Michael Walsh, the founding editor of the late Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism Website, is the latest columnist to join our ranks here at PJM. I interviewed Michael on the 2010 National Review Caribbean cruise (from one of the bars in the swank Holland-America cruise ship the MS Eurodam), and one of the comments he made back then — that it’s all about first principles — is the subject of his first column at PJM:
With less than six months before the critical 2012 election, it’s vital that those on the right not fall into the trap of accepting the premises of leftist argumentation. To do that — to cede even a single inch of turf, or to acknowledge that they are arguing or advocating in good faith — is already to have lost. Therefore, repeat after me:
Principles, not programs. Principles, not programs. Principles, not programs.
We often hear it said that the coming election is as raw a clash of political philosophies as can be imagined — the most important election since 1860. And in a sense, that’s true. The national divide over the issue of slavery and its expansion into the rapidly settling territories was a constitutional crisis of the first order. It took the Civil War to sort out an issue that the Framers had partially punted, at a dreadful cost of lives and treasure. To say that the postwar Union was nothing like antebellum America is an understatement.
Now we are engaged in a great Cold Civil War. But the decision American voters will make in November is far more than merely an ideological clash about what the Constitution meant or means. For that supposes that both sides are playing by the same rules, and have a shared interest in the outcome. That presumes that both sides accept the foundational idea of the American experiment, and that the argument is over how best to adhere to it.
That is false.
For some, this is a difficult notion to grasp. To them, politics is politics, the same game being played by the same rules that go back a couple of centuries. The idea that one party — and you know which one I mean — is actively working against its own country as it was founded seems unbelievable.
But that is true.
Don’t take it from me, take it from Barack Hussein Obama who famously said on the stump in 2008: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
And as far as the Cold Civil War, you’ve read the blog post, now watch the video, which I shot in the summer of 2010, and trace back the origin of the word (although as I discovered from a reader, not far enough) and discuss how both domestically and overseas, there are two wars being fought — the physical war in 3D, and the virtual war for the cameras — and often, winning the latter is the more important of the two battles: