Today Seth talked about having someone’s back. He explained that the time we need to feel that someone has our back is when things are tough, not when they’re going well.
No, if you want her to go all in, if you want her to take the risk and brave the fear, then it sure helps if you’re there too, no matter what. There’s a cost to that, a pain and risk that comes from that sort of trust. After all, it might not work. Failure (or worse! embarrassment) might ensue. That’s precisely why it’s worth so much. Because it’s difficult and scarce.
If you’re wondering why so many tea partiers responded so forcefully to the left’s cynical and exploitive attempt to politicize the Tucson tragedy, this is why: we’ve got each other’s backs.
Whether I like it or not, there are people—good people—who are Tea Partiers because I opened my mouth. That’s not to say I’m some sort of hero. It’s to say that I incurred an obligation to those who followed my lead.
When cretins in the media libel good men and women whose only crime is showing up at events I helped organized, I get really, really unhappy. When a county sheriff who neglected his duties for years blames me for a horrendous crime perpetrated on his watch, I respond. I know no other way.
That’s why we preempted the NAACP’s vile bigotry. That’s why we relentlessly attack the left’s stream of bile over Tucson.
It’s not because we’re particularly brave or heroic, but because we seem to have an inherent understanding of duty. Speaking for myself, it’s how I was raised. It’s what the Navy and Dominican Sisters taught me, reinforcing lessons from home. I only wish that I were as loyal and fearless as my friends. I’m not.
I suspect that our motives won’t make sense to leftists. I’m not sure progressives have the capacity to understand sacrifice for others.
To contrast that tiny cadre of progressives with our side, I’ll let you in on a little secret: some tea partiers who don’t like me. Some of us on the right don’t get along. Some of us like each other but don’t work well together. And yet . . .
And yet, when the chips are down, when our “movement” faces its greatest challenges, when we have every opportunity and reason to save ourselves and forget our comrades, we seems to rise to the occasion. In crisis, conservatives lift their game, and liberals descend into the abyss.
I know others have my back . . . I don’t even have to look.