Doing away with the two-party system has been discussed for years, and this past election cycle was no exception, with many casting third-party votes in rejection of bankrupt character and a falling away from once-held ideals, among other reasons. One day we may see the deconstruction of our current party system. We may not. Time will inevitably tell.
Though there were significant rejections of both major party candidates from within, our present reality is without a viable alternative. What we must put efforts towards and embrace now is the great responsibility of policing our own.
Little more than a month ago, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the leader of this country for at least the next four years. His ideals, words and actions will play no small part in influencing its flourishing or stagnation, both foreign and domestic. That leaves us with responsibility: to be vocal champions of liberty and the harshest of critics. Tact and wisdom will be necessary. Criticism without respect will fall on deaf ears. We must be honest and shrewd as well as constructive and well-informed.
If we are to be the sharpest critics of our own parties, we must address any mission drift swiftly and willingly. No one should be more aware of what we believe more than ourselves. No one should be more committed or focused on preserving the ideals to which we adhere. Compromising for the sake of victory is not worth the price paid.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, a valuable lesson can be drawn from the church. Matthew 18:15-20 shows where the church must be the leader in handling internal sin swiftly and justly with correction and instruction. Sweeping controversy under the rug and hiding behind the cover of public perception only serves to grow the issue. Putting sin in the light is the first step towards spiritual growth.
Likewise, admitting where our parties are crossing lines is crucial to progress. The Republican Party must act accordingly. Though I believe it will, the last eight years have not instilled great confidence in its ability to stand ground on principle. David Brin wrote that, “Liberty flourishes, not when government is weak, but when the government is accountable.” We must recognize that though this responsibility ends at the White House, our elected leaders at every level of government must be held accountable. No blank checks; no ‘get out of jail free’ cards.
One moment at a time, we must seek to restore trust to a government that is currently found lacking in it. If we are not the most diligent critics of our own, then on what ground will we stand when levying criticism on opposing ideals? That is not partisan. That is wise. There is an opportunity before the American people and we dare not miss it.