When I was in the military, there was a phrase that was barked when things went sour: “Drive on with a hard on!” Crass? Perhaps. But it captures what conservatives need to do in the wake of President Obama’s re-election.

Stop whining. Don’t cry. Get up off the ground, regroup, compose yourself and get back into the fight. President Obama eked out a popular vote win be garnering 50 percent to Romney’s 48 percent. The country is essentially divided between those who believe in free markets and limited government, and those who would willingly abdicate individual liberty for confiscated goodies doled out by their bureaucrat slave masters. The problem? We’re already $16 trillion in debt. It’s a math problem that doesn’t add up, but we have to successfully make the case because when the financial house of cards implodes they will try to shift blame elsewhere. We are watching it unfold in Europe, and it will happen here, only much worse.

And so, we must “drive on with a hard on.” You must love the fight. You must revel in it. And we do, because the timeless principles embedded in the Declaration of Independence and codified into law by the U.S. Constitution made America the greatest country the world has ever known. We once had men like Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. Our country was shaped by titans like Abraham Lincoln. And yet, who among us would intellectually roll over and die — who would wave the white flag of surrender — to the likes of Joe Biden?

The nation is ill. It is very ill. But unlike liberals, who always look for ways to end life at both ends of the spectrum, conservatives will not give up on America.

I leave you with the words of Douglas MacArthur, beautifully delivered to West Point cadets May 12, 1962. Today, we live in a country of man-children who are not up to the task of entrusting freedom and liberty to future generations, but on the day when circumstances force the blinders from their eyes and they must stare reality in the face, the blueprints for victory must be at hand — and you must provide them. These words have always brought comfort to me, and perhaps they will stiffen your resolve as well.

Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean.

The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.

But these are some of the things they do: They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation’s defense.


About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.


  1. Mark Levin says it better than I can.

    “…MARK LEVIN: We conservatives, we do not accept bipartisanship in the pursuit of tyranny. Period. We will not negotiate the terms of our economic and political servitude. Period. We will not abandon our child to a dark and bleak future. We will not accept a fate that is alien to the legacy we inherited from every single future generation in this country. We will not accept social engineering by politicians and bureaucrats who treat us like lab rats, rather than self-sufficient human beings. There are those in this country who choose tyranny over liberty. They do not speak for us, 57 million of us who voted against this yesterday, and they do not get to dictate to us under our Constitution.

    We are the alternative. We will resist. We’re not going to surrender to this. We will not be passive, we will not be compliant in our demise. We’re not good losers, you better believe we’re sore losers! A good loser is a loser forever. Now I hear we’re called ‘purists.’ Conservatives are called purists. The very people who keep nominating moderates, now call us purists the way the left calls us purists. Yeah, things like liberty, and property rights, individual sovereignty, and the Constitution, and capitalism. We’re purists now. And we have to hear this crap from conservatives, or pseudo-conservatives, Republicans.”…

  2. I want to understand what you mean by “abdicate individual liberty for confiscated goodies.” What does that mean exactly?

    1. It was a mischaracterization then and it is now. Shiny pellets? 13% of federal spending is spent on “safety net” programs, i.e. keeping people out above poverty. And only 5% of federal spending is in the form of direct welfare payments. The rest?

      “These programs include: the refundable portion of the earned-income and child tax credits, which assist low- and moderate-income working families through the tax code; programs that provide cash payments to eligible individuals or households, including Supplemental Security Income for the elderly or disabled poor and unemployment insurance; various forms of in-kind assistance for low-income families and individuals, including food stamps, school meals, low-income housing assistance, child-care assistance, and assistance in meeting home energy bills; and various other programs such as those that aid abused and neglected children.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 2012]

      While I have no doubts that there are unscrupulous people who game the system, and some who would gladly accept welfare forever, but to use the “welfare queen” brush to paint broad strokes classifying recipients of the many types of assistance is disingenuous and wrong.

      What’s wrong with protecting the poor, the hungry, and the downtrodden?

      Better yet, before we take away safety nets for the poor, let’s talk about other “pellets” like subsidies [read: handouts] for oil, energy, agriculture, etc. Our taxes spent on companies who are making record profits. Before I starting thinking about taking away safety nets, let’s figure out why GE earns billions a year in profit but, through clever accounting tricks, pays *zero* taxes or why my beloved Apple hides much of their massive war chest overseas and pays only a little over 1% US taxes on it.

      I’ll grant you that subsidies spending is no where near the level safety net programs, but taking from the taxpayers to give it to those who don’t even need it seems a bigger sin to me than helping the poor (even at the risk of being scammed a percentage of the time). Let’s start out cutting there.

    2. My friend (and I don’t say “friend” in the way Joe Biden says it, where he really hates the guts of the guy next to him), it’s all connected. If I only railed against Obamaphone ladies on this blog on a daily basis, I’d say you were right. I’d be some loser who thinks “Welfare Queens” are the problem, when the problem is much deeper than that.

      With that said, the liberal diagnosis for almost any problem is almost always “more government.” And, like I said, those entitlement policies warp the human mind and the human spirit in ways that are unhealthy to the nation at large.

      Read this:


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