“The glue that held it all together, which was a western way of combat that emphasized group cohesion of free citizens … based on individual freedom, civic rights and a preference for shock battle of heavy infantry, that grew out of consensual government, equality among the middling classes, and other distinctly western traits that gave numerically inferior European armies a decisive edge…”
– “A Patriot’s History of the United States” – Chapter 2, by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
Group cohesion, or unit cohesion as it is also called in the military, dates back to antiquity. In the 16th century, Hernán Cortés utilized the philosophy when defeating the Aztec Empire and colonizing the Americas. Cortés’ army had a unique advantage over the Aztecs, as “A Patriot’s History of the United States” explains: the concept of group cohesion, something that is sorely missing in today’s political environment.
While Cortés had other distinct advantages between his army and the natives, his emphasis to his troops that they were free citizens — voluntarily, and freely fighting for Spain and for their own gain as a people — was a motivating factor for the men. In addition, the concepts of freedom, civic rights and individual liberty gave the men something to live for, and something that was worth dying to protect. It was the western values of consensual government, equality and other elements of western culture that allowed these men to work together as a team to fight on behalf of a philosophy and system in which they believed.
When we look at today’s situation with the Republican Party, and the moderates within the party who truly are “Republican in name only”, some same that those progressive Republicans are the real Republicans. On the contrary, it is the conservatives who usually vote in Republican primaries and are the active, motivated base of the party. To say that those who are establishment and out of touch with middle America are the real Republican Party is to discount the importance of energy, engagement and awareness.
Among the conservatives, however, there are so many different factions — so many people fighting for what we all think is the same thing — but we cannot bring ourselves to come together. We want to defeat the progressives, the RINOs, the moderates and those who do not uphold the conservative platform that is the Republican Party. Yet, we cannot find that special element of group cohesion, the factor that led Cortés to victory over people who were fighting without any unification.
What conservatives need — and what history has proven will work — is group cohesion. This varies drastically from group think. In fact, the two are virtually opposite. Group cohesion requires the mindset of understanding what it is you are fighting for, and the motivation and discipline to work together as a cohesive unit in order to win the battle. The battle, or the war as many currently believe, is defeating an establishment class that has brought this country to the brink of bankruptcy, lawlessness and international weakness.
Imagine for a moment that Cortés’ armies were fighting individually, each man for himself with a deplorable tyrant to serve upon victory. This is not a life worth fighting for, nor is it a successful strategy for civilization to thrive. So is true with the tea party and conservative elements of the Republican Party which fight to stay alive, only doing so individually rather than working together, not knowing which master will be served when the victory is had.
The only way to defeat people on their own turf and at their own game is to act as a cohesive group fighting for liberty and freedom. Until the tea party, conservatives, libertarians and other elements on the right figure out that this ancient philosophy has endured for a reason, the fractious elements on the right will be ineffective, unsuccessful and most surely defeated.
This column originally appeared on Brenner Brief News.