Punk Rock Republicanism Will Win

These political terms we use to describe our personal beliefs have never been so misleading.  In America, Republican voters are labeled as "conservative," even though they strongly believe in the inalienable freedoms first defended by our revolutionary forefathers, who rebelled against traditional governing institutions and embraced Enlightenment liberalism.  Democrats call themselves "liberal," even though they believe that "progress" can occur only if Americans relinquish their individual rights and embrace "ends justify the means," "cradle to grave" collectivism.  So the party that does not believe in protecting individual liberties is oxymoronically called "liberal," and the party that distrusts government and places the sanctity of personal freedom ahead of any reverence for conserving man-made institutions is somewhat nonsensically called "conservative."  "Conservative" voters would like to smash the government Leviathan into bits and dispense with the permanent governing class for good; "liberals" not only push incessantly for a bigger government with greater powers but also embrace "rule by experts" indistinguishable from the monarchical aristocracy defeated during America's War for Independence.  If that war were fought again today, the Democrats would be donning red coats and singing the Crown's "God Save the Queen."  Punk rock Republicans would surely be screaming the Sex Pistols' version.  

All of this leads to puzzling contradictions created and propagated by an overwhelmingly Democrat-allied corporate press.  Conservatives, who are slimed daily as having attempted to "overthrow" the federal government on January 6, are also supposed to be "stodgy" conformists who want nothing more than to protect "the man."  They have apparently gotten so good at "conserving" that they do so while "insurrecting," and they've camouflaged themselves so well behind the power of "the man" that they must be constantly surveilled and infiltrated by the FBI.  Nothing says "boring conservative grandmother" like being thrown in the pokey by the feds for showing up at a political rally.  Nothing says "tired old party" like President Trump whooping and hollering up a storm in front of tens of thousands of raucous fans.  And nothing says "mild, nice, and good-mannered" like rowdy Americans packing football stadiums and NASCAR races and lining up along presidential motorcade routes just to scream, "Let's go Brandon!" at the top of their lungs.  How very Beaver Cleaver of those "go along to get along" political conservatives!  Who's "raging against the machine" these days?  It's not the good little boys and girls obedient to the State's directives, that's for sure!

Conversely, "liberal" Democrats proudly define themselves as cultural "rebels," yet they couldn't be any more status quo.  They believe what Big Business believes.  They embrace what Big Tech embraces.  They cheerlead for government power and cultishly follow anyone with credentials or "expertise."  "We must listen to Dr. Fauci," they say.  He's an expert!  "Of course inflation is transitory."  The Fed said so!  "An unborn baby is just a clump of cells."  It's Supreme Court precedent!  "Unless we let the United Nations control global energy supplies, we're all going to die in a few years."  Every government-paid environmentalist has predicted so for fifty years!  

Freethinking, debate, and iconoclasm are not allowed.  Questioning an experimental "vaccine" makes one an anti-vaxxer.  Questioning how central banks' endless money printing could possibly lead to prosperity is ridiculed as anti-government.  Questioning the right of a mother to kill her baby renders one anti-choice.  Questioning governments' fear-mongering over Earth's imminent destruction by pointing to a half-century of ludicrously false climate predictions made by esteemed "experts" means you're a climate denier.  And refusing to blindly follow any of these narratives makes one generally anti-science, even though to be against science would paradoxically require one to be against asking hard questions in the first place.

For Democrats, there is the script and then there is sacrilege.  Now, what does that sound like?  Ah, yes, it sounds an awful lot like religious obedience to an ideological dogma.  It is as if their utmost concern is how to conserve the consensus gentium over all other competing arguments.  How very liberal, anti-Establishment, and daring of them!  We should call them Tories.

All of this leads to the reason why real liberty-lovers are awakening from their slumber and will ultimately prevail, despite all the agony and pain anti-freedom Democrats will first make us endure.  Pointing to the swinging pendulum of history may be a trite metaphor, but it is a remarkably prescient representation of humanity's drift from one side of the political spectrum to the other.  The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been dominated by the subjugation of individual rights and freedoms to the overarching edicts of the State.  The war against totalitarianism, we have sadly discovered, did not end after WWII.  It did not end after the Cold War, either.  In various fits and starts of government expansion over the decades, "free" nations have not been immune to the disease of despotism.  

As if to provide us with the mother of all exclamation points for that contention, countries around the globe have all suffered two years of mandates, coercion, and persecution from their governments over a virus that would have never received such obsessive attention in decades past.  It has become readily clear that the unprecedented reactions by governing authorities to the China Virus had little to do with curbing illness and everything to do with curbing freedom.  Those inclined to put their faith in "experts" have witnessed up close and personally not only how wildly inaccurate "expert" predictions can be, but also how oppressively dangerous those "experts" are when what they say is used to justify outrageously abusive government action.  Those inclined to believe that Western governments have their people's best interest at heart have seen how hypocritical and punitive government actors are when pursuing their own selfish interests.  And those who did not think science and public debate could ever be manipulated or censored in "free" societies now know that Western governments are not above lying to their people and behaving tyrannically when it serves their purposes.  

Suddenly the pendulum's swing toward bigger and more powerful government looks so far stretched that the "system" is nearing its breaking point.  What comes next, as it begins to move in the opposite direction and pick up speed, will be something new for most people now alive.  As freedom fighters once again hear the call for action and respond, it will become increasingly clear that those who cherish the conservation of human liberty over all else are a force to be reckoned with when freedom is on the line.

The fake "liberals" of the last century are in for a surprise when the real liberals figure out the future is theirs.  Call it a "lonely impulse of delight" or a "return to first principles" or the recognition that "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance" or the rise of punk rock Republicanism just in the nick of time.  One thing's for certain: while Democrats are busy conserving the status quo, Republicans will be throwing sand in the gears and might just end up knocking the whole thing down.  It's as our third president once remarked to our fourth president: "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."  Tell me Jefferson and Madison wouldn't have loved punk rock.

Image: Jeff Turner via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

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