Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Will Conservatives Fight Each Other for the Next Four Years?

 

I have no idea what will happen over the next month. It’s possible but unlikely that President Trump will be re-elected; it’s also likely that Joe Biden will fill that seat; his winning this election fills me with fear and dread.

But to me, even worse than watching an elderly man who has cognitive problems and misguided ideas become President will be watching the Conservatives at each other’s throats. I foresee those who enthusiastically support Trump holding angry grudges against those who believed that Trump could not overcome the odds or beat back the fraud. And I can imagine those who believed the odds were long will be hated by those who believed that fraud should have been uncovered and Trump should have won.

This outcome is a lose-lose proposition for Conservatives everywhere.

Why do I bring this issue up now? Because in one sense, it doesn’t matter what the results are: we could waste our energy berating each other, blaming the system, and condemning those who were on the opposite side of us.

I’m also raising this issue now because we must focus on the real potential catastrophe: Democrats may very well be in charge of the government at one level or another and their dominance could destroy our country.

Now I will admit that I’m not fond of watching people fight with each other, verbally or otherwise (although I did enjoy the original Karate Kid). But the stakes are too high for us to get sidetracked and fall into Republican reticence of being Mr. Nice Guys or giving up the farm. Instead of fighting with each other over the past, let’s try the following:

  1. Make sure one way or another that a highly credible commission is established to study the results of the election, identify the fraud that occurred, find the mismanagement that was pervasive, and identify solutions. This effort will require identifying which steps should be proposed for the federal government to oversee, and which should be given to the states. If possible, the recommendations should include penalties for breaking or mismanaging the rules. The committee should be bipartisan and should preferably include people who are no longer in government, but have credibility on both sides of the aisle.
  2. Stop crying over spilled milk, no matter who wins. It will have been done. Arguing amongst ourselves is just another kind of distraction and will stall any progress on the part of Republicans. I frankly don’t care if you feel there was massive fraud or if you believe there was fraud, but not enough to make a difference. (I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle.) It’s history. Finished. Done.
  3. Let’s figure out the next steps for the Republicans that go beyond fighting the Democrats or re-litigating the election. We need to revamp totally the principles of Conservatism. We need to give up on old hopes that will be lost for the future, such as small government. We need to figure out how to educate people about US history and its goals in moving forward. We need to determine how to best engage people in America and build enthusiasm for 2024.
  4. We must explore the psychological impact of this election and be honest about its effect on ourselves and the people. Each of us should take a good hard look at ourselves and ask what really motivates our antagonism toward our colleagues. I learned a good lesson that is almost always true when it comes to human motivation. We become angry when two aspects of our psyche are challenged: being right and looking good. That means when someone accuses us of being wrong, we defend ourselves, insisting that we are right. It doesn’t matter whether we are “really” right or not; we must protect ourselves from those who question us. “Looking good” describes those characteristics that we value because we think they make us “look good”; they are what you value about yourself, not necessarily what someone else appreciates about us. That means when a person violates your important beliefs about your looking good—being smart, being right, being ethical, being educated—you will have a strong negative reaction and even fight back. I know intimately the limitations of these reactions!

Once we realize that our reactions to others’ challenging us are based on our irrational fears of being discounted, it’s much easier to disregard what they say about us. For example, some men like to tell me I’m reacting “emotionally” to something. Most women hate to be told that; I love it because I can respond by saying, “You’re right! I am emotional. But I’m also smart and knowledgeable.” That usually stops the attack.

* * * * *

My hope for all of us is that we don’t move into the next four years with a chip on our shoulders. Let’s not attack each other; let’s not spend our time in useless arguments. Instead, let’s transform our anger into passion; our concerns into dedication for America; our frustration into a laser-sharp focus. Let’s work together. Let’s help each other.

Let’s set the example of what it means to be proud Americans.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I will never forgive, nor accept back Never Trumpers. They cast their lot with Biden. They can be cast out forever. They are the Scorpion.

