Thoughts on Conservatism at Restoration Weekend
4. It’s the culture, stupid.
I made this argument in a previous column. I only wish to add a few more points. We need more than Fox News as a television outlet to counter the forces of the Left. We need documentaries that tell about our recent past that are solid, forceful, and accurate, and that can counter the mendacious current project of Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick that will be used throughout our universities by the left-wing academics after its TV run is over. More of that ilk are undoubtedly on the drawing boards, by the successors of Howard Zinn who are carrying on his enterprise. So far, I have not heard of any similar projects underway by conservatives.
We need humor shows with wide appeal that will not tilt so obviously to the left as both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do, but that will take on the foibles of conservatives and Republicans as well as those of Democrats and liberals, and that will have the kind of influence and ratings as those now on Comedy Central.
We need to urge that conservatives not hand over academia to the left, and to consider going into the humanities as well as business and politics. If only those on the left continue to dominate, it only means future generations will continue to frame their beliefs on the miseducation they received during their college years.
We need to show Hollywood that good films with a conservative message can be made and be profitable -- and not just right-wing agitprop such as recent unnamed movies have proved to be, and that were as bad and unwatchable as their leftist counterparts.
All of the above, I think, has to be taken into consideration. We have a strong economic case to make. Robert Pollock noted yesterday we should be able to show that the blue state social model has failed. Since the 1970s, he writes,
[T]here's been a growing scholarly consensus that the blue state social model of high taxes and generous social welfare benefits risks creating a culture of dependency and slow growth. That's why Bill Clinton signed welfare reform. There are mountains of empirical data showing more job creation in states that tax and regulate lightly. Weak economies do not reduce inequality.
Yet the Left, emphasizing inequality as its main issue, argues in favor of more redistributionist measures, legislative increases in the minimum wage, more taxes on business, and more statist measures that increase the power of government in cahoots with large corporations. As Pollock quips, “attachment to the blue state model reminds one of the communist apologists who insisted in the face of all evidence that the system just hadn't been tried hard enough. At least they'll be getting their laboratory in the years ahead. California has just voted to double down on blue state policies with higher taxes and Democratic supermajorities in the state government.”
As we all know, California is drowning and scores are leaving, making cities like San Diego basket cases. All we need are individuals and candidates who can explain carefully and logically why the Left’s policies are harmful and wrong for the nation. Hopefully, by 2016 someone who can do that job will be the presidential candidate of the Republican Party.
image courtesy shutterstock / newyear