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Conservatism in the Age of Biden and the 'Target-Rich Environment'

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Back in the bad old days of the late Cold War when President Ronald Reagan was building up our armed forces — days I’d happily trade for our current times — American troops were trained and equipped to fight Soviet land and air forces that vastly outnumbered them.

How vastly? Three-to-one, easy.

With more than a little bravado, the military referred to the huge numbers of Soviet tanks and aircraft as a “target-rich environment.”

The phrase is so delightful that it quickly entered common parlance.

“We’re not outnumbered. We just have a fine selection of bad guys to blow up.”

Still, take a moment to see things the way an American tank crew or a fighter pilot might have seen things around 1983.

Your crew’s new M1 Abrams tank is considered maybe the best in the world. It has revolutionary Chobham armor to give you protection unlike anything the enemy enjoys, and its advanced targeting system lets you fire with complete accuracy at moving targets even when you’re driving at top speed.

Still, there’s three Soviet T-72s to your one.

Same deal for the hot-shot F-15 pilot. The Eagle was the greatest pure air superiority fighter of its time, and by 1983 it was armed with AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles that could attack and kill from any direction at short range. And you even have the very latest AIM-7M Sparrow missile that can home in on any Soviet fighter with its own onboard radar. Best of all, an entire AWACS has your back, giving you a God’s eye view of the battlespace.

Still, there’s three Soviet Su-15s to your one.

That’s what fighting in a target-rich environment was going to be like for Western forces, had the worst come to pass along the intra-German border.

Despite the “Hey, we aren’t outnumbered — it’s just a target-rich environment!” bravado, it’s easy to imagine even a soldier or a pilot getting a little rattled if they let themselves.

As a conservative writer just shy of six months into the administration of Presidentish Joe Biden, there are days when I feel a little like that tanker facing three-to-one odds.

Since you’re a serious reader of the news, and I suspect you’re also quite public with your opinions, I imagine sometimes you must feel the same way.

Not that our lives are in any danger — at least I don’t think there’s a high-speed fighter jet about to launch a missile at my keister.

But each and every day, especially since the rise of COVID and the growing Tech State, it does feel like we’ve been living in a real-world test case of Brandolini’s Law, aka the B.S. Asymmetry principle.

“The amount of energy needed to refute B.S.,” Brandolini postulated, “is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.”

Amen, brother.

Just look at a small collection of headlines from only the last 24 hours or so:

So in just one news cycle, we have Facebook firing the team that showed the effectiveness of conservatism on social media, the government jiggering the inflation data, a federal prosecutor tipping the partisan scales on a presidential election, and derelict, glory-hound politicians feted as heroes.

Those four stories are just the tip of the iceberg on a slow summer Friday.

That’s an awful lot of B.S. to refute, even for a dedicated team like your PJ Media crew. One of the reasons I started doing Insanity Wrap last year was that it would allow me to tackle many stories all at once, kind of like having that AWACS crew to keep track of multiple targets.

But here’s the thing.

Those M1 Abrams tank crews weren’t just in possession of superior equipment, they also knew they were the good guys. Same for the pilot of that F-15.

Three-to-one? How quaint.

When you have the best equipment, the best training, and you know right in your soul that you’re fighting for truth, justice, and the American way…

…well, then the bad guys had better muster a five-to-one advantage if they even want a shot at a fair fight.

So that’s what you should tell yourself every morning before opening PJ Media or Instapundit: The Government/Media/Tech Complex might have a lot more resources than we do, but we are still the good guys.

We’re not outnumbered. We just have a fine selection of bad narratives to blow up.