Rebuttal to Another ‘Why Won’t the Social Conservatives Just Shut Up?’ Post
January 23, 2014 - 8:16 am
If social conservatives get to have no say in the conservative movement, and if they leave the movement either in frustration or because they have learned from the futility that life is just too short to bother with all this, who will replace them? The coastal 18 year olds with the vague sense that government is bad, but who have not been equipped to know what lies at the foundation of our culture and why it is or isn’t worth defending?
Sorry, but I’m very skeptical. I spend quite a bit of time around teenagers too. They’re fun and they keep you young, but they’re a lot like I was at that age — they don’t know half of what they think they know and they haven’t lived long enough to be allowed to redefine the fundamental building block of our civilization. They have not earned that right.
Right, we don’t talk about earning things in this feelings-based culture anymore. Earning credibility is so last century. Now we’re smarter and elect a cipher president who brought zero experience to the White House. Who elected him, by the way? How’s that turning out?
I guess what I’m saying is, relevant life experiences and beliefs might matter. But social conservatives continue to be told, by members of our own alliance, that our experiences and beliefs don’t matter, are worse than useless, and might actually save the other side from itself.
I don’t buy it. And I’m tired of hearing it. I don’t while away the days attacking libertarians. I’m tired of some libertarians who can’t seem to stop having a go at social conservatives when we are not the enemy.
The fact is, telling us social cons to shut up is a recipe for demoralizing and destroying the GOP at its base. It would take the cornerstone of the Right out of the movement. Coastal libertarians are not the base of the Republican Party. They don’t man phone banks (sorry for being gender normative there), they don’t conduct block walks, they don’t even usually run for office. They can’t even build a viable movement in their own states. They tend to just tell the rest of us why we’re wrong, when we’re doing those organizational things that make the party tick and give it some power. The lectures are getting old. Tell me that California’s Republicans have a single useful thing to offer Texas’ Republicans. Go ahead.
You cannot beat something with nothing. You must have core beliefs that you are willing to defend, in the face of a hostile media and an unscrupulous opposition. The other side wins by marrying up the young and singles to the government and promising them the life of Julia, while it unfairly and dishonestly tags everyone who opposes them as haters. It over promises, under-delivers, is never held to account, and lies about everyone and everything that gets in its way. The other side is cruel in the way it treats life, and in the way it shackles millions to dependence on government. The other side benefits from weakened marriage and a weakened Christian community. Arguments against them must carry some moral force or they will not resonate. Where will that moral force come from — the coastal teens and their vague angst? I don’t think so.
I guess what vexes me in all this is that people in my own party, friends and allies, keep telling me to just shut my mouth on issues that animate me and millions like me. If these admonitions continue, then at some point I will disengage, and so will millions of my fellow evangelicals. In fact, many evangelicals have already given up. That’s one reason that the GOP is struggling. Elements within it keep telling its base that it does not want us. They keep acting like we’re an embarrassment.
A few million more of us take heed and disengage. Then what are the libertarians gonna do? If you think you can hold back the leftist tide without the bulwark of a strong social conservative movement animated by more than the ephemeral issues of the moment, if you think the coastal teens will save the day, you’re in for a very rude surprise. The Libertarian Party itself can’t decide if it’s an actual political party or a tool of the Left to divide the Right. I say this as a libertarian-leaning social conservative myself — libertarianism by definition will always be disdainful of organization and therefore weak as a political force. A viable libertarianism needs alliances with others who have more numbers and who share its disdain for big government, people who are willing and able to put boots on the ground and votes in final tallies. Libertarians will never get that from the Democrats, who claim they don’t care what anyone does, as long as their behavior complies with progressivism’s statist mandates.
Mark my words: Without the core organization, finances, manpower and ideological support that social conservatives provide to the broadly defined Right, support which the libertarians can never provide just because the numbers aren’t there, what’s left of the Right will end up as gravel embedded in the road to serfdom. Don’t say you weren’t warned.