The Battlefield Paradox: Scozzafava or Hoffman?

A soldier trapped in a foxhole during a fierce battle faces a profound paradox. 

His survival instinct screams at him to hide in the bottom of his hole, not to rise up and shoot or attack. Yet if he obeys this survival instinct instead of his orders and training, and if the rest of the soldiers in his unit do likewise, then the whole unit will be annihilated as the enemy destroys each undefended position one by one.

But if he and his comrades overcome their individual survival instincts and attack together, then there is a good chance most of them will survive by defeating the enemy before the enemy can destroy them.

Political victory and survival also require overcoming the illusory instinct of individual self-preservation. A slate of candidates who fail to stick their individual ideological necks out on behalf of the movement will fail to provide cover for each other, and will cause defeat across the board.

But it seems like some GOP honchos think their job is to preserve warm bodies labeled "R" in particular district seats instead of winning the ideological war for the hearts and minds of a governing majority of Americans. So in the NY 23rd special election, the party supports a candidate like Dede Scozzafava, a woman who has little interest in attacking the enemy positions, while punishing the brave warrior Doug Hoffman.

The NRCC thinks that merely by occupying enough electoral foxholes they will win a governing majority. But failing to ideologically attack, while apparently providing momentary safety to the individual soldier, dooms the army at large.

Party hacks say that polls of moderates show that filling the foxholes with center-leftists like Scozzafava will help gain ground. But the GOP's most successful president, Ronald Reagan, didn't win his landslide -- and the Cold War -- by telling moderates he was just like them. He won by telling the moderates why his conservative positions were right and the Democrats' and the Soviets' positions were wrong. He didn't follow the polls...he changed them.

A worthy party leadership would be training and encouraging the troops in the foxholes to attack together, not training them to hide in the local terrain. Some candidates on the edge might lose their seats. But many more would be protected by the covering movement of national momentum.

There has never been a better time to nationalize elections on conservative themes. The Democrat welfare state totters on the brink of collapse under unsustainable debt, spending, taxing, ineffectiveness, and failure. Increasingly, the party must rely on more bullying coercion to force compliance with the unworkable (e.g., "the IRS must force you to pay more for healthcare to save you money on healthcare").  Now Democrats are marching even farther onto vulnerable ground with Obamanomics and Obamacare. 

The American Left today seems as invincible -- but as internally rotten and rife with contradictions -- as was communism when Reagan correctly labeled it a "sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." But liberty's defeat of communism didn't manage itself; it required Reagan's leadership. Similarly, the defeat of Democrat socialism requires our leadership. Recruiting weak heads-down soldiers like Scozzafava, and punishing brave soldiers like Doug Hoffman, is not leadership; it is self-destructive surrender.