18 Mar 2013

Conservatives Need to Be Ditchers Not Hedgers

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The headlines were filled recently with gleeful liberal accounts of spaghetti-spined members of the GOP, Charles Murray and Rob Portman, advocating surrender to the left on culture issues like Same Sex Marriage.

What we are obviously seeing is the herd mentality of the community of fashion in operation.

The Left controls most engines of opinion-formation in this country. First, revolutionary proposals originate in the left’s radical fringe, then little by little, they are “bravely” embraced by one pillar of the establishment after another. When it becomes apparent that the looney tunes running American education have successfully brainwashed the lumpenstudenten mob of impressionable, emotionally volatile, and fashion-conscious young, what we experience next is the unbecoming spectacle of older non-rugged-individualists scurrying to catch up with the departing bus of fashionable opinion which they perceive as about to motor through the endpoint of success, leaving behind History’s losers.

The truth of the matter is that you do not win culture war contests with the revolutionary Left by surrendering on point after point as soon as the Left appears to be gaining the upper hand. Even when they are going to win this particular battle today, it behooves Republicans and conservatives to recognize that revolutionary victories do not necessarily last forever. People living in France are not counting how many days of Ventôse remain before the arrival of Germinal.

Absurd leftist overreach may temporarily gain ascendancy and make entire societies dance to its tune, but the worst and the silliest of the Left’s ideas will always be doomed to fall in the end of their own weight of stupidity and falsehood.

In the meantime, we ought not to be like the French Army, offering the future surplus sale of MAS rifles described as “never fired, and only dropped once.” We ought to face the Left on every culture wars issue the way the doomed Spartans faced the Persians at Thermopylae. We should not cut and run, like Godric at the Battle of Maldon, but should, like Brythold, resist every time on every point to the bitter end.

“Hige sceal þe heardra,
heorte þe cenre,
mod sceal þe mare,
þe ure mægen lytlað.

“Mind must be the harder,
heart the keener
Spirit shall be greater –
as our strength lessens.”

Young people grow up. The Left’s domination of the Dummer Junger student and recent graduate crowd does not in most cases last forever.


Molly Hemingway, at Ricochet, pointed out just how worthwhile Rob Portman’s analysis really is.

Leaving apart the question of whether marriage law should be changed, this strikes me as a problematic approach. I mean, marriage law should be changed or it shouldn’t be changed — but it shouldn’t hinge on the sexual attractions of one senator’s son, should it?

What if a conservative senator said, “I’m reversing my views on whether abortion should be legal because my daughter got pregnant and wished she weren’t.”

One of the fascinating things about society today is that personal experience trumps everything else in argumentation. Very few people seem to care about fundamental truths and principles while everyone seems to care about personal experience and emotion. It’s the Oprahfication of political philosophy.

Should a conservative determine good policy this way?

One Feedback on "Conservatives Need to Be Ditchers Not Hedgers"


For much of the electorate politics is simply another “reality show”. Have you ever overheard two people discussing a reality show? The discussion of anything serious like the role of government or economics or what the destruction of long standing institutions portends is boring and probably requires more effort than they are capable. When you can actually force people to consider and make choices about those issues they mostly come down on the side of conservatives. They just don’t want to spend their time thinking about them. That’s why it will always be in the interest of liberals to frame the questions as “how do you FEEL about this?”

For instance, listen to any discussion — even among conservatives — about marriage. The data is overwhelmingly that marriage is a positive force — both economically and in raising children. Yet when you bring this up the first thing you will hear is “I raised two children successfully without marriage.” Okay. So what? How does this change the fact that this is not the case for the population as a whole? How does this change the prescription for raising more successful children?

Or gun control. If restricting “assault rifles” or magazine size had any influence on gun violence,that statistic should have gone up after 2004 when the law expired. It didn’t. Yes, but I just FEEL that we have to do something.

Liberals are the party of government. Government is the empirical epitome of incompetence. In order to achieve their goal of governmental dominance, they must, therefore, direct focus away from actual results, which are usually against them, toward FEELINGS, which, of course, can never be wrong.


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