No one likes to be criticized…even when that criticism is constructive. People want to be right and when they are proven wrong, it bugs them. Perhaps part of their frustration comes from not having known better and thereby having avoided being wrong in the first place. Liberals are often accused of being in love with being wrong. They seem to relish in the art of invalid arguments and delusional conclusions. However, there are many on the Right who respond no less bitterly when they are proven wrong. It is my firm conviction that if you are always right, you are doing something wrong. The statement, “No one is perfect” does not come with an asterisk, “except for me.”
The United States is now engaged in a battle of ideas (bordering on an outright civil war), and the left seems to be winning. They are not winning because they have better ideas but because their ideas have better promotion. Maybe it’s not even better promotion as much as it is more promotion. So, that means we on the right must fight harder to have our ideas heard over the clamoring of the left.
It also means that the ideas we on the Right put forward have to be grounded in facts and never fiction. It means we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard than that of our opposition. We have to be our best or worst critics…think constructive critic here. Many on the right are members of the Grand Ole Party, the Republicans, and many are decrying the takeover of the party by RINO’s. (Republican In Name Only) However, few have stopped to think how it came to be that so many moderate or even liberal Republicans came to be in power.
No magic wand was waved over the party by Speaker of the House John Boehner or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or even RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. The die had been cast long before any of these men took office. It was cast while so many conservative Americans refused to cast any votes. Apathy among Americans has led to the liberalization of much of the Republican Party.
Now, as Americans have thankfully started to wake up from their slumber; many are taking a more active role in politics. Suddenly, we have a chorus of people on the Right calling out our leadership for failures and compromises with principles we hold dear. A prime example came last night when GOP House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor was defeated by a Tea Party candidate David Brat in the Virginia primaries.
More has to be done in order to see a return to the Conservative principles many on the right held while being members of the GOP. Part of this return can only be brought about by a healthy dose of constructive criticism and house cleaning. The Right cannot and should not depend on the criticism of the left to sharpen their perspective. The Good Book says in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This means we on the right cannot fear or avoid using the iron sword (the pen or the pulpit) to sharpen our friends for the battle.
Far too many members on the Right are quick to defend against any constructive criticism that comes from within the conservative movement. It is called infighting and negative and dangerous, etc. Yet, I remember reading about a Jewish man…a mere carpenter… who walked into the middle of a group of the Holiest men of His day and rebuked them saying, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Let me reiterate, No one likes to be corrected or to be wrong. However, we on the right cannot become so sure of ourselves and our contrast with the left that we declare arrogantly, “We are right because everything about you is wrong.” Simply disagreeing with one side does not mean your side is right. We cannot afford to continue the ideology that, “Anything is better than what we have now.” It is that attitude that has brought the Right to where it is today…defeat after defeat.
We need to call each other out when we falter and not wait until the Left calls us out in our hypocrisy. We need to stop fearing constructive criticism from within and embrace it as something that refines us…like fire. 1 Peter 1:7, “So that the proof of “our” faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (and in the next elections!) We need to be so committed to doing only the “Right” things that we would never consider compromising with the wrong things. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…if anything is admirable or praiseworthy…think about such things.” Philippians 4:8.
We may wish in our hearts that the world or just the United States would be comprised of people who always do the right thing, but wishing will not make it so. In this age of moral relativism it is even more important for conservatives to repeatedly call out those among us who falter. We may have to remain in the minority but that does not mean were are conceding defeat. We should all remember the words of Samuel Adams, “It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” We should also remember the words of Mark Twain, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”