The Failures of Conservatives in the Culture Wars

Actual header from Merrimack College’s “Social Justice” degree page of their website.

This article starts with an assumption, whether true or not, that conservatives are losing the culture wars.  Even if false, it would be good policy to wage the war as if we are losing.  As Breitbart said, “Politics is downstream from culture.”  And while there may be battles victoriously won along the way, the Left has been a worthy opponent and conservatives need to understand where their weaknesses are so that we overcome those weaknesses and eventually win.

First, it is no secret that marriage and religion (particularly Christianity) is in decline.  Men and women no longer need marriage for sex and women no longer need marriage for financial support.  Because of the high divorce rate and courts which repeatedly frown upon paternal rights, the Left has succeeded in undermining the one key factor in a strong society- the family.

Religion and marriage were once the backbone of American culture.  Supposed old-school values, best described as Judeo-Christian, are what made this country great and are the very values the Left seeks to undermine the most.  Marriage between a man and a woman will always be the best method to raise children and good parents will shape their children to maximize their later success.

Although the world has changed dramatically, many conservatives (perhaps not here) have been lazy in counteracting these attacks on the traditional family and Judeo-Christian values.  As marriage and the church go, so goes our culture.  What can be done to make marriage and religion more appealing and pertinent?  What is the best strategy for reversing the trends?

Second, look at the state of the educational complex in the United States.  Institutes of higher learning hire former domestic terrorists, America haters, radical feminists, outright racists who hate whites and radical Marxists.  Not only are they hired, they are venerated and placed on pedestals.  When you take the worst among us and place them in positions to mold minds, one need not be Einstein to imagine the results.  The problem extends beyond higher education down to elementary school.  Today’s teacher education is not practical, but more theoretical and skewed to the Left.  Political representatives pay scant attention to what is taught in schools while conservatives rarely pushback when radicals are invited to speak on a campus.  As for private schools, conservatives can start protesting with their wallets and stop paying schools to effectively silence conservative voices.

Today, very few things are considered degenerate in American culture.  Only pedophiles and those who torture animals immediately come to mind.  Almost everything else is a live and let live attitude. It is why foul-mouthed rappers have the top songs in this country and shows that venerate drug dealing ex-chemistry teachers are so popular.  The Left makes fun of shows that once showed couples in separate beds and insinuate conservatives want to take us culturally back to the 1950’s.  Of course, they conveniently ignore the positives.  Is the average person’s behavior better or worse now?  Are people more honest now?  The starting point of a strong nation starts with the character of its constituents.  By nature, humans are selfish beings, so character has to be taught.  When we jettison ideas like virtue, decency, manners and patriotism, we achieve the culture in which we live.  It elevates degeneracy and evil that may bear temporary fruit, but at what cost?  We see the results today when candidates for president are now openly endorsing the ultimate degeneracy and evil- infanticide.

In this digital age, the average American is bombarded with messages, advertisements, GIFs, memes, tweets, news, and offers more in one day than they formerly were exposed to in six months.  Getting the attention of anyone requires one of two strategies- making a personal connection, or a message cute, shocking or extreme on epic levels.  Unfortunately, the latter leads culture deeper into the sewer of ever-escalating rhetoric.  What catches your attention more: “Don’t do drugs,” or “Heroin is the best drug you’ll ever do.”  We have become desensitized to the depravity.  When bad advice catches your attention and doing the right thing is so boring, which do you think will have the bigger long-term impact?  Church-going, obeying parents, politeness, telling the truth and obeying the law are not thrill rides, but they are attributes in culture that made this country strong.

Remember the days of the Moral Majority?  They loved to boycott.  Conservatives today?  Yeah…not so much.  Look at the game the Left plays versus that of conservatives.  Chick-Fil-A supposedly opposes gay marriage and they are banned on college campuses and airports.  Another company announces their support for gay marriage and we continue to buy their products.  Conservatives continue to actually fund corporations with values antithetical to conservatives.  If you want to change them or at least get them to shut up, stop buying their products.

It is also no surprise that as the government grows, so did our descent of the culture.  The bigger government grows, the less incentive there is for people to take responsibility for their own lives.  Having a child out of wedlock gets you a better welfare check.  If you refuse to find a job, the government is there with another check.  Never saved a dime in your life?  No problem- the government has your back.  The result: the government is turning adults into children where they never have to worry about such things as personal responsibility, autonomy, and accountability for one’s actions.  Shrink the government and you start to change the culture.

But, perhaps the biggest threat to losing the culture wars is conservative complacency.  In 2016, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by taking 2,626 counties to Clinton’s 487 which, incidentally, is another statistic against abolishing the Electoral College.  You can literally drive from one end of the country to the other without ever passing through a Clinton-won county.  Hence, conservatives already live in areas where conservatism seems predominant.  If you live in a low-crime area where God, guns and country are respected and that respect extends into schools, homes, governments, and entertainment, it is easy to ignore those other 487 counties.  It is easy to pretend that everything is fine.  Therefore, there is this false sense of hope that the situation will somehow correct itself because many live in a conservative bubble echo chamber.  This is no way to address the problem.  The opponents of conservatism have spare time to think of ways to destroy institutions like the Boy Scouts, of redefining the sexes, of undermining marriage and religion, etc.

In many respects, instead of heeding the call to arms, conservatives have laid down their arms.  That is clearly no way to win a war.