One of the biggest problems about where conservatives find themselves on social media is in the bedfellows we’ve kept in the last few years.
The 2012 election was the first in which Twitter and social media played a truly massive role. In March of that year, conservative lion Andrew Breitbart passed away, creating an army of conservatives joining the cause. Of course, by March, we were already chest-deep in the election cycle, and the more bodies we had in the army the better.
We didn’t stop to think about the friends we made and the people we associated with on these mediums, so long as they exhibited even a semblance of conservatism to press forward. We never questioned the actual worldviews of those we bonded with so long as they said the right things. We didn’t realize that it was more a matter of convenience and connectivity than actual commonalities.
Unfortunately, in that blinding atmosphere, we didn’t realize that we have way less in common with each other than previously thought. Some people had other ideas. Some people have other motives. We didn’t vet the men and women we shared bunkers with. It first showed with people who whined about our nominee in 2012. As Breitbart said just a few weeks before he passed:
I don’t care who our candidate is and I haven’t since the beginning of this. I haven’t! Ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate! …
When I walk through CPAC or a I travel the United States to meet people in the Tea Party who care — black, white, gay, and straight — anyone that’s willing to stand next to me to fight the progressive left, I will be in that bunker.
And if you’re not in that bunker because you’re not satisfied with [a certain] candidate, more than shame on you! You’re on the other side!
He couldn’t have been more correct. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite play out like that. While the majority was unified and focused on the correct objective, there were many within the movement that slammed Mitt Romney at every turn and revealed that they simply had different prerogatives. Between election cycles, we realized that the folks we were in a frenzy to follow were really quite different in personality, philosophy, priorities, and policy preferences.
Fast-forward to August 2015 and it’s just gotten worse. Our “movement” is in shambles with shady infiltrators hellbent on making conservatism look bad. The Big Tent that we were under the illusion of trying to create has turned into a fight club, death matches fought within the confines of virtual cages. Desperate people morphing into destitute. Cannibals and Con-Men.
The Democrats have historically made appealing to emotion a fundamental facet in their politics. Instead of discussing the plethora of issues that face us as a nation and as a society, they’ve reduced the discussion to highly emotional topics of division. These are used to divide the people, artificially creating the “need” for the stabilizing force of centralized government. Now more than ever, there are plenty of Republicans who subscribe to this idea. We slowly found out that the people we were in the trenches with were more like our enemies than we’d ever imagined.
It’s cheap, but effective. It’s how Barack Obama got elected. It’s how so many awful leaders, non-totalitarian and totalitarian alike, come to power. Prey on the base animal instincts of the electorate, craft the narrative, promise to save and lead us from that which ills us, and see the results. This is possible because the majority of the electorate is, unfortunately, uninformed, unintelligent, and simple-minded. Conservatives have become what they claim to hate.
I often find myself wondering how I ever followed or befriended some people. Not all are malicious, of course, but in the mad dash to make battle buddies, I didn’t stop to think about whose thoughts and opinions I actually revere enough to do so. Under no circumstances should anyone be under the delusion that all conservatives get along 100% of the time. After all, the heart of conservatism is individualism. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that we were so desperate to latch onto anyone and everyone in our attempts to “fight back” and now our malignant bedfellows are turning their backs on something they were never actually a part of. This applies for both politicians and the people. But now they’re embedded. Woven into the fabric of what we’re perceived to be in the eyes and words of our enemies. Our mortar is silted and decayed.
What’s happening now is our fault. And as we try to expel the cancerous elements, we find that we’re doing nothing more than a virtual walk of shame.
Pretty remarkable to think that we were driven to such madness at the hands of leftists that we didn’t pay attention to who or what was coming on board the sinking ship.
Mayday. Mayday. Mayday.