The Republican party, many say, is at a crossroads - pundits warn ground zero lies between the establishment Republicans and the tea party. The left salivates at the perceived fissure, hoping to divide conservatives.
This is but the magicians misdirection, hoping to brunt Democrats own sins laid bare in the state of the economy, unconstitutional executive orders, Obamacare, scandals within the NSA, IRS targeting of conservatives, Fast and Furious, the Benghazi cover up, and the list goes on and on.
But are we, as conservatives, really two wolves?
Consider the Cherokee parable, author unknown:
"An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
Most Americans are neither Republican or tea party - or Democrat for that matter. For the first time, most of us call ourselves independent - but polls show most Americans are certainly conservative, and right of center by at least a two-to-one ratio.
Let us judge both sides by the Cherokee standard of my mother.
Are we angry at those who simply tell the truth, or do we have joy in the discussion in the search for what is right? Do we envy the attention paid to the other side, wrapped in self-doubt and ego, or meet in peace and hope? Do we regret not choosing the better, and sometimes uncomfortable, path based on benevolence and compassion? Do we feed self-pity and guilt or nourish confidence in our positions? (I believe Mom would have added confidence to the parable). Do we feed arrogance toward opinions of fellow conservatives, or feel empathy and generosity? Do we have false pride in a label (Republican or tea party) or faith that Americans will, given the opportunity, chose the right path? Do we feel sorrow, inferiority or superiority, or kindness and support for one another in the search for light in the darkness?
As conservatives, do we feel greed or generosity for all Americans? And cannot we make the case, as brothers and sisters of the right, there is no self-doubt, but serenity in our pleas and hopes for the American future?
Do we not both preach good over evil?
It's time for all conservatives to belly up to the campfire and feed an honest discussion on the issues that challenge us - the economy, jobs, indebtedness, national healthcare reform, immigration, national security, energy, loss of privacy, the cultural decline - I believe we agree far more than we disagree.
Upcoming decisions made in 2014 and 2016 in both primary and general voting booths will answer the Cherokee grandfather - and the answer will lay the groundwork for the future for our grandchildren:
"The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf will win?"
The old chief simply replied,
"The one you feed."
Be aware - the wolf on the left is already licking his chops.
Mike Chambers lives on Lookout Mountain.