By Jim Lyde
Chief Operating Officer
[First Published April 18, 2013]
Chief Operating Officer
[First Published April 18, 2013]
Following are excerpts from Mark Twain’s short story “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.” In this classic, the deceased Stormfield, a sea captain, had deviated from his course to heaven by only slight degrees so that he could have racing competitions with various comets.
When he arrived in Heaven he encountered a gatekeeper who asked, "Did you come STRAIGHT HERE from your system?" Stormfield answered, [No,] “But I only fell off just a bare point, and I went right back on my course again the minute the race was over." The gatekeeper responded, "No matter - that divergence has made all this trouble. It has brought you to a gate that is billions of leagues from the right one. If you had gone to your own gate they would have known all about your world at once and there would have been no delay. But we will try to accommodate you.” So the gatekeeper sent an assistant to locate our Solar System. After days of searching a map as big as Rhode Island the assistant located Earth, telling the gatekeeper, "Oh, I know the one he means, now, sir. It is on the map. It is called the Wart."
There are those of us conservatives who act as if even the slightest deviation from our political beliefs might result in the dilemma encountered by Captain Stormfield. If we hear a statement or position that is even one degree away from ours, we almost lose our self-control. It’s as if we are proclaiming “listen up – everyone is wrong but me!” This attitude reminds me of a cartoon in which two mothers are watching a parade. One says to the other “Look Gladys, my son is the only one in the band who is in step!” We already are hearing a raucous clamor of complaints about the behaviors of Senators Rubio, Paul, Cruz, Lee and others whom just the other day we were praising as the new and true leadership to deal with the past and current betrayals of the “Rinos.”
Folks, we need to be reminded of the nature of our heritage. It was exactly this kind of rigid, unyielding behavior that our forefathers defeated to provide us with our freedom-loving society. The Constitution itself was forged from bitter divisiveness and unsavory compromise. TLC has encountered fellow conservatives who are so convinced that they are the only ones who can think that they refute input from others even when the others are agreeing with them! The citizens of this country will not ever get everything they want every time; they never have; and they never should!
The view here is that this dogmatic behavior cost us conservatives the last presidential election. Too many of us voted for third party candidates. In the history of this nation there have been exactly ZERO successful third party presidential campaigns! Too many of us, angry because Romney was not conservative enough, stayed home. Boy, we really showed them, didn’t we? Consider the words of Gary DeMar:
To all those who threw their votes to third party candidates, and to those who did not vote, when those of us who are fighting to protect the system hobble away, I hope you have enough of your mindset to keep it together because there is a whole host of us that are too bloody to walk another step. We could have held Mitt Romney's feet to the fire while we brought in our Tea Party candidates, protected the Supreme Court and the nation from a fifty years of aggressive evil influence of Obama Court nominations, rid ourselves of the redefinition of marriage and monstrous late-term abortion. Whomever amongst us that is glad of this turn of events with the election for some 'high' principled idea, I can only say an entire nation, countless unborn and many who will be exposed to the judgments of death panels in the Obamacare will suffer from such thinking.
A colleague and I were on a business trip during which we found ourselves seated next to a woman who was on her very first flight. Of course, we subjected her to a little kidding about the safety of the plane, etc. As luck would have it, the plane hit a small air pocket, terrifying the inexperienced traveler. She said to my colleague, “Joe, if that happens again, I will grab hold of you.” To which he jokingly replied, “Lady, I’m scared. We can talk trash when we get on the ground!” There is an analogy here. Our “airship of state” is under an ominous threat, the face of which is Barack Obama. We must unify to neutralize that threat. We can squabble about the fine points of immigration or abortion policy after we have prevented our airship from crashing into, uh, Greece, for example.
Then there is this from an editorial in the Prague newspaper Prager Zeitungon:
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president."
We, the angry conservatives who stubbornly protested by staying home or by voting for third party candidates, became members, along with the takers, the socialists and the liberals, of that “vast confederacy of fools” that caused Barack Obama to be the President of the United States. It is as simple as that. We need to pull our heads out, lest we be collectively remembered as “the Wart.”