When I was in college, I studied Southern Long Fist Kung Fu for more than a year and my teacher told me something that I never forgot. He said that when you’re being attacked, the aggressor sets the rules and if you want to survive, you have to play by those rules. In other words, if your opponent is trying to cut your head off with a sword while you’re trying not to hurt him, chances are that you’re going to end up dead. This is a lesson that conservatives can and should apply to politics.
Too often today, liberals are using below-the-belt tactics against conservatives and paying no price whatsoever. Meanwhile, those on the right like to pat themselves on the back for being above it all. This is like a boxer priding himself on never taking off his gloves while his opponent nearly beats him to death with his bare firsts. But in the end, there’s not much to be said for lovable losers. Conservatives should realize that fair play isn’t going to pay any dividends.
While we conservatives don’t have to stoop quite as low as the left has, we do need to start giving them a taste of their own medicine, if only to make them think twice about the way they’re treating our side.
For example, look at the media jihad that was shamelessly launched against Sarah Palin’s family. There was a not-so-subtle message being sent: if you’re a Republican woman, you better stay in the shadows or we’re going to destroy your family to get you. The left gave the same kind of intrusive, public scrutiny to “Joe the Plumber,” a private citizen who merely asked an inconvenient question to Barack Obama. While conservatives defended both Sarah and Joe as we complained incessantly about the way they were treated, the reality is that the Democrats paid no price whatsoever for the out-of-bounds attacks.
Instead of continuing to complain, here’s a better idea. Why don’t conservatives do opposition research on the journalists endlessly running stories about Bristol Palin and Joe the Plumber? Have they ever been arrested? Whom do they own property with? Have they ever been paid to do a speech for someone and then run a favorable news story about him? Certainly Keith Olbermann’s personal life is just as newsworthy as Joe the Plumber’s, and the details of Maureen Dowd’s life are just as noteworthy as those of Bristol Palin — are they not?