Opinion / Politics

Conservatives – Hypnotizing Lobsters

Conservatives

Conservatives tend to be conservative by “nature,” as well as by politics. They value friends, family, faith, tradition, service, and natural rights. They laugh at themselves because – they can. They hold the long view, work hard, love history, and are optimistic. But they can falter.

Conservatives – however you define them – can, like anyone else, lose their vision, foresight, optimism, and can-do. This can happen when they succeed, imaging the battle is over. It can happen when they fail, imagining success is out of reach, which it never is.

As we analyze the nation’s “caught in irons” state – these miserable midterms that landed with a thud and not a “red wave” – two thoughts wash over me.

One is how excited the left is that conservatives did not win the Senate, how excited China is that we are divided, and how wrong both of these anti-liberty voices are.

You see, as Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan knew, the war for liberty is not won or lost in a single battle. Liberty is neither secured forever – nor vanquished beyond recovery – in one move. That only happens in chess, hunting, final drive of a football game, and nuclear war.

Short of those exigencies, the war for liberty remains before us. As Churchill wrote in one of his epic volumes, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Reagan vigorously agreed, having seen that approach win WWII and dispose of Soviet oppression, not in one move, not in a dozen, but in the undying will to win for love of liberty.

Funny, as we look at how much convincing remains to be done, how clear liberty is to some, how unclear to others – we are again where they were. We face series of battles, an ideological contest of the first priority – a need to think, teach, persuade, protect, and elevate our game.

Some recall Churchill, being questioned about his resolve, asked how history would recall him.  He was succinct, so full of wit and grit – like Reagan – it causes pause. He said, “History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it.” Here is the thing:  He did not mean “I will be writing books,” which he did.  He meant, liberty will prevail, because we will make that outcome “history.”

That is what we must resolve today, to stay free as a nation, centered on liberty – because we are in this conversation about liberty to win, to make it so, to assure that is our history.

Churchill knew the stakes and did not doubt the power of free people to preserve their freedom. Reagan did too, only he went further. He did not doubt the power of unfree people to make themselves free, if encouraged to recall that they held future history in their hands. We do, too.

The second thought, oddly enough, was about rural Maine – where I grew up. The state is famous for lobsters, and rightly so. When young, we watched lobstermen harvest them, handling these rugged creatures nimbly, despite their crusher claw and constant attack mode.

A bit older, I learned – stay with me – how to sideline these aggressive little crustaceans, how to “hypnotize them,” grabbing them, flipping them on their head, rubbing their back until they got tired of fighting, gave up, and slept on their heads. This is true, no joke.

The best little fighters, these warriors of the seafloor, could be nobbled, put to sleep, what we called “hypnotized” – just by getting disoriented, finding themselves in a different space. Suddenly their claws came down, their fight was drained, they gave up.

Fighters lose when they fall asleep, when they allow others to disorient them, get convinced giving up is not really giving up, that compromise is okay. For lobsters, it is okay. For the rest of us, it is not.

This midterm election, like the rigmarole and haranguing Republicans have unfairly faced – and still face – for supporting policies of the last president, is enough to cause anyone to get disoriented, to lower their claws, to give up. We cannot do that.

Also in Maine, we have eagles – as much of the country does. They are what a “comeback” looks like. We take heart seeing those birds. They are conservative by nature, aggressive when they must be, and rightly represent freedom.

In short, these midterms were a downdraft, enough to make us pause in the fight. We cannot. Churchill would not. Reagan would not. We cannot. This is just one election cycle, a bigger one ahead. We cannot go silent. As Churchill wrote, “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”

We – conservatives – are the torch carriers, privileged to have the long view, know history, work hard, and value what got us here. We are the ones on whom those who came before now count. And well they should. We are optimists, come what may. We know the arc, we will not falter.


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Di B
21 days ago

I so enjoy your articles, Mr. Charles! Especially those that give me hope, like this one!

Art
21 days ago

Good article. Well written. I personally am not pleased that McConnell theTurtle and McCarthy are positioned where they are. Just think that there is another Californian as SOH. I’ve heard a tremendous amount of rhetoric concerning what is going to happen. It does appear that there has been major preparation in the House. NOW LET US SEE THE FOLLOWUP ACTION!!!!!!
Tora!Tora!Tora!

heil biden
22 days ago

LETS GO BRANDON

Carol
22 days ago

Love the engorgement! We have a runoff in a couple weeks here in GA! Every GA voter must get out and vote!!! We can at least keep the Senate 50/50! Let inflation and crime keep on hurting those leftist voters! They will wake up when the pain is enough that they can no longer ignore the idiocy of the left’s policies!

Carol
22 days ago
Reply to  Carol

encouragement! Why does these spell checkers keep changing words instead of fix spelling is beyond me!

C H
22 days ago

Thank you! Encouragement accepted.

Laura
23 days ago

Excellent article! The Republicans have taken back the House! This was only the first step. This is not the time to give up.

anna hubert
22 days ago
Reply to  Laura

True but if we are the torch bearers we also must assure there are those to pass it onto

PaulE
23 days ago

Another good article. Both the MSM and the Democrats will try to have Republicans split into camps over the next several months. Even more so than before, because the Democrats need to completely kill the MAGA movement for the Globalists to truly win. All in order to make whomever the Democrats put forth for POTUS in 2024 to appear as a more “moderate” and “reasonable” ( strictly in words only NOT in the actions carried out) choice to the majority of voters. Most of whom literally do NO research whatsoever before making their voting decisions based on how many political ads they see on TV the week before the elections. I agree the focus needs to focused and long-term in nature, as the struggle for our country is measured over decades, not months or a few years.

We do however need to clean house in terms of both McConnell and McCarthy in leadership within Congress. The approach of “say and do nothing” as a strategy and hope the Democrats just take themselves out was gross incompetence at best and intentionally planned at worst in order to defend their current leadership positions. You can’t go into battle with people by your side you can’t trust or aren’t up for the fight. That’s a good way to get killed. None of us wants that.

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