     

     

    • #1
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:28 AM PST
    • 34 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I will never forgive, nor accept back Never Trumpers. They cast their lot with Biden. They can be cast out forever. They are the Scorpion.

     

     

    @bryangstephens, I’m not asking people to change how they feel; we are all entitled to our feelings. I’m more concerned with behavior. You will probably not change anyone’s mind on the other side, and waste a lot of your energy, which could be better spent moving forward.

    • #2
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:33 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I will never forgive, nor accept back Never Trumpers. They cast their lot with Biden. They can be cast out forever. They are the Scorpion.

     

     

    I guess I didn’t address your comment, Bryan. If you can’t accept them, then ignore them.

    • #3
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Stad Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I will never forgive, nor accept back Never Trumpers. They cast their lot with Biden. They can be cast out forever. They are the Scorpion.

     

     

    How does that song go? 

    “God may forgive you, but I won’t.

    Jesus may love you, but I don’t.”

    • #4
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:38 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    But infighting is what we do best!

    (I kid, I kid…. well…. not really)

    Susan, you weren’t here after Romney’s 2012 loss. For a good year after that defeat members here were always at each others’ throats. Social Conservatives blamed libertarians for “treason”, libertarians blamed SoCons for being fascists… fun times. Only thing that brought us out of that was finding something new to tear each other to pieces over – Same Sex Marriage. No sooner had scars started to scab over from that then we had Trump.

    A parish had come to a deep division over Lenten practices. There were those who insisted that true veneration during the Eucharistic prayers required full body prostrations, and there were those who insisted that this was vanity and display, and penitent kneeling alone was correct. As Lent approached, instead of coming together to prepare for Pascha the congregation was near to splitting. The priest, who was simply trying to keep peace, sought out an elderly hermit whom he knew spent his days in deep prayer.

    “Father, your blessing!” the priest begged. “My parish is in deep division, and may even come to violence. It is over the matter of veneration – some insist on prostrations, some on kneeling. You are wise in these matters, what is the right and oldest Holy Tradition? What will quell this endless bickering?”

    The old monk wept. “The Lord bless you! My son, do you not know? Endless bickering is the oldest tradition!”

    And that’s really the truth of the matter. We have always been a coalition of unruly souls, and nobody here is going to agree with anyone else fully on what happened, or what is the best way forward. But if we do endlessly bicker, snipe, or seek vengeance on “traitors” we will succeed in tearing ourselves to pieces.

    • #5
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:44 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  6. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I will never forgive, nor accept back Never Trumpers. They cast their lot with Biden. They can be cast out forever. They are the Scorpion.

     

     

    How does that song go?

    “God may forgive you, but I won’t.

    Jesus may love you, but I don’t.”

    It may be a catchy song, but it is unwise advice.

    • #6
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:45 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Nah, conservatives won’t fight conservatives. Conservatives will fight the fake conservatives in their midst.

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    If you can’t accept them, then ignore them.

    I’d like to, but people keep shoving them in front of us as if they have anything of value to say. I guess it’s sort of like internet trolls. If the rule is “Do not feed the trolls,” then even more so “Do not feed the Nevers.”

    It’s hard to set aside one’s feelings for people who are constantly broadcasting how much they hate you.

    • #7
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:47 AM PST
    • 25 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    And that’s really the truth of the matter. We have always been a coalition of unruly souls, and nobody here is going to agree with anyone else fully on what happened, or what is the best way forward. But if we do endlessly bicker, snipe, or seek vengeance on “traitors” we will succeed in tearing ourselves to pieces.

    So very, very true. We are lively, diverse bunch, even if we are Conservatives, @skipsul. (I love the story of the old monk!) But I would also like us to remember (from my perspective) that we are friends. Friends don’t brutalize friends. At least my friends don’t. 

    • #8
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:48 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Nah, conservatives won’t fight conservatives. Conservatives will fight the fake conservatives in their midst.

    Nice try, @drewinwisconsin, no prize. People can call themselves whatever they wish. Besides, no one seems to be able to agree on what a conservative is. 

