Tim Dunkin: Remember what this election is really about

Renew America Well, tomorrow's the big day. Pretty much every pundit in America — even the lefties — is grudgingly admitting that this year's election is going to result in a massive tidal wave of support for the Republicans. Long gone are the days where people wondered if the GOP "might" be able to take the House. Now, predictions that the Republicans will take 60 or more seats are commonplace. They might even take the Senate back, too, depending on just how big the wave ends up being.

As we go out to vote tomorrow, conservatives should remember a few things, however. I would like to take just a moment to remind us of these.

First and foremost, what we do after tomorrow will help to determine whether the Tea Parties end up really counting for anything.

Obviously, in the short term, they will. Yes, we are going to see a horde of Tea Party-supported candidates win tomorrow, in places as diverse as Florida, Kentucky, Colorado, Wisconsin, and elsewhere. Yes, the Tea Parties will get to add a few more scalps to their buckskins. That's not what I'm getting at. After spectacular victories in 2010, will the Tea Partiers — really, I should simply ask, will conservatives — get fat and satisfied and go back to resting on our laurels? Is the satisfaction of winning elections going to fill us up so that we go back home and forget about why we got mad in the first place?

And that's where the question of liberty comes in. Sure, we can elect good people this year. Yes, we can replace a few RINOs and leftist Democrats. But if we don't follow up, what will it have mattered? Will we continue to make our voices be heard? Or will we be content to just let 2010 be a short, two-year pothole in the road to Inevitable Socialism?

The second point follows logically upon the heels of the first, which is that we need to get and remain serious about holding the feet of Republican elected officials to the fire. My greatest fear in this election is that the impending tsunami tomorrow will be completely, utterly misread by the GOP "leadership." Instead of taking away the message that the American people are serious about wanting representatives who will follow the Constitution and who will exercise fiscal prudence, I worry that the GOP inside-the-beltway types will take tomorrow's sweep as a mandate for more business-as-usual. I hate to be cynical, but I can already see Mitch McConnell and John Boehner planning out the best way to follow Lindsey Graham's advice for reaching across the aisle and working with the Democrats. It seems utterly insane that they would even consider doing so, after the liberal Democrat agenda has been so thoroughly repudiated, but some politicians are congenitally incapable of learning from experience.

So we need to keep the pressure up. We need to keep hammering the RINOs, and we need to keep sending attaboys to those elected officials who do right. We need to let it be known that any GOPer who crosses us will be primaried and beaten at the next available opportunity. There is already a host of GOP Senators — Graham, McConnell, Cornyn, Hutchison, the Maine sisters — for whom this needs to be in the works. Let them know that we're not content with voting for whatever establishment insider the "leadership" decides to shovel our way. It's time to let these people know that WE are the leadership — there's a new sheriff in town. At the same time, we need make sure we give support and comfort to those who do the right thing. In our zeal to use the stick, let's not forget the value of the carrot.

This brings me to the third and final point, which is that we shouldn't do all this just to enjoy the savor of raw political power. We should hunt RINOs and crush Democrats because that is what needs to be done to retain and regain our liberty. Indeed, what we are voting on is the question of whether we will continue to have liberty in this nation, or whether we will content ourselves to merely continue to hand our country over to the leftists and statists who have been steadily eroding out freedoms for decades.

The underlying factor that makes each and every issue of importance matter is the fact of liberty.

Taxes? What's important isn't this or that adjustment to the rate we pay. What's important is the underlying fact that taxation affects the liberty of those taxed. In one sense, some taxation is the price we pay for existing in a commonwealth where we get to enjoy roads that everyone can use and military protection from bloodthirsty Canadian hordes bent on overrunning our cities. Even then, Locke observed that each member of the commonwealth was yielding up a small amount of liberty to enjoy the derivative freedom that comes with not living in an anarchy. Yet, when the government forcibly takes your money and redistributes it to someone else, it is going far beyond that. You are in effect made a slave. Your labor and your possessions are not your own. You are a cog in a machine designed to buy votes for politicians off of the backs of the productive classes. There's a vast, vast difference between making an actual "fair share" contribution to the things that you get to benefit from along with everyone else, and having to make a "contribution" to losers and bums who contribute nothing to society. When you are forced to carry someone else's load, you're a servant, plain and simple.

Health care? Well, how do you get more basic in your quest for liberty than being able to choose for yourself which doctor you see and which treatment you get, based on what you can afford? Debt and deficit spending? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that the borrower is servant to the lender, and eventually, our nation is going to be in servitude to the creditors to whom we own trillions.

And what about those stinky ol' social issues that the libertarian types are always telling us that we shouldn't talk about? Well, how can a society claim to respect liberty when it allows the most innocent and incapable among us to be murdered for convenience? Remember that whole "LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" thing found in the Declaration of Independence? I would submit to you that any libertarian who refuses to support even the most basic right to life of all innocent persons in our society, born or unborn, really doesn't have a clue about even the basics of what liberty really is.

And of course, can we really say that the American people have liberty when 1% of the population is allowed to enforce its agenda, and even its definition of "marriage," onto the rest of us via legal jihad and legislation from the bench by sympathetic judges? Is that liberty and representative government of, by, and for the people, or is it kritocracy instead? Regardless of what a person might think about the morality of homosexuality, surely even the dullest among us can recognize the threat to liberty and republicanism that is presented by the radical gay agenda and those who are intent on forcing us to adhere to it.

So as we go to the polls, keep your eye on the ball. This election is not about putting one Party or the other into power. It's not about claiming a win for your pet organization or cause. It's not about getting to exercise political power so that we can expand government in slightly different directions compared to where the other guys were going. It's about liberty — will we keep it and get it back, or will we continue to toss it aside?

© Tim Dunkin