Have you ever committed to something and later regretted it?
Pledging an oath should never be taken lightly but once established, it should be honored. That is my dilemma. Had I known how difficult the endeavor would become, how we would be inundated with chaos bordering on madness and how we would watch respected members of conservative circles capitulate with unfathomable frequency, I may have withheld my dedication to be the last man standing.
Yet, here I am trying to keep the fire warm at the core of conservatism. While I am not the last one standing (being surrounded by a fierce coalition), I, like so many others, am defending my own position.
I believe we have all faced moments of hopelessness in the struggle to preserve America as it was written. We have all experienced despair…the possibility that nothing we are doing has changed anything…that we continue to lose ground.
- The Exponential Increase of the Debt which has gone up $3 Trillion dollars in as many years with no commensurate decrease in spending
- The three fold assault on our 2nd Amendment Rights via Bump Stock bans, Red Flag Laws and the broad demonization of the AR platform
- Maintaining and Expansion of the Surveillance State through FISA 702, continued funding of the Patriot Act and empowering the NSA’s ongoing collection of citizens’ phone records (remember when Snowden blew the whistle on this?)
- Veneration of a Number of Global Dictators through fond statements, praise and policy shifts that seem to accommodate their interests at the expense of our allies (the betrayal of the Kurdish people stands chief among these)
- Idolatry Within the Christian Community has never been so rampant with apostate quotes than those who claim opposition to “The Chosen One” is demonic (no American politician, Republican or Democrat, should sit on the throne of a Christian’s heart)
This list could go on and on. I think I have touched on a few key issues that have us at odds with those we once called our own, those we stood shoulder to shoulder with in times past.
These are betrayals that bring us to the brink of concession. They cause us to question ourselves, our positions and the very heart of what we have fought to conserve. But for our commitment to something beyond political ambition, political rivalry and the worn out narrative of ‘Us or Them,’ we may indeed cash in and quit the fight.
The temptation does exist at times. Though the willingness to stop fighting and let the tide of populism flow of over our country has its appeal, some will refuse to surrender if only for spite alone. I promised to be among them.
The desire to give up in the face of impossible odds and the expansion of ignorance (willful or otherwise) may be relentless but these are the hours when our resilience is tested. This time was the hope of our progenitors and will be a period of scrutiny for those who follow. What we do now will matter long after we have passed where many more have gone.
In the last few months I have pulled back and diminished my role on social media. I have begun and abandoned numerous articles. I have asked myself, ‘Why bother?’ I have questioned what impact I have had for all my efforts.
Preaching to the choir feels redundant. The message seems isolated from those it might benefit. This is a self-defeating path and it is easy to take it into obscurity, to forget the reason we have taken on the burden of speaking truth to those who have no interest in it. But we do speak and with conviction.
“My regret is that I have only one life to give for my country.” ~ Nathan Hale
These words were not idly jotted down in a journal, a private thought expressing finality on some inner conflict. They were spoken by a man who was hanged moments later. They were a signature to justify the actions for which he was to be executed and that he harbored no regrets in spite of their result. He stood at the gallows, resolute and defiant. He died like an American. His words coupled with his actions defined his identity and became our legacy.
Many lament the loss of passion attributed to such words as legacy, honor, conviction, integrity, decency, morality, honesty, providence, patriotism, sacrifice, and perseverance. But consider this, if we mourn the loss of these values in our broader culture, we have yet to concede them ourselves. We have kept them close to our hearts where the fire has not yet died.
Should it die in us, it may be resurrected in some distant future, but only if it is rediscovered, relearned or stumbled upon after generations of oppression. That oppression is what our ideals stand against. That is why it is integral that we hold this line. That is how we know that we have yet to be defeated.
If we merely survive this age of superficial victories, emotional expectations and the brutality of public discourse, we will have served our duty to God and Country. We will have left a trail of embers through America’s darkest hour, a trail that will guide the uninformed back to our origins.
So here we are, huddled masses upon America’s own shores, yearning to breathe free. We are a remnant and a witness to how close our country came to extinguishing liberty in its last refuge. We are not preaching to the choir, we are stoking the fire to keep it kindled. We are a testament to those who may find themselves weary of the chaos and confusion of midnight.
Across this land there are many who stand alone with fierce determination. They stand against the decay that consumes America. They stand against the putrification of the pulpits. They stand against the appeal of deception. They stand against the left and right boot of tyranny currently being laced up to march. They stand against any further concession of our constitutionally protected rights.
Each of us stands alone already. We stand, determined to preserve, protect and defend the sacred words still sitting dust-covered in the halls of power where our future is being decided for us.
Until now, those who have stood alone have done so out of obligation, necessity, spite or a keen sense of right and wrong. All of these are noble reasons that can withstand the grave. However, it is our duty to one another as citizens of these United States to live up to the expectations of those who declared independence on our behalf.
We owe it to those who will follow, not to surrender their potential because of some temporary hardship. There has never been a greater time of need in our country for those who stand alone to truly stand together.
Eric Buss is an avid reader and studies history, military, philosophy and politics.
Eric considers himself a Christian Conservatarian.