    • #9
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:49 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Nah, conservatives won’t fight conservatives. Conservatives will fight the fake conservatives in their midst.

    The one true Scotsman!

    Everyone seems to think that they themselves are the real conservative, and all the rest are fakes and dupes.

    • #10
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:49 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Nah, conservatives won’t fight conservatives. Conservatives will fight the fake conservatives in their midst.

    The one true Scotsman!

    Everyone seems to think that they themselves are the real conservative, and all the rest are fakes and dupes.

    You just have to check in with me. I’ll let you know! ; )

    • #11
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:51 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  12. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    And that’s really the truth of the matter. We have always been a coalition of unruly souls, and nobody here is going to agree with anyone else fully on what happened, or what is the best way forward. But if we do endlessly bicker, snipe, or seek vengeance on “traitors” we will succeed in tearing ourselves to pieces.

    So very, very true. We are lively, diverse bunch, even if we are Conservatives, @skipsul. (I love the story of the old monk!) But I would also like us to remember (from my perspective) that we are friends. Friends don’t brutalize friends. At least my friends don’t.

    I wish that was my experience, but after a decade here on Ricochet I’ve had more than my share of “friends” flip on me on this or that issue – didn’t matter that we agreed on 95% of everything else, somehow that 5% was always the most important.

    • #12
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:51 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Nah, conservatives won’t fight conservatives. Conservatives will fight the fake conservatives in their midst.

    The one true Scotsman!

    Everyone seems to think that they themselves are the real conservative, and all the rest are fakes and dupes.

    I don’t consider myself a real conservative, and prefer to be called a fake and dupe! 

    I think in most cases titles are meaningless; it’s just another place to get stuck in the discussion. I’d rather talk about things that are meaningful and true for me (even if they’re not true for you).

    • #13
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:52 AM PST
    • Like
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Nah, conservatives won’t fight conservatives. Conservatives will fight the fake conservatives in their midst.

    Nice try, @drewinwisconsin, no prize. People can call themselves whatever they wish.

    Oh, sure. Some people think they’re Napoleon. I don’t have to entertain their delusions.

    • #14
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:52 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  15. Jager Coolidge
    JagerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    But infighting is what we do best!

    (I kid, I kid…. well…. not really)

    Susan, you weren’t here after Romney’s 2012 loss. For a good year after that defeat members here were always at each others’ throats. Social Conservatives blamed libertarians for “treason”, libertarians blamed SoCons for being fascists… fun times. Only thing that brought us out of that was finding something new to tear each other to pieces over – Same Sex Marriage. No sooner had scars started to scab over from that then we had Trump.

    A parish had come to a deep division over Lenten practices. There were those who insisted that true veneration during the Eucharistic prayers required full body prostrations, and there were those who insisted that this was vanity and display, and penitent kneeling alone was correct. As Lent approached, instead of coming together to prepare for Pascha the congregation was near to splitting. The priest, who was simply trying to keep peace, sought out an elderly hermit whom he knew spent his days in deep prayer.

    “Father, your blessing!” the priest begged. “My parish is in deep division, and may even come to violence. It is over the matter of veneration – some insist on prostrations, some on kneeling. You are wise in these matters, what is the right and oldest Holy Tradition? What will quell this endless bickering?”

    The old monk wept. “The Lord bless you! My son, do you not know? Endless bickering is the oldest tradition!”

    And that’s really the truth of the matter. We have always been a coalition of unruly souls, and nobody here is going to agree with anyone else fully on what happened, or what is the best way forward. But if we do endlessly bicker, snipe, or seek vengeance on “traitors” we will succeed in tearing ourselves to pieces.

    That is the same general time frame I was thinking too as well. I still remember making the argument that we needed to vote for Romney (who I did not even like) because we all had to come together behind the nominee. Those were some bitter fights. 

    • #15
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:53 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  16. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Actually, I think the word “conservative” may now be useless due to “definition drift” or whatever.

    I had kind of given up on it during the Bush years, but started to re-embrace it during the Obama years. I’m not sure how I feel about it now.

