"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Guest Editorial: Chris Benjamin; Chris Koster; & “Men Without Chests”

January 5th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

This round of party switchers should study C.S. Lewis’s treatment of what he described as “men without chests.” They have no conviction, other than the conviction that their own timber is something to admire. (A notion they’ll hopefully abandon when they realize their retirement will leave a void as great as a broomstick does when being withdrawn from a bucket of water.)

In any event, conservatism is rooted in the conviction that nothing straight can come from the crooked timber of humanity. Liberalism, on the other hand, is rooted in a misguided conviction that government by the right humans can do straight things for everyone else. The coalitions behind Republicans and Democrats, and their predecessors, have been fighting over these respective positions since at least the 18th Century. So it’s not as if a party switch entails no serious ideological consequence.

If you are willing to turn on the liberal or conservative coalition, and the ideas it fights for, or on everyone who supported you and gave you work, then you’re willing to turn on anything . . . if the price is right. Wherever the switcher’s political views truly fall, he either betrayed himself before switching or is betraying himself now. Or, worse, he never had anything deep to betray. Regardless, neither bodes well for him as a man who, in order to succeed, must convince a fair number of good people that he is governed by at least SOME first principle.

But it seems that these switchers are convinced that personal ambition and loyalty to self are first principles. And that is exactly why ordinary people are so cynical of the political class. I hope the citizens of Missouri choose not to abandon that cynicism by electing a candidate who’d turn on them . . . if the price were right.

This editorial was sent to us by a loyal reader who asked that their name remain anonymous. If you have an opinion or thought that you would like to express on MOPNS, email us at: editor@mopns.com.

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Tags: Decision '08

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