Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Our Changed Electorate May Oppose Conservatism
We appear to have fallen into the trap of ignoring the social and individual changes that have afflicted our society over the past 50 years that are terribly damaging to conservative prospects.
Rather than writing a book to support this thesis, I will cite just a few of the changes:
1) Education has stultified and narrowed its scope drastically at the direction of the Dewey liberals and radical professors. We have not prepared whole generations for effective citizenship in a Republic that is fundamentally conservative in its Constitutional origin.
2) Religion has become less and less influential in the lives of Americans, perhaps as the churches have changed their outlook radically in an effort to stay relevant to new generations of prospective parishioners that appear to be more hedonistic, more undisciplined, and more ignorant, or else, more activist and disruptive non-believers.
3) The electorate has been decidedly augmented with minorities that are gaining significant political power and influence, quite often without a redeemingly strong orientation toward American values, language and mores, but with a strong desire for American dollars.
4) Liberals have been singing their laissez faire, hedonistic and even anti-American song for the same 50 years, raising the ideas of the communist and socialist parties of the past with new verbiage, new financing, and new power. Progressives of today were spawned by those discredited ideologies, and are enchanted by the idea of a new international order. The attack on our moral fiber, the diminution of marriage, the sanctity of life, the explosion of porn, and the fact that 60% of our children are now born into a single-parent household, speaks to the, perhaps unintentional—perhaps not—, net effect of liberal consequences on the public. Look to the program of the ACLU for proof.
5) Our courts have become the legislators of last resort, and have collectively decided to be the writers of the new constitution, word and sentence at a time.
All of the above, and other aspects that I have not included, such as the influence of militant pacifism, leads me to believe that our public is losing its way under the serious challenges we face, so that they easily fall under the progressive spell. This is because of the attraction of a forgiving government—forgiving of taxes, forgiving of sexual mistakes; forgiving of killing babies; forgiving of the need to work; forgiving of illegal entry, avoidance of war and death; and ever claiming to be the champion of the little man.
Into this environment comes the conservative, who believes in self-reliance, individual responsibility, right-sized and efficient government, maximizing of freedom and liberty, and all the rest of conservative ideology, especially the idea of sovereignty. It is apparent that a large percentage of the citizenry will not be enamored of this litany, no matter how it is promoted. Where is the payoff to them for becoming more civilized and more disciplined? Why should they?
For the conservative movement, does it have to run hard to catch up with this uncivilized, hedonistic crowd in order to lead it? What in the world does that mean? Should the movement throw its principles into the can in order to gain power? If so, the movement is becoming liberal-lite, and therefore irrelevant.
It is very possible that we conservatives are indeed irrelevant to the majority body politic of today, because it isn’t a majority body politic that is amenable to conservatism. Our principles are a very hard sell to them, and their principles are impossible for us to accept.
The question, then, is what must we do in such a situation?