    • #16
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:56 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  17. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):

    Nah, conservatives won’t fight conservatives. Conservatives will fight the fake conservatives in their midst.

    The one true Scotsman!

    Everyone seems to think that they themselves are the real conservative, and all the rest are fakes and dupes.

    I don’t consider myself a real conservative, and prefer to be called a fake and dupe!

    I think in most cases titles are meaningless; it’s just another place to get stuck in the discussion. I’d rather talk about things that are meaningful and true for me (even if they’re not true for you).

    I have come to the point where the term “conservative” has been drained dry of any real meaning, it’s just something to be fought over, or, if you’d like, an indication of general direction, like “south”, but one that really needs the other points of the compass to make any sense (due south? south by south-southwest? west by south?, etc.). In short, it’s a term I try to avoid using now.

    • #17
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:56 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    I wish that was my experience, but after a decade here on Ricochet I’ve had more than my share of “friends” flip on me on this or that issue – didn’t matter that we agreed on 95% of everything else, somehow that 5% was always the most important.

    I’ve differed with people when we almost always agreed. But I’d have to think about the 5% of differences. Ah, yes; I guess all of us are not friends here on Ricochet. But isn’t life like that? We have friends, and sometimes discover that someone we thought was a friend isn’t one. It’s painful but true.

    It reminds me of my mother who had a friend in high school–a person she thought was a friend–who humiliated her in public. My mother was devastated–so devastated that she essentially never had a close friend again, and had only a tiny circle of friends through her life. Our discussing her situation was one of our deepest exchanges. And I realized that in one sense she was very lonely. But she also felt safer without friends.

    But I digress. . . 

    • #18
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:57 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I have come to the point where the term “conservative” has been drained dry of any real meaning, it’s just something to be fought over, or, if you’d like, an indication of general direction, like “south”, but one that really needs the other points of the compass to make any sense (due south? south by south-southwest? west by south?, etc.). In short, it’s a term I try to avoid using now.

    Yep. We cross-posted, but this is kind of how I feel, too.

    • #19
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:57 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    I would like to call myself a “liberal” because I really mean it. But that term has had a bad connotation for quite awhile. The deal is, Democrats aren’t using it anymore. They’ve all gone full-leftist. I think “liberal” is up for grabs.

    • #20
    • November 13, 2020, at 7:59 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  21. EHerring Coolidge

    Friends don’t “brutalize” friends, as you said. In this election, we found out who our friends are.

    • #21
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:00 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  22. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It reminds me of my mother who had a friend in high school–a person she thought was a friend–who humiliated her in public. My mother was devastated–so devastated that she essentially never had a close friend again, and had only a tiny circle of friends through her life. Our discussing her situation was one of our deepest exchanges. And I realized that in one sense she was very lonely. But she also felt safer without friends.

    This is very very familiar to me.

    • #22
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. Hoyacon Member

    I promise not to fight any conservative–faux or otherwise–who openly acknowledges that the principle practical basis for the Never Trump movement was a very large miscalculation. That basis was that Trump would bring about the downfall of other candidates and cause severe down-ballot losses from which the party would not recover.

    It’s simple. You were wrong. Admit it and we can start to be friends again. Maybe.

    • #23
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 19 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    I have come to the point where the term “conservative” has been drained dry of any real meaning, it’s just something to be fought over, or, if you’d like, an indication of general direction, like “south”, but one that really needs the other points of the compass to make any sense (due south? south by south-southwest? west by south?, etc.). In short, it’s a term I try to avoid using now.

    I agree completely. We need to re-define ourselves and rename ourselves as well. It has to have meaning, not just be superficial positions and labels. And it will be a huge lift.

    • #24
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Mim526 Member

    Well presented (and intended I know) post, but am going to have to disagree somewhat. Except for #4 which is good in any circumstance and from an obvious expert, there needs to be some truth tellin’ before the rest can occur I think. Particularly before #3.

