The Most Important Lesson of 2014
Review and Resolve
"History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views." --Thomas Jefferson (1781)
Most "Year in Review" commentary comes flooding in during the first week of each new year. However, I prefer to consider the current calendar year before we enter the new one so as to better form our resolutions for the year ahead.
In choosing the top stories of the year, there is usually one that stands above all others. Indeed, there was one such story this past year, but let's take a quick look at the entire year first.
2014 began with a victory over another brazen attempt at cultural PC censorship. As you may recall, A&E Network announced the suspension of Phil Robertson, who heads its popular Duck Dynasty program, after he dared suggest in a magazine interview that gender confusion is an affront to family and culture. After The Patriot Post and others launched campaigns to boycott those endeavoring to silence Robertson, including some major merchandisers of Duck Dynasty products, A&E and those merchandisers quickly retreated, having grossly underestimated their customers' outrage and willingness to stand with the show's truth-telling patriarch.
Later in January, in advance of his State of the Union remarks, Barack Hussein Obama served up more class warfare rhetoric stew (mmm, mmm, mmm) to his Leftist cadres ahead of his election-year "BO Show" State of the Union summarizing his five years in office. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.
In February, we focused on the increasing threat posed by Iran, Iraq and Syria, and noted as a result the re-emerging threat of terrorism to our homeland. As a consequence of Obama's foreign policy malfeasance, his successor in 2017 will have a lot of cleaning up to do -- at the cost of further American blood and treasure.
Putin v Obama was the lead story in March as the Russian Spring bloomed into an invasion of Ukraine. Obama's "paper tiger" foreign policy proved feckless, but the surge in U.S. oil production temporarily tamed the Russian Bear.
Then came the fifth anniversary of the grassroots Tea Party Movement and a review of the threat to Essential Liberty posed by the GOP's fratricidal infighting. Fortunately, by the midterm elections of 2014, both conservative and moderate Republicans learned that, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately."Before March was over, given Obama's plummeting popularity, the Democrat Party rolled out its '14/'16 point man, the finger-wagging Bill Clinton. We reminded our readers of John Adams's words in 1776: "Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics." Indeed, the Clinton brand is now severely tarnished, and it failed to produce enough Demo votes in the 2014 midterm election to save a single candidate.
In April, in a column appropriately titled, "Women Voters Are Ignorant Dupes," and subtitled, "According to the DNC," we challenged women voters to take a serious look at who best represents their interests. Indeed, according to the Democrat Party, female voters are too ignorant to sniff out and reject emotive bait. However, if the 2014 midterm elections shift of female voters to conservative candidates is any indication, the Demos' gender edge is softening.
In May, it was the hearings on Benghazi, a review of how Team Obama propagated the BIG Lie that the murder of four Americans in Libya -- including Ambassador Christopher Stevens -- by al-Qa'ida terrorists was the result of a local mob's spontaneous response to an obscure web video.
As Obama observed in May, "The notion that this is some spontaneous uprising ... is belied by all the evidence of well organized, trained, armed..." In this instance, however, he was referring to the invasion of Ukraine.
Next, predictably, with the arrival of hot weather at the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Obama's "Climate Change" agenda heated up. As he declared in his State of the Union Address five months earlier, "The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact." As we have often noted, "global warming" had morphed into "climate change," because, although there's been no evidence of global warming during the last 18 years, the climate is always changing.
Of course, we couldn't let the 50th anniversary of the so-called "Great Society" pass without noting that after spending more than $22 trillion to eradicate poverty, the economic policies of Barack Obama and his leftist ilk for "fundamentally transforming" our nation left poverty about where their Demo predecessor Lyndon Johnson found it five decades earlier.
Then came the realization that the Department of Veterans Affairs was deliberately cooking the books to appear as if they were efficiently serving our veterans, who were in fact dying in line for medical services. Turns out ObamaCare and VeteranCare bureaucracies have a lot in common.
