How do you know when your side is winning the public opinion battle? Based on the last fifty years of American politics I’d say it’s when all of a sudden you find that you have a whole bunch of new friends who want to straighten you out on who the real conservatives are and straighten you out on what you should believe.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s we had the Buckleyites running that scam and then in the 2000s the Neo-Cons got their turn. Each time we go around in this circle they play the same game. We hear about the conservative majority that will be unleashed if only we embrace x, y and z. During our latest intervention our new friends want us to know that good old conservative institutions like gay marriage, open borders and offshoring American jobs to China will win us a coalition of newly minted conservatives if only we’re willing to denounce all those deplorables in the Rust Belt for the racists, xenophobes and homophobes they are. Boy, it’s good to have friends willing to straighten you out.
These political sages are all twenty somethings, newly minted from Ivy League schools with the wisdom they’ve accumulated in their post-modern literature and intersectional philosophy seminars fairly sparkling off their faces. I can just see the rainbow coalition of the LGBTQ and illegal aliens locking arms with libertarians, vegans, greens and other newly minted republicans as they stride shoulder to shoulder into a glorious new future of unrecognizable conservatism. Ever was it so.
But, as stated, when your “friends” want to save you from your agenda then you know that you’re winning. If you were losing, then these people wouldn’t be calling themselves conservatives and they wouldn’t be interested in talking to you. There wouldn’t be any money in it for them.
I was reminded of this by a spate of recent articles discussing esoteric writers and schools of thought that would set us straight and allow us to give up our needless crusade to confirm constitutional originalists to the bench and abandon our hopelessly old-fashioned obsession with the first and second amendments. When I read these articles, I get the same feeling that came over me when one of the neo-cons like Jonah Goldberg would explain why objecting to full acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate alternative to normal sexuality was hopelessly outdated and a fool’s errand. The angle he provided was that of an older and wiser head giving good advice to a country cousin who wasn’t smart enough to see that times had changed and all the smart people knew better and had moved on.
Back then it confused and depressed me to think that the conservative leaders had allowed themselves to be convinced by the arguments of the moral relativists. But of course, there hadn’t been any arguments. It was just a matter of the pundits going to some dinner parties where their liberal friends told them that only mouth breathers refused to acknowledge the highly conservative nature of buggery.
So here we go again. Against all odds Donald Trump unites social conservatives, patriots and everyone who despises the hypocrisy and stupidity of the social justice warriors. And because he is seeing success and his enemies are afraid that their policies are in danger, those on the Left immediately look to co-opt the movement. Their first targets are always the young elite intellectuals. They will dangle the prospect of an alliance of the moderates. The libertarians can be fooled into thinking that the “less crazy” progressives will band together with them to oppose the enemies of free speech and truth. All these libertarians have to do to seal the deal is purge the social conservatives who can’t be reconciled with their new pals. And to justify these delusions the young intellectuals spin a fantasy about the solidarity of the Classic Liberal coalition. Never mind that the Left has replaced principle with identity power politics for more than a century. Never mind that even while the “moderate” crazies are being harassed by their even crazier lunatic fringe no one on the Left ever misses a chance to kick someone on the Right if the opportunity presents itself.
Knowing all this I can only laugh at the pretensions of these brilliant moderates and their castles in the clouds. But more important than derision is pointing out to the young and impressionable that an alliance with the “saner” elements of the Left is a pipe dream that only leads to compromise and splintering of the factions on the Right. The Left is your mortal foe. They want to destroy all the things in life that make it worth living. They’ve already destroyed the majority of the institutions that made this country great. Compromising with them is just cooperating with them while they push you off the cliff. Moral relativism always leads to accepting things that are wrong. Instead, push in the direction of what is inherently good and you’ll make progress and you’ll attract like-minded people. Those are the friends you want, not the ones who look exactly like enemies.