A Circular Firing Squad – A Fair Analysis

A circular firing squad is defined as when a group experiences considerable disarray because members engage in intense internal disputes and mutual recrimination. The disputes can be issue or personality-driven, real or perceived, large or small, but the goal is to humiliate, discredit, shame and embarrass the opponent.

Accomplishment and performance take a back seat to groupthink.

Individual thought is discouraged.

Adherence to purity tests is a requirement for membership. Disagreeing in a civil manner is considered a weak and compromising attribute.

Tolerance for differing ideas is not tolerated.

Bickering reigns in a circular firing squad group.

Until one side gains the upper hand and forces the ‘impure’ to give up and leave the group, chaos reigns.

Nothing gets accomplished until that happens.

Three observations about a circular firing squad:

First, the measure of success of ideas is at the polls.

It is not in the triumph of a political convention or rally.

It’s when the general public embraces an ideology or buys into the ideas of a group that success can be celebrated.

Both major political Parties are experiencing unprecedented internal conflict.

Ideological separations divide them, making unification next to impossible.

The fruit of these round-discharge gangs is gridlock, bottlenecks, and logjams.

The American people are the real losers when groups form circular firing squads and “kill” their own.

Second, Ronald Reagan is a false teacher in today’s GOP.

While running for governor of California in 1966, Ronald Reagan said: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

Reagan coined the phrase the “Eleventh Commandment.”

Reagan used that “Commandment” philosophy to unite Republicans.

Today that is heresy.

Reagan also said a person who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and ally, not a 20% traitor.

Reagan used that philosophy to attract conservative Democrats to vote for him in 1980 and 1984. In today’s GOP, both statements are blasphemy and ignored just like the Decalogue (10 commandments) is ignored in personal interactions. Political Pharisees abound and are thankful they are not as other men are- especially those in their own Party who disagree with them.

Third, anger alone rarely produces positive change.

Anger can ignite a cause or fuel a movement.

It can awaken an apathetic electorate and provide energy, but at some point, anger must transform to clarity and action.

If anger doesn’t mutate, it will fail.

Anger is prevalent in society.

In the Sermon on the MountJesus said conflict was to be settled quickly with an opponent, but those who love conflict don’t want to settle disagreements.

To the contentious, working out conflict is considered compromise and accommodation.

Discord and squabbles propel their existence and without it, they are unfulfilled.

The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control are not present in their life.

Politics is a temporal activity that incites strong emotions in people.

Often that passion spawns circular firing squads.

Recognizing no political philosophy, idea or single politician can save America is the first step to saving America.

Only God can move on men’s hearts and draw them to Him.

Pray He does before the circular firing squads destroy the United States.

Notes: Steve Fair is Vice Chairman for the Fourth Congressional District of the Republican Party in Oklahoma. He can be reached by email at steve.fair@ymail.com. His blog is stevefair.blogspot.com. Steve’s commentaries are regular features for both CityNewsOKC.com and CapitolBeatOK.com.