Conservatives Rationalize as America Circles the Drain
It's often hard to accept the truth, especially when that truth is scary -- when reality seems to offer you no solutions, only poison from which to pick.
It's as with a man I once knew who insisted that it couldn't be proven that smoking is bad for you. He knew better in his heart, but his available choices -- giving up cigarettes or accepting the danger of their use -- were both emotionally unpalatable to him. Enter the rationalization.
We're seeing the same thing with Republicans in the wake of Barack Obama's re-election. Radio host Sean Hannity, citing changing American demographics, stated a while back that his position on immigration has "evolved": we now must offer illegals some kind of pathway to citizenship (aka amnesty). Other conservatives are warning that we must dispense with social issues, or the Republican Party will be dispensed with.
Of course, this isn't always rationalization. Some conservatives, and Hannity is likely among them, may truly believe that we can avoid electoral hell if we have just one more dance with the Devil. Conservatives have always responded to seemingly inevitable political changes by, slowly but surely, compromising their way to tyranny. But rationalization is a huge factor, and what is the scary truth here that conservatives dare not contemplate?
They are losing the culture.
Little by little.
And as the culture goes, so go political fortunes.
Let's spell it out:
- To paraphrase Lincoln, the teaching in the schools today will be the politics of tomorrow. The left has long controlled academia.
- The media, our conduit of information, is largely controlled by the left.
- As Plato wrote, "[w]hen modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them." Just imagine what he would have said about far more influential television and the internet, two media through which popular culture -- which the left controls -- is imbibed.
Now, like a computer, people can process only the data they are given. Thus, even when people function logically like a computer (which can be rare), they're operating within a leftist matrix of ideas forged by the Triumvirate of Evil (TE): academia, the media, and popular culture. These data-entry specialists ensure that it is garbage in as leftist ideology, garbage out as votes.
This brings us to the so-called culture war. The left is the establishment; it controls the above branches of the pen-not-sword military. Conservatives have been reduced to guerrilla warfare, with groups such as the ACLJ, Family Research Council, and Christian Coalition drawing occasional blood, and citizen uprisings such as the defense of Chik-fil-A. And while these actions are sometimes successful, they're always short-lived and are merely defenses that serve only to slow the loss of traditionalist territory.
The reality is that there is no culture war. What is occurring now is a pacification effort.
Some conservatives sense this, but the reality is often too frightening to contemplate. You can vote liberals out of office, but how do you control entities whose agents of change are unelected? Boycotts won't do it because, unlike elections, they require more than a run-up campaign and one voting day of focus and effort; it's often impossible to get enough people on board, and in the aggregate, most don't have the discipline to persevere in a boycott, anyway. And what of traditionalists reversing the Gramscian march through the institutions by themselves entering them? Good luck. Time is short, and, besides, TE leftists are like The Matrix's sentient programs: they guard all the gates and hold all the keys.
In addition to this, add another element to my eighth-paragraph list:
4. You can supplement your domestically produced leftist voters by importing some ready-made ones. Most all of our new immigrants are de facto socialists.
This won't be changed, either, because there no longer are the votes to alter our dhimmi-gration model.
So the hear-see-speak-no-evil reality for conservatives is this: politics will always reflect the culture, which is steadily drifting "left."
And there is no way to democratically reclaim the culture.
So many conservatives shunt this root-rot into their minds' recesses and instead focus on growing pretty leaves on the dying tree: they immerse themselves in the political. Oh, perhaps if we fertilize the Hispanic electorate with the manure of amnesty, it will bloom as a Republican rose. Just one more concession!
Or maybe we just need to stop the blinding sunshine of social issues and try a flood of fiscal conservatism.
First, Republicans have already tried focusing on fiscal matters and de-emphasizing social ones. Note that except when answering direct questions, they didn't talk about social issues much in the 2012 campaign; it was the Democrats, with their WOW (war on women) propaganda, who talked about what the GOP supposedly believed. Ah, this worked only because the media offered air support, you say? See the above list. The media won't suddenly find virtue but will only intensify the pacification effort.
As for the growing Hispanic voting bloc, as I wrote a while back (admittedly, I didn't provide enough nuance), they don't mind social conservatism. And since saying, as I did previously, that they are more socially conservative than are whites is imprecise, I'll rephrase it: Hispanics are less opposed to social conservatism than are whites.
What many Hispanics really want is cradle-to-grave handouts, the kind of big government they voted for -- but never could quite get -- in their native lands. Whether this comes packaged with social conservatism or social liberalism is secondary.
To spell it out more precisely, a higher percentage of whites are passionately opposed to social conservatism, but a higher percentage of whites are also passionately for it. As for Hispanics, the best description of them as a whole isn't socially conservative or liberal, but socially indifferent. They may register the obligatory nod when their priest talks about abortion, but they'd do the same in a setting in which social liberalism was the default. It's simply not something on which their votes hinge. And because of this indifference, their youth will and do conform to the liberal spirit of the age.
Conclusion: Hispanics are not a natural conservative constituency.
Let's tackle another myth. We often hear that this is a "conservative" country, with a plurality of the electorate describing themselves as conservative; as Pew reported, "40% of Americans ... describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal." But two important factors are missed here. First, the majority of any nation could be called "conservative," as the only consistent definition of that term involves a desire to maintain the status quo, and the status quo is determined by the majority. Second, today's status quo was shaped by yesterday's left and thus is in that sense "liberal." This dovetails with the second factor:
Most "moderates" are actually liberals, usually of the lukewarm variety.
How can this be? First, wishy-washy people lacking in principle will hew mostly to what's fashionable, and, again, progressivism is that. Second, liberals are solipsistic and self-centered and thus see themselves as defining the center (and any deviation from their beliefs as radicalism); hence, even when they are left of our "leftist" middle, in their minds they may be moderates. Third, liberals want to fancy themselves open-minded, so they often like believing they're voices of reason -- moderate and not, perish the thought, extreme. Lastly, both the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have been demonized to a degree, and it takes conviction to brand yourself as one who has unfashionably strayed from the pack. And since liberals are far more likely than conservatives to be relativists -- to believe that "man is the measure of all things" and thus that true principle (which is transcendent) is an illusion -- they tend to care more about social standing than standing on "social constructs" (principles). Ergo, they're more likely than conservatives to adopt a label that sounds good rather than one that rings true.
So that is America in 2012. And where do we go from here? For starters, we need to stop fooling ourselves. Many Johnny-come-lately-to-reality types started talking about Republicans' demographic and cultural winter only after the Nov. 6 election, as if some kind of unforeseeable revolution had taken place. But while it may have represented a tipping point, a long Gramscian evolution had pushed America to that point. A process is in motion, a disease besets us, and if you understand its pathology, you know that no amount of Hispandering or appeals to virtue (e.g., personal responsibility) with an electorate largely lacking in the quality will bear fruit. The remaining healthy acorns need to recognize this, stop trying to fertilize a tree destined for the sawmill, and instead prepare to seed new ground.