Have Republicans Failed…or Have We?

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Conservatives are rightfully angry at the Republican leadership. We feel betrayed by politicians like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell who talk a good game but seem unwilling or unable to back up their rhetoric with action. They cringe at bad press, refuse to use creative politicking to get what they want, and seem to believe that their mandate is determined by the polls rather than their base.

But maybe it’s time to give the Republican establishment a break. The problems didn’t start there. The problems started with us, by which I mean the American people. We have strayed so far from the principles that forged the creation of this great nation that politicians who talk about the Founding Fathers are branded racists by the liberal blogosphere.

What is America if not the continuing experiment whose foundation was laid so many generations ago? Has not the Constitution served us well for the last 200 years? Why are we now so eager to dismiss it as a dated scrap of useless paper?

Part of it, of course, is the media. Today’s most popular sources of political information for many include CNN, the Huffington Post, and The Daily Show. When one gets all of their information through a hard-left lens, they go about their day considering themselves fully informed. They never question for a moment if – just maybe – there may be something detrimental about getting all of one’s information from one point of view.

Another part of it is simply a lack of information altogether. This is a relatively new phenomenon, where Americans have less knowledge about politics, current events, and history than at any time since the beginning of the country. This is inexcusable given the wealth of information at every American’s fingertips. We should be more informed than ever before. We should be more politically active. We should know more about what it means to be an American, because the concept isn’t as esoteric and individual as many would like to believe.

Being an American means believing in the Constitution, at the very least. It doesn’t mean being pro-war, anti-immigration, liberal, conservative, or having feelings about any particular issue. But it does mean having respect for the Constitution and the founding of this country. What are you, if you don’t believe in those things? A revolutionary? Fine, but at least admit that’s what you are. Don’t cloak yourself in the flag and then claim that you hate everything about what it represents.

Only ignorance and bias can explain why so many Americans are perfectly fine with a president who acts as his own Congress. Why so many Americans rushed to elect Barack Obama a second time. Why only a small collection of conservatives believe that President Obama’s executive action must be stopped.

Until we put our hands on something physical and say, “This. This is what it means to be an American,” we will be directionless and adrift.