One of my favorite movies from 2016 was the Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One. In one of the trailers, (the scene was cut during reshoots), Saw Gerrera, the leader of a Rebel cell, asks Jyn Urso, “If you continue to fight, what will you become?” Throughout the film, you see that the Rebel alliance, in its struggle to defeat the evil Empire, wasn’t a band of upright people, but engaged in murder and terrorism at times to accomplish its ends. Cassian Andor, a rebel captain, admits that he has done “terrible things” for the rebellion and even seems to doubt his cause. I think in this moment, Andor realizes that the tactics employed by a group eventually begin to change the cause itself, and can lead the group away from its original goal.
War changes people and often not for the better, and the Right is no exception in the ongoing conflict with the Left. Richie has outlined how this conflict has changed the Left, and but I think we, on the Right, need to take a long look in the mirror at ourselves too, as it is clear to see that this conflict has changed the Right as well. What is the Right becoming?
The Right, the conservative movement especially, has defined itself by standing for timeless truths, like the importance of protecting individual rights, the importance of the family, the rule of law, personal accountability, and that there are moral absolutes. The Right has had the moral high ground so long as it based its actions and rhetoric on these things. Looking at the current state of the Right and the “conservative movement” could lead one to doubt where it still held the moral high ground.
Are we standing for timeless, “self evident” truths when we engage in moral relativism?
Do we really believe in moral absolutes when we continually engage in situational ethics?
It is important that we on the Right hold ourselves to the same standard we seem to hold the Left to. It is important that we do not rationalize ourselves away from our principles for the sake of “victory.”
I see no victory is winning elections and not forwarding policy consistent with our principles. I see no victory in using Leftist tactics to “beat” them and in so doing losing our way. I see no victory in embracing moral relativism and situational ethics to “beat” the Left, and losing the moral high ground.
True victory is found in maintaining and defending the moral high ground and the principles that give it to us.
Let’s shoot for true victory.