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.