Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
Andrew Breitbart once famously said that “politics is downstream from culture.” As John Hawkins at Townhall noted in a 2015 article, ” If conservatives completely cede the culture to the Left, we won’t just lose the culture; we’ll eventually lose on defense, fiscal issues, the Constitution and everything else that matters.” Before Breitbart’s observation and one year before Pat Buchanan used the phrase, a young college professor named James Davison Hunter brought the phrase “culture wars” to prominence.
If we as conservatives truly believe that politics is downstream from culture and if we believe that there is a culture war, then we, as conservatives, cannot win that war as it is currently fought thus setting ourselves up for political losses. For way too long, conservatism and, by extension, Republican Party politics has been playing by the Geneva Convention rule book for how to wage war while the Left, and by extension the Democratic Party, has been playing by the ISIS rule book for waging war.
U.S. Grant did not play by the rules as they existed at the time. Before being trapped at Petersburg, Grant had decimated the Confederate army by destroying their means of sustenance. As Lee’s army marched to Appomattox, many were collapsing from hunger. Sherman’s March to the Sea did not play by the rules either. And dropping atomic weapons on Japan certainly did not play by the rules at the time, but it broke the Japanese will resulting in unconditional surrender.
Unfortunately and for too long, conservatism (and the GOP) has lacked a Grant who knows how to wage a war with the goal of victory and unconditional surrender. We lack a person- worse, a mindset- willing to drop a political atomic bomb on the opposition. We lack a slash, burn and pillage mentality. Instead, for too long we have been content with playing by the equivalent of the Geneva Convention political rule book and hoping for a Korean War-like stalemate against the Left. We have been told that we must rise above their rhetoric and tactics. This line of thinking offered up the likes of John McCain, Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, John Boehner, and Paul Ryan. In their own right and own way, I am sure they are/were good people with one major flaw: they lacked the will or the know how in winning a war. In short, they were losers. Meanwhile, the Left are not “culture warriors;” they are culture terrorists.
Perhaps no recent event illustrates the depth to which the Left will sink than the Kavanaugh hearings. This should have been a clarion call to conservatives everywhere and should have galvanized anyone who claims to be conservative. Lindsey Graham seems to have had an epiphany in this area.
On these pages and elsewhere, true conservatives have been lectured about stooping to the level of the Left. Well, rising above the level of the Left in the past has gained exactly what other than bitching in the blogosphere? For example, the recent Covington Catholic High School controversy generated an article here that hats or apparel with a political message should be discouraged at pro-life marches. Abortion is perhaps the most divisive issue in the social culture war realm and to deny a political component is akin to laying down one’s arms, sticking one’s head in the sand and arms in the air. Suddenly, a red hat with four words on it is a racist dog whistle. These are not the thoughts of a supposed conservative; they are better left to people like Al Sharpton and Don Lemon.
We have been lectured about mocking and criticizing people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nathan Phillips, the lying Native American drum-beater in need of a good dental plan. That is the exact recipe for losing the war. The Left has no reservations whatsoever when it comes to criticism and mockery. When conservatives concede an inch here, the Left is quick to take the proverbial yard. There is nothing wrong with labeling Elizabeth Warren a fake Indian, or noting the bug-eyed appearance and Valley Girl musings of Ocasio-Cortez. Likewise, the strangely-shaped head of Max Boot and the bow-tied and bespectacled George Will are also not off limits.
Conservatives will always have logic, facts and commonsense on their side, but that only goes so far. Where they fail is in the emotion-driven narratives. Of course, they (the Left) have a willing and compliant media structure behind them who would rather spends hours of coverage about the plight of an illegal immigrant caravan and devote scant minutes to the victim of a crime at the hands of an illegal immigrant.
It is bad enough that conservatives have to fight this war with their hands self-bound, but when conservatism has figures within the movement essentially calling for disarmament in the name of some higher principles, it makes the task even harder. These are the people who would rather wallow in self-righteousness in hopes of a conservative heaven while living in a Leftist Hell. Conservatism does not need martyrs; it needs fighters. We will see whose side the self-proclaimed guardians of conservatism are truly on with the next Supreme Court vacancy. If anyone believes the Left hit a new low with the Kavanaugh spectacle, then they are naive fools. Conservatives must ask themselves: Do you prefer to be a winner, or do you prefer to be a whiner?