President Ronald Reagan is famous for his one-liners. Some were funny, such as “there you go again.” Others were threatening, such as, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” It seemed like he was always going to say something profound when he spoke which helped make him one of the most liked Presidents in modern history.
There were two quotes in particular that are at play today. Both were warnings and both seem to be coming to fruition in ways many Americans likely didn’t think possible a decade or two ago. I know I didn’t. I knew it was possible for things to change over time and for the overarching sentiment of the nation to shift, but I did not anticipate we would be so close to them becoming a reality in my lifetime, let alone in such a short period of time.
Let’s look at the two quotes and how the warnings from President Reagan are not being heeded, thus setting us on a collision course with what he feared for America’s future.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
When my son was in high school, I often asked him about the state of affairs with the youth of the time. He is a patriot and I always heard the doom and gloom from many parents who said the schools were indoctrinating their children into false belief systems and failed ideologies. Despite these reports, I never feared for his generation because they were just as appalled by 9/11 as mine was. They may not have been as cognizant of the geopolitical implications, nor were they as concerned about Islamic radicalization as the older generations who reacted to the attacks, but they still loved America.
In many ways, the leftist indoctrination was incremental. The internet and the rise of gaming technology had much more of a negative effect on his generation than any ideological pushes. But today’s younger generation is different. We see them doing things that make no sense. I don’t want to make blanket claims, but this isn’t the same thing as the standard generational condemnation placed on youths from parents who don’t understand. I do understand what this generation is seeing and doing. It’s not good.
This is a generation that is polling between 40%-55% in favor of socialism. Think about that. Such concepts were unthinkable to all previous American generations because they all recognized the fallacies of socialism based on what they were taught by parents, teachers, professors, each other, and most recently on the internet itself. But the fringe professors of the past are the mainstream professors of today. Even high school teachers have become so unhinged with their teachings that many, particularly younger ones, feel it’s necessary to instill a sense of hostility towards their own country.
What was once anecdotal is now so commonplace it no longer makes for a good headline. It’s expected. The gap in understanding about the nature of socialism, communism, and other radical philosophies in government have yielded a generation that no longer cares so much about their freedom. They are a generation of contradictions and enigmas; they don’t want to be told what to do yet they want the government to step in and get involved in everything.
How did this happen? How did we go from a generation like the one that grew up under Reagan and the subsequent generation that grew up through 9/11, both of whom loved and appreciated America, to the generation of today that is suddenly against everything signified by America’s actual existence? To answer that, we need to look at Reagan’s second great warning.
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
I don’t think I need to explain this one at all. If you’re a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, one who practices a Judeo-Christian faith, then you are very well aware that our nation is slipping away from the religious foundation that not only built us but kept us improving as a country until recently. One can look at Roe v. Wade, gay marriage, or other political examples of the nation’s faith slipping away, but those are symptoms. The cultural shift away from the faith is the root cause of our nation’s moral distress.
One cannot be surrounded by sin and expect that it won’t creep into his house.
But the Biblical writers often told of challenges from within the church itself. We’re seeing this as the spirit of antichrist today manifesting in false teachers and dismal representatives of the Gospel. Ask today’s youthful generation to name a religious leader. The answers will vary but chances are strong they’ve heard of a prosperity gospel megachurch pastor or a corrupt televangelist. They see the greed that drives so many in false church and they believe this is what the faith is all about. They see Westboro Baptist Church, the priest sex scandals, and pastors telling their congregations they need a bigger jet.
If the “church” represents greed, bigotry, and sexual misconduct to this generation, why would they turn to it for their own understanding of life?
It’s not a stretch to generalize that this generation, at least a very large chunk of it, worship on the altars of climate change, transhumanism, and Hollywood morality. They cannot reconcile their strong beliefs against the persecution of the LGBTQ community and still find personal solace in a religious movement that is allegedly doing the persecuting.
I had a jarring conversation a few years back with a gay friend. We were up late one night talking about his beliefs. He knew (as all do deep down) that there must be a creator, but no argument I made for the truth of the Bible could convince him righteousness could be found there. This was my own shortcoming, something I’ve regretted ever since. I failed him by not being able to overcome the perception of hatred he felt was directed towards him by “church folks.”
We must all do better.
Reagan feared a generation that abandoned freedom and a country that abandoned faith. It shouldn’t be surprising that the greatest threat to our future as a nation is the symbiotic expansion of both of his greatest fears.
Why Tomi Lahren’s abortion view harms American conservatism
Democrats are unambiguous and united in their view of abortion. It wasn’t always this way. As recently as a decade ago, there were a good number of pro-life Democrats winning elections and expressing their views as pundits.
Today, they don’t exist.
Republicans aren’t so repulsed by the pro-abortion people in their midst. It’s understandable that as a party that’s less focused on individual issues, one can be a Republican without checking off all the various boxes. This is fine. What’s not fine is for breaks in the ranks of conservatives. There are certain things that must remain universal among those who claim to embrace conservatism, especially among those who speak for conservatives.
