Republicans are far from blameless when it comes to overheated political rhetoric (neither am I, for that matter) and, indeed, the so-called conservative party has positioned itself, at least as a matter of emotional tenor, as a right-wing revolutionist party, albeit one that still seems to care more about tax cuts than about anything else. The talk-radio callers are positively giddy anticipating the social and political collapse of the United States. But if losing an election to a buffoonish reality-television host is legitimate grounds for “resistance” (resistance that implicitly judges the government of the United States of America to be illegitimate) then what about us rusticated right-wingers out here in the sticks with our guns and our funny notion that the Bill of Rights means what it says — and that what it says is worth fighting for?

Or perhaps we should back off from the Third Reich analogies and the “resist” nonsense and begin to take our duties as citizens at least halfway seriously. That begins with an understanding, among other things, that the Bill of Rights is not up for renegotiation, that perverting regulatory and counterterrorism powers for narrow political ends is a dereliction of duty and a misuse of power that should result in the offending party’s removal from office, that abusing one’s political office to bully individuals and businesses simply for having political preferences at odds with your own (talking at you, Joaquin Castro) is dishonorable and destructive, and that losing a presidential election does not render the government illegitimate or invite overturning the constitutional order.