Monday, November 19, 2012

Surrender, Retreat, or Attack?

I mentioned this over in the comments at the Ace of Spades HQ (link in sidebar), but thought I would expand on it here.

After the devastating (morally, if not mathematically) loss by Mitt Romney to Barack Obama in the November 6th election, Republican recriminations have been thicker than flies on a carcass.  When boiled down, Republicans (and Conservatives; the two do not completely overlap) seem to fall into one of three camps.

  1. Surrender
  2. Retreat
  3. Attack
The surrender group is actually made up of two different groups, not at all in agreement.  One group says we should surrender our principles.  They suggest that Republicans lost because they were "too far to the Right."  They suggest that a North Eastern somewhat Liberal Republican was too conservative for the US Electorate.  The other group says we should just give the Democrats everything they want.  The theory behind this "let it burn" mindset is that the collapse is inevitable, and either a) we'll be getting what we deserve or b) it will be less painful in the long run to get it done now.

The retreat group is also made up of two different groups, though I think they largely agree on the ultimate goal, and just disagree tactically.  The first of these groups agrees that the collapse is inevitable (and, indeed, may also be in the "let it burn" category), and says that the correct answer is to look to your own family, and do everything you can to prepare for the collapse.  Once the collapse then comes, the argument goes, "we" will survive in much better shape to guide whatever rises from the ashes.  The second group believes in a Mass Conservative Migration.  This group believes that conservatives from irredeemably Blue States should move to Red (or even swing) States and build a very strong Conservative base in those areas.  They do not believe the collapse is inevitable.

The final group seems also be made up of two groups.  The first group says that we should attack the Democrats on everything.  We should fight the fiscal cliff fight, for example, demanding everything we want, and be just as willing to go over the fiscal cliff as the Democrats are.   The second group recommends what I've heard described as the Red Diaspora.  This would be the reverse of the Mass Conservative Migration.  Instead of Conservatives in Blue States moving to Red States, Conservatives in Red States would move to Blue States, trying to make them into Swing States.

The only group I'm sure I disagree with is the "attack" group.  I do not believe we currently have the resources to make either of those strategies work.  For the political opposition line to work, I think we would need a strong Conservative leader.  Instead we have John Boehner.  I don't think the risk of turning reliably Red States into swing (or worse: Blue) States is worth the relatively minor gains we would see from Diaspora.

I find myself at least in partial agreement with both "Let it Burn" (surrender and retreat varieties) and with the Mass Conservative Migration retreat groups.  You might call these "strategic retreats."  They are falling back to stronger positions to reorganize and strengthen our "army."

Fill the comments with your thoughts.  I think this is of vital importance to decide before local elections next year.


  1. I'm a 'wrong front' type, who doesn't think the political arena was ever the true battleground. As such we need to get caught up on the cultural and civic fronts before the political front can ever be brought under control. That means bringing the media to heel, it means undoing the indoctrination that passes for education, that means a hundred things that have nothing to do with elections.

  2. AllenG

    Spot on. Why are you not a cob at Ace's ? I would appreciate reading your stuff over there. Unless you have a specific reason for keeping your own blog ...