Fox Nation’s Tomi Lahren is one of them. She claims to be a conservative, but she’s pro-choice. That fact, by itself, is understandable because the issue is a polarizing one in which people can be swayed to one side based on personal experience. It’s not like taxes which warrant universal scorn from conservatives. There are gun-toting, tax-hating, pro-choice conservatives.
But there’s a bigger problem with Lahren’s perspective. She’s not just attacking the Alabama abortion bill and pro-life perspectives in general. She’s doing so with an argument that flies in the face of reality.
To those arguing with me over the Alabama ban, I am NOT saying life doesn’t matter I am asking you if you honestly think an all-out ban is going to stop abortion. Do you think government is the answer? Do you think it’s effective? Or does this ban just make you feel better?
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) May 19, 2019
Do we think government is the answer? No. In fact, one of the most appealing parts about the Alabama abortion bill is that it represents the first true opportunity for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. When it reaches the Supreme Court (and it almost certainly will) it gives us the first glimpse of how the current makeup of the court will react. In fact, the makeup of the court could actually be better if one of the left-leaning Justices retires soon.
Once Roe v. Wade is out of the way, we can finally express the truly conservative aspect of federalism that should have never been taken away – the states’ rights to determine their own healthcare laws.
If Tomi Lahren doesn’t like the abortion ban, that’s fine. Her choice. But to defend her choice by insinuating a challenge to Roe v. Wade is somehow an attack on limited-government tenets is false and harms conservatism.
Conservative Media, we need to blacklist Trump-Russia story and move on
To The Daily Wire, One America News, Washington Times, Blaze Media, and all others to the right of Fox News,
There was no collusion and no obstruction. It took over two years for this narrative to search under every stone and exhaust millions of dollars to, in the end, find nothing. The leftist media will not make many concessions, especially as it relates to obstruction for a crime that was not committed. We cannot as conservatives prove beyond an unreasonable doubt that Trump did not collude or obstruct. As Democrats in Congress keep the narrative on life support, the Conservative media needs to pull the plug.
The average American is fatigued by the Trump-Russia collusion/obstruction narrative. Meanwhile our effort is playing defense against a leftist narrative rather than reporting on issues both our base and the politically uninvolved care far more about. When the economy is strong and the border crisis is pressing, why is so much of our attention directed towards the soap opera clown show that takes place? Instead of countering this narrative, conservative media should starve the narrative of as much attention as possible.
An area which Conservatives have long failed, but have made great improvements towards, is controlling the narrative, the language and Overton Window of society. If we continue to counter the leftist narrative of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, we will continue to feed their power in controlling the narrative in the American political and cultural arena. Instead, let us make an effort to not only counter the narrative but set the narrative.
In our friendly rivalry as Conservative outlets, let us come together and collectively move on from the Trump-Russia story, discarding it as if it were a flat-earth conspiracy and move on.
Conservatives cannot be afraid to press the culture war
There are many reasons Conservatives have been reticent to press the culture war. Many of them were acted upon by Mitt Romney only for those conventions to be blown away by Trump winning in 2016. The Republican Party hates running on culture issues instead wanting only to use issues like abortion as shiny objects for show votes. But we must remember, Trump won and Romney and McCain lost. Trump ran on a culture issue: immigration. He won. And in my opinion, Trump made it highly difficult for him to win, not because of the issues he was running on, but because of his personality. So let that be encouragement.
For a Rainbow jihad fatwa will come after you if you aren’t attracted to a man in drag. They will pass legislation to make possessing certain guns illegal. You will be called a racist. They are already passing legislation protecting infanticide. If we do not press these issues, we will lose. If we stay silent, as Erick Erickson so famously said, we will be made to care.
But Wait! The economy is doing great
Republicans will want to focus on the economy and there is nothing wrong with that. To quote The Road to El Dorado, “both is good.” There is no reason we cannot do both. Reasonably speaking, it means we are going to have to sacrifice certain talking points. I nominate the Russian Hoax, as people are already tired of hearing about it, whereas, cultural issues such as Brian Sims dominated Conservative news cycles. People are motivated by cultural issues. Guns, illegal immigration, and abortion are among the top single issue voting groups. In 2012, Republicans ran on jobs, jobs, jobs and lost, lost, lost.
