad sign of desperation and No Real Strategy. When you find yourself giddy with hope [false] and expectation [completely unwarranted no matter the conservative prognosticators] in the supposed future actions of the deus ex machina, you’re almost always bound for a disappointment.
6) The fact that the degree of hope in a particular outcome is Very Very High does not make the probability that that outcome will occur higher; it merely reveals the extent of your desperation and Lack Of A Real Plan.
Thusly, when conservatives within the Anglican Communion spend a lot of time plotting and scheming and hoping for… [drum roll] “and then, a deus ex machina liberal Archbishop of Canterbury will come down from the clouds and save us from ourselves” that’s a bad sign of desperation and No Real Strategy. The amount of hope by conservatives does not make such an outcome more likely.
Likewise, when conservatives in TEC say “and then, a deus ex machina ‘moderate’ Presiding Bishop will be elected by the next General Convention and save us from ourselves” that’s a bad sign of desperation and No Real Strategy.
In fact, whenever a conservative anywhere in any organization spends a lot of time thinking about and talking about “Our Deus Ex Machina Plan” it means they have no real plan and aren’t really a leader at all.
7) What can a conservative follower do in these times?
Well… how much do you want it? That’s what coaches ask runners out on the track running intervals in the 95 degree summer heat ask. The truth is most people ultimately respond with… “not very much at all, coach.” That’s just the way most people are, and not just “in these terrible times” but throughout the long march of history—and that’s not always a bad thing either. Most people don’t want much—they’re generally content and placid and lethargic and fairly satisfied, unless they find themselves too uncomfortable, in which case somebody [else] needs to do something.
The few bits of advice I have for those who answer back I want it real bad, coach are simply the ones I’m following.
Work hard. Get up from inevitable defeats and losses—get up again… Get up again.
Take counsel and network with strategic fellow conservatives wherever you are—whatever little podunk county or town or state or parish or diocese—and strive to think strategically and take the long view.
Try to become a good leader someday. If you see any leaders out there who are “excellent, strategic, hard-working, engaged, informed, thoughtful, courageous, principled, wise” give them your money and time and stand behind them. But most likely there won’t be many of those to stand behind.
Maybe you and I will be one of those leaders we desperately needed today, someday. If we put in the time.
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