A Final Note

In 1981 Auburn had lost 18 of the last 22 games against Alabama. Auburn knew its place: the other school in the state; they were destined to be dominated by The Crimson Tide. Auburn fans were happy if the game was close, even if they didn't win, because they had accepted their fate and place in the world.

Pat Dye took over the Auburn football program that year. He realized there was no tangible reason for Alabama's dominance over Auburn. Both schools played in the same conference, had excellent facilities, recruited at the highest level, and had the full backing of their school's administration. The one advantage Alabama did possess was not just confidence, but swagger. Alabama acted as though dominating Auburn was their divine right, and Auburn (for some reason) had bought into it.

Prior to the 1981 game, Dye walked up to the Alabama coach and said something that would change the rivalry forever: “We're not scared of you anymore.” The 'Bama coach laughed; so did the Alabama fans. After 1981 Auburn won 6 of the next 8 games—Alabama fans stopped laughing.

The era of Reagan is over. The country is moving to the left. Conservative stances turn off voters. We must move to the center to win elections. We must accept that we are the political minority, and just take what we can get. Over and over again we've been told—by both the media and the Republican Party—that the place of conservatism in the world has been ordained, and conservatives (for some reason) have bought into it.

Where is the tangible evidence to support this view? Polls show the majority of the country identifies themselves as conservatives (60% in some polls). Conservative books dominate every political non-fiction bestseller list. The “conservative” cable news channel has more viewers than all of the other four cable news channels combined—COMBINED! 1 in 5 people listening to the radio at this very moment are listening to talk radio—which is virtually 100% conservative. When Republicans run as proud conservatives (as they did in 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1994) they don't just win—they win landslides.

Pat Dye changed the Auburn football program from doormat to dominant because he recognized reality when no one else did. All it took was an attitude change embodied in a simple, blunt statement: “We're not scared of you anymore.”

In 2009 neither the press nor politicians understood (or wanted to understand) the Tea Party movement. To them it was a fringe movement of citizens divorced from reality. They ignored and laughed at the Tea Party movement hoping it would go away so everything could get back to normal. It didn't go away, and nobody's laughing anymore.

Merely by standing up for ourselves we've gone from being disregarded to being a major power in modern politics—one that is striking fear in politics' old guard. To those in the media that ridicule us; to politicians that imagine they are superior to us; to political parties that want to co-opt us; to political royal families convinced they have a divine right; to progressives striving to use political correctness to intimidate us; to those on the left that tell us the tea party is over our reply should be simple and blunt: we're not scared of you anymore.