Just one week ago, it looked as though the Democratic Party was as deeply divided as the Republican Party found itself after the GOP convention. Their own chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schulz, announced her resignation, news of corruption arose from leaked emails, and half of the party was planning to give a scathing minority report on the floor the first day.
Yet, aside from the Democrats’ own trouble before the convention, it turned out to be an event full of patriotism, the honoring of fallen heroes, and the build up to their ‘historic’ nomination of Hillary Clinton. Other than the crying Sanders’ supporters, many leftists ought to be grateful for such a smooth event.
If only the Republican National Convention could have promised such patriotism. Indeed, the DNC put on a better display of conservatism than conservatism’s own (perhaps former) party. Granted, a lot of this was empty rhetoric that has never been displayed in any Democratic platform, ever. But this stands in stark contrast to the RNC, where the majority of the speakers sang the praises not of America, rather of Donald Trump.
Even conservatism’s greatest enemy, President Obama managed to appeal to conservatives in his speech. One line especially captured the dilemma for many of us: “What we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican — and it sure wasn’t conservative.” He’s certainly no authority on conservatism, but he had enough sense to see that Trump does not represent our values and ideas accurately.
I believe that this represents a great moment of opportunity for American conservatives. If there was enough room for loving America and her founding ideas, however hypocritically presented, at the left’s party of the year, then perhaps there is room for the reality of real patriotism in the hearts and minds of Americans.
For once, conservatives may need to capitalize on the political moment. Yes, it is a philosophy of enduring ideas, but it is also one that is able to use those ideas to address the ever changing circumstances of our chaotic world. We can all agree that 2016 seems to fit the chaotic description. Let this motivate us to continue fighting our good fight with hope, determination, and conviction against the radical, power-hungry forces of both political parties.