We learned in June that Obama had, in clear violation of the law, arranged the release of the "Taliban Five" in order to secure the return of an Army deserter, PFC Bowe Bergdahl. At least six military Patriots died in the effort to find and recover Bergdahl, who was used by our enemies as bait to lure search parties.
In July, we called out the Imperial President. Obama, who had repeatedly asserted, "I am not a dictator. ... I'm not the emperor of the United States," was preparing to demonstrate that he was in fact just that. On immigration, just as with ObamaCare, he showed no compunction about issuing diktats and acting like a tyrant.
Later that month, we warned that, while all eyes are on Obama's heir-apparent, Hillary Clinton, the most likely prospect to top the Demo ticket will be Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth "Honest Injun" Warren. We are standing by that prediction.
In August, it was the Ebola epidemic, which we asserted would amount to much ado about nothing stateside. But make no mistake, the REAL pandemic threat to the U.S. is the potential of BioBombers -- Islamist "martyrs" who, instead of strapping on a bomb and detonating themselves in a crowded urban area, become human hosts for virulent strains of deadly contagions.
The rise of ISIL provides another launch platform for terrorist strikes on American soil.
Then it was "Vacationing Obama Style," as this consummate hypocrite hobnobbed with the rich and famous on the golf course in Martha's Vineyard, "putting while the world burned."
Ahead of the 2014 midterm, a duo of race-bait events were elevated to national attention to reinvigorate the Demos' black constituents. The first was the police-involved death of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri. The second was the police-involved death of a black man in New York. Both are case studies in "Black Privilege," and became the catalyst for Obama and Eric Holder to launch their nationwide faux-crusade against "racist cops."
And along with the race-bait campaign came Obama's ethnic-bait campaign under the umbrella of immigration reform. But Democrats' plan is all "smoke and mirrors," and in fact Obama has yet to sign his promised Executive Order on immigration, opting instead for executive memos designed to bait congressional Republicans into defunding them, rather than actually provide amnesty.
But the big nationwide story of 2014, the one that provided the most demonstrable lesson with the greatest impact on the future, was the "2014 Midterm Republican Wave," as Republicans completely decimated Democrats in not only House and Senate races but notably in gubernatorial and statehouse elections across the nation. This was a deep win for Republicans and particularly conservatives.
Why is this the lesson with the greatest impact?
Because a clear political pattern has emerged over the last four elections.
In 2008, Republicans lost the presidency and suffered legislative branch losses when the national focal point was a moderate Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, who lacked any charismatic appeal and failed to launch a substantive grassroots campaign.
In 2010, Republicans had big midterm gains when the nationwide elections were driven by a national grassroots groundswell.
In 2012, Republicans lost the presidency and suffered lackluster legislative branch performance when the national focal point was a moderate Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, who failed to launch a substantive grassroots campaign.
In 2014, Republicans had historic midterm gains when the nationwide elections were driven by a national grassroots groundswell.
Can you detect a pattern here? Will the GOP learn from that pattern ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign?
The line between conservatives and liberals is abundantly clear, and when conservatives are on tickets they prevail more often than moderates.
Conservatives articulate two principles that moderate Republicans fail to drive home. First, they understand that Liberty is colorblind, not a "white thing"; and second, that Liberty is eternal, not transient. When candidates articulate these principles, they win.
Will the lessons of this year prevail in the next election cycle?
As 20th-century philosopher George Santayana concluded in his treatise, "The Life of Reason": "Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
English writer Aldous Huxley put it more succinctly: "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
In contemporary parlance: There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a jackass -- or in the case of too many GOP politicos today, the third, fourth or fifth, ad infinitum.
As The Patriot Post's mission statement declares, individual liberty and personal responsibility, together with limited government, free enterprise and a stalwart national defense, are essential to sustain the legacy of our national heritage of Liberty. Candidates who can articulate such principles will be winners.