    There is more divergence among non-Leftists than I’ve seen before. I’m not talking the old Libertarian vs. Republican type differences, different personality preferences, etc. Maybe it’s related to the globalist vs. nationalist world view, the uniparty vs. traditional American. Whatever it is, it’s foundational I think. Sometimes I feel like I have more in common with an ex-liberal like Dave Rubin who is passionate about Constitutional freedoms than some conservatives. I’m with some of the others in the thread; does conservative cover it anymore?

    • #25
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:13 AM PST
    • 10 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. Jager Coolidge
    JagerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I will never forgive, nor accept back Never Trumpers. They cast their lot with Biden. They can be cast out forever. They are the Scorpion.

     

     

    How does that song go?

    “God may forgive you, but I won’t.

    Jesus may love you, but I don’t.”

    It may be a catchy song, but it is unwise advice.

    Maybe,but it will be tough. I am, in the future, supposed to unite with and forgive the people who called me a “cultist” and implied I was a racist because I was willing to vote for Trump and not join them in trashing everything?

    Common ground will be a bit harder to find, it might be best if common ground could be found, but I think this one might take a bit of time. 

    • #26
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:15 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    Sometimes I feel like I have more in common with an ex-liberal like Dave Rubin who is passionate about Constitutional freedoms than some conservatives. Does conservative cover it anymore?

    Absolutely. The dividing line is a lot different. It’s not a simple left vs. right, Republican vs. Democrat, Conservative vs. Liberal dichotomy anymore.

    It really seems to be something like “American” vs. “Globalist.” Still not quite able to put it into words, but on one side are all of us who still believe in this thing called America, with all its faults, but also with all its aspirations as laid out in our founding documents.

    And on the other are the forces of Big Tech, Big Corporate, Media, Academia, Washington, and others who constantly disparage America (or wish to “transform it”) and envision a no-borders world where America really doesn’t mean anything anymore.

    • #27
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:19 AM PST
    • 19 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  28. Mim526 Member

    About #1, was thinking the other day that Americans and the Republic would have been much better served had the millions spent on Mueller’s investigation/report and the impeachment farce gone toward examining and tightening up our national elections. People here and around the world are counting on us to get it right on the free and fair elections front.

    • #28
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:22 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    Well presented (and intended I know) post, but am going to have to disagree somewhat. Except for #4 which is good in any circumstance and from an obvious expert, there needs to be some truth tellin’ before the rest can occur I think. Particularly before #3.

    There is more divergence among non-Leftists than I’ve seen before. I’m not talking the old Libertarian vs. Republican type differences or different personality preferences. Maybe it’s related to the globalist vs. nationalist world view, the uniparty vs. traditional American. Whatever it is, it’s foundational I think. Sometimes I feel like I have more in common with an ex-liberal like Dave Rubin who is passionate about Constitutional freedoms than some conservatives. Does conservative cover it anymore?

    @mim526, I’m all for passionate discussion, sharing differences, exploring ideas. But I’m talking about personal attacks that barely pass the CoC. Attacks that are intended to take down a person, not that open people up to sharing. I do realize that it takes a level of commitment and maturity for these kinds of discussions to take place, but I’m calling to people’s higher selves, not the petty and bitter selves. So I don’t know if we’re that far apart in our expectations.

    • #29
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:24 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jager (View Comment):

    Maybe,but it will be tough. I am, in the future, supposed to unite with and forgive the people who called me a “cultist” and implied I was a racist because I was willing to vote for Trump and not join them in trashing everything?

    Common ground will be a bit harder to find, it might be best if common ground could be found, but I think this one might take a bit of time. 

    @jager, I didn’t say anything about forgiveness or even uniting. That might be a step too far. Before any of that can happen, we need to make peace with people, and if we can’t, we’re better off ignoring them. They might only be interested in taunting you. If someone attacked me in that way, I wouldn’t give him or her the time of day. I certainly wouldn’t try to unite with them! I like your suggesting common ground, as difficult as it might be to create. And I suspect it will take time.

    • #30
    • November 13, 2020, at 8:26 AM PST
    • 1 like