Trump can press the economy in 2020 and use it to get people to reelect him as they would any other incumbent. But reelecting Trump to maintain the economy is not a win so much as it’s not a defeat. Because let’s be honest, if the Republicans pass a balanced budget with a plan to pay off the debt in say twenty years, the economy would contract. We would undoubtedly go into recession and unemployment would rise due to a reduction in public sector jobs. Are we, as Conservatives, willing to bite that bullet? I hope so. If so, the message of austerity contradicts the message of the economy, why should the economy be our main focus? Recessions are temporary and a natural part of the business cycle as our economy evolves. The Great Depression only lasted as long as they did because of the intervention from progressives like Herbert Hoover and FDR. The Republican Party is unwilling to bite this bullet. They aren’t fiscally responsible. Coincidentally, they aren’t willing to defund Planned Parenthood, despite how they donate to candidates who run against them. Let me take that back, it’s not a coincidence. If we look at the Liberty Score of Republicans, you will see that the most socially conservative are also the most fiscally responsible as well. I am hardpressed to find an exception. Socially liberal fiscally conservative doesn’t exist in the real world today. Why? Because being fiscally conservative requires a socially conservative worldview. My evidence for this assertion is Congress.
In order to get these ends, we need to engage in the culture war as a means. Increasing spending does not earn a Republican a primary challenge. But being soft on illegal immigration will. Marco Rubio didn’t win the nomination in 2016. So it’s safe to conclude that illegal immigration is a more energizing issue than national debt. Once again, going back to 2012, Mitt Romney floated self-deportation in the primary but steered clear of illegal immigration in the general. He said he was pro-life, but ran ads to assure people he wouldn’t act on his pro-life stance. But enough using Romney as a punching bag for being a loser. Ron DeSantis in Florida ran on a Trump platform in Florida, without the Trump personality and upset Andrew Gillum in what was supposed to be a blue wave. Kim Reynolds, in swing state Iowa, signed a heartbeat bill into law in May 2018. She went on to pull perhaps the most surprising upset in the 2018 Midterm Elections in what will be a swing state in 2020. Meanwhile obvious RINO Martha McSally couldn’t beat one of the most overtly anti-American candidates in Kyrsten Sinema, in a mild red state.
But let’s look at this from the Left’s perspectives. Indiana and Texas are roughly comparable in terms of the GOP’s advantage. Beto O’Rourke came close while the “moderate” Democrat in Indiana got owned, double digits despite polling ahead, against who in my opinion was a shaky candidate. Back on the right John James ran a solid campaign in Michigan, despite losing, meanwhile the Republican in Wisconsin got trounced. Energy is the name of the game and when Conservatives bring it, we perform better. Conservatives bring that energy by fighting the culture war.
Are minorities more socially conservative then the Democrat Party? Yes. Do these same minorities tend to economic liberals? Yes. So which is the best way to reach minorities, by emphasizing the issues we have in common or by arguing that we need to roll back entitlements. I’ll take the former, because the Democrats are a confederacy, and social conservatism stands a better chance at weakening the confederacy.
Politics Downstream From Culture
The Andrew Breitbart quote is beyond true. Previously I wrote that our society was fiscally irresponsible, therefore why should we be surprised that this same society elects Lindsey Grahams and Mitch McConnells. The ideals of the American Revolution were preached in churches years before 1775. The 2nd Great Awakening preceded the abolition of slavery. Progressive theology preceded progressive policies. Cultural leftism has so far preceded socialist policies. Look at Marianne Williams who was a thought leader for a new age cult long before she was a socialist candidate. So what am I saying? Socially conservative policies will precede fiscally conservative policies.
A Caveat of Trump and State Governments
Now the first objection to this claim is that Trump has implemented some socially conservative policies. Let’s take immigration, for example, where Trump is most willing to make a bad deal with Democrats to resolve the issue. A border wall is not worth amnesty. DACA should not be kept under any circumstances. Furthermore, Trump is far too easily swayed by Ivanka and Jared Kushner who will only lead his governance astray. But if there were a Congress full of Conservatives, we would see far fewer weaknesses in the President. Congress is supposed to be the most powerful branch. If they sent Trump a balanced budget, Trump would undoubtedly sign it.
State governments, by their smaller nature, are often times ran more fiscally responsible and have balanced budget requirements in their constitutions. In fact, many legislatures either meet every other year or session that is a segment within the year. These relics of a more agrarian culture that placed high esteem on limited government are hard to undo. But legislatures like that in Annapolis will do their damage within their session.
Conservatives shouldn’t cater to people who don’t exist, rather they should fight the culture war because there are gains in this war that will lead to a culture more willing to accept austere measures. We can only win the culture war if we fight for it. We can only end abortion if we fight for it. We can only end illegal immigration if we fight for it. Play offense. Make the left defend infanticide and ask the average uninformed American: do they want that person in office? Make them uncomfortable by sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, so that they will feel the cost of their own ideology. Make them admit that they believe black Americans are less competent than white Americans. Have them explain the difference between a semiautomatic and fully automatic firearm. Maybe then we can finally eliminate policies such as the outdated and cost burdensome Social Security or end the long failed war on poverty.
If politics flows downstream from culture as American history has long shown, in order for Conservatives to win, we must win the culture war.
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