When I was in college, I studied Southern Long Fist Kung Fu for more than a year and my teacher told me something that I never forgot. He said that when you’re being attacked, the aggressor sets the rules and if you want to survive, you have to play by those rules. In other words, if your opponent is trying to cut your head off with a sword while you’re trying not to hurt him, chances are that you’re going to end up dead. This is a lesson that conservatives can and should apply to politics.
Too often today, liberals are using despicable tactics against conservatives and paying no price whatsoever for it — while those of us on the Right pat ourselves on the back for being above it all. This is like a boxer priding himself on never taking off his gloves while his opponent nearly beats him to death with his bare firsts. But, there’s not much to be said for lovable losers and by now, conservatives should realize that simply appealing to the American public’s sense of fair play isn’t going to pay any dividends.
While the Right doesn’t have to dip down into the sewer as far as the Left has, we do need to start giving them a taste of their own medicine, if only to make them think twice about the way they’re treating our fellow conservatives.
For example, look at the despicable media jihad that was launched against Sarah Palin’s family. There was a not-so-subtle message being sent there: if you’re a Republican woman, you better stay in the shadows or we’re going to destroy your family to get you. The Left gave the same kind of intrusive, public anal exam to Joe-the-Plumber, a private citizen who merely asked an inconvenient question to Barack Obama. While conservatives defended both Sarah and Joe as we complained incessantly about the way they were treated, the reality is that the left paid no price whatsoever for its out-of-bounds attacks.
Instead of continuing to complain, here’s a better idea: why shouldn’t conservatives do opposition research on the reporters running stories about Bristol Palin and Joe-the-Plumber? Have they ever been arrested? Whom do they own property with? Have they ever been paid to do a speech for someone and then run a favorable news story about him? Certainly Keith Olbermann’s personal life is just as newsworthy as Joe the Plumber’s and the details of Maureen Dowd’s life are just as noteworthy as those of Bristol Palin — are they not?
Here’s another example: on college campuses, it has gotten so bad that conservative speakers often need bodyguards to give a speech. Conservatives are shouted down, they’re attacked — and nothing serious ever seems to happen to the little liberal fascists who engage in these thuggish tactics. So, if it’s done to a conservative speaker, why shouldn’t conservative groups do the exact same thing to every liberal speaker who comes to the college? Go on stage, lock arms, and shout him down — then sue the university if they’re given so much as an hour’s detention more than the liberal students.
Along those same lines, how is it that we have public universities using taxpayer dollars to discriminate against conservatives, indoctrinate kids into liberalism, and hire terrorists like Bill Ayers as instructors? Why are Republican state legislators allowing our tax dollars to be abused in that fashion? How about standing up and saying, “If you want to continue to receive taxpayer money, you’re going to act like a university should, not like a left-wing indoctrination center?”
Additionally, are you tired of being called a racist by race-hustling poverty pimps like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP? Then use their own tactics against them: boycott organizations that work with them or donate money to them.
Are you sick of feeling like you need to familiarize yourself with porn terms just to understand what they’re saying about the Tea Parties on MSNBC or CNN? Then start filing obscenity complaints with the FCC. The Left has never hesitated to use the government and the court system against its political opponents; so why should we?
Look, we don’t have to become liars like the Left — in fact, even setting aside the ethics of it, it’s better for our credibility if we don’t. But, conservatives do need to stop playing by Marquess of Queensberry rules and futilely hoping that the public will finally start to notice that we’re actually nice guys, even as the Left publicly smears us as Nazis, homophobes, and racists every day.
Ask yourself: how much credit did John McCain get for refusing to talk about Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama’s lack of patriotism? How many times was George Bush — a moderate on domestic issues who bent over backwards to create a “new tone” — accused of being Hitler? How many times has Fox News, which is more balanced than any of the other networks and all the biggest newspapers in America, accused of being as biased as Rush Limbaugh?
Complaining bitterly about the Democrats “politics of personal destruction” or bellyaching that the media doesn’t treat us fairly ultimately accomplishes nothing. The Left doesn’t care and the public doesn’t care. On the other hand, using the exact same tactics against the Left that it uses against us may be effective and even if it isn’t, it may at least convince them that such tactics ought to be off limits on both sides. We can say, “Gee, what if Bush had done this,” or, “That’s a cheap shot,” all day long, but until the Left feels the brunt of the same savage incivility that it dishes out on a regular basis, nothing is going to change.