Winning the Future: The Fiscal-Conservative Fantasy
With the loss of the 2012 election, there is much talk of how the Republican Party must do some soul-searching. How will the GOP wage successful campaigns when demographic and cultural changes favor the opposition? Increasingly, the answer is that the party's party is over, that it must move into the future or be relegated to the past. "Dispense with the social issues!" we're counseled. "Don't trouble over abortion or faux marriage and instead just focus on fiscal matters."
Yet this appeal is the result of critics expressing what makes them uncomfortable, as opposed to actually observing the facts on the ground. How do I know? It's simple: the minority voters everyone is so desperate to woo are more socially conservative than are whites. Where are they more liberal?
Hispanics are well-known to be pro-life; in fact, one poll showed that only 25 percent of them support legal abortion. And remember the 2008 Proposition 8 vote in California banning faux marriage? While a slim majority of whites voted against it, 53 percent of Hispanics and 70 percent of blacks voted yes and won its passage (prompting all those nice leftists to have hissy fits and hurl racial epithets).
In fact, if you want to know how to capture Hispanic voters, just learn from people who've done it for 100 years: Mexican politicians. It's rumored that Mexico has more Mexicans than even Mexifornia, yet while it has long embraced socialist parties, abortion is illegal nationwide.
So the fiscal-conservative prescription is spot-on -- if you're diagnosing New Zealand. Otherwise, it's a proposal to give minorities what they don't want in a platform and deny them what they do want in the hope that they'll abandon a party that at least offers half a loaf. Can you say hasta la vista, Republicanos?
Of course, some assume that traditionalist social positions are the problem because the GOP's touting them hasn't won over minorities. After all, such matters involve deeply held principle, right?
But this gets at the problem: the people in question find fiscal liberalism -- otherwise known as getting free stuff -- even more compelling (a few different kinds of prejudice factor into their preferences as well).
So you want to keep the GOP relevant? Here's a proposition. Let's woo that sought-after Hispanic voting block by offering the whole loaf: social conservatism and quasi-socialist policies. I'm sure the churches will help out by preaching social justice in Spanish.
Of course, I'm not serious. But the point has been made.
Yet there is an irony here. Should the republic hold together as it toddles into tomorrow with a motley mix of polyglot peoples, the Mexican model is exactly what will be applied. After all, like water, politicians take the shape of the vessel in which they find themselves -- a jarra de agua in this case.
A delicious irony it is, too -- in a bittersweet way. You American liberals now bask in victory's glow, and you've been winning the culture war for a century. You fancy that you'll build your brave nude world, your utopia of faux marriage, free abortion, and whatever other social evolution your inner simian conjures up, unimpeded by conservatives who once, to paraphrase Bill Buckley, would stand athwart history yelling "Stop!" And, true, should the American republic survive long enough (doubtful), you won't have to worry about old white guys running things or mobs of "angry white males" running their mouths. Yet the future won't be what you expect. You naively think leftism will march forward the next hundred years like it did the last, but civilizations cycle. And while you know how to tear down the edifice via your cultural 9/11, you've no idea how to build a new one up. And the reality is that you will not be the builders.
This America would be browner and bluer, but also likely less accepting of homosexuality and abortion. It would be too poor to finance the big social programs you want; however, while Big Brother might have to recede, he could be replaced by Big Daddy: society may well be more patriarchal. And if there's a huge influx of Muslims? Ha!
Oh, you feminists will wail and gnash your teeth -- insofar as you're still around. But few of you will remain, given your bottoming-out birthrate, and your new overlords won't care about the caterwauling of a coven of wizened old white women. Your only saving grace is that if this society really is more pro-life, you may be spared an ObamaCare-prescribed euthanizing and instead enjoy a lonely dotage in a quite Spartan, Cuba-like old-age home.
A tad dystopian, you say? Then you'd better get busy now and hope you have more success convincing America's "emerging majority" to accept social liberalism than your opponents have had cajoling them into fiscal conservatism. Good luck with all that.
There's a kicker here, too. The above vision of tomorrow is the best-case scenario for you liberals. The worst one is ending up Winston Smith(ez) living in a totalitarian super-state, with the cage of hungry rats on your head when you think bad thoughts.
Yet I don't think either scenario most probable. I've long believed that the U.S. will go the way of the Roman Empire -- not just insofar as collapsing, but also in dissolution. After all, we're so divided -- nay, fractured -- along racial, ethnic, and ideological lines that, ultimately, only the iron fist of tyranny could hold us together. This break-up could be precipitated by severe economic turmoil coupled with a series of disasters.
Sound crazy? Well, history teaches otherwise. We could still say in 1939 that the sun never sets on the British Empire; now it hardly shines on her. And how many in 1985 foresaw the dissolution of the all-powerful Soviet Union?
To suffer the same fate would certainly make for interesting times. If they come, however, perhaps we can forge one of the resulting nations into a leaner, cleaner land, where fiscal frugality and social sanity both reign. And if I have anything to say about it, there'll be a big sign on the border reading, "Liberals need not apply."