Politics Is the Last Sphere in Which Citizens Still Have Influence

Are we serious about reclaiming what's been taken from us?

By James Robison & Jay Richards Published on March 10, 2024

“Once, politics was about only a few things,” eminent political scientist James Q. Wilson once observed, “today, it is about nearly everything.” Andrew Breitbart’s dictum — that politics is downstream from culture — is right. But the stream moves in two directions: Culture is also downstream from politics. As a result, no serious effort to change culture can ignore politics.

This is especially true now because politics is one of the last places where we still have real influence. Even many conservative holdouts in business and the military have now gone woke. In contrast, the U.S. Congress, U.S. Supreme Court, and the federal judiciary, despite their problems, represent our views far more than any elite sphere insulated from voters.

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What explains the difference? Political action. If believers had stayed on the sidelines since 1980, do you think the Supreme Court would have included Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Samuel Alito? Would the roughly 800 federal judges currently in service be far more conservative, on average, than the faculty of Yale Law School? Not a chance. Without conservative victories and years of work from groups like the Federalist Society, the federal bench would be a carbon copy of that law faculty in New Haven.

We’re not “politicizing the culture” and inflaming the culture war by calling believers to join the political fray. The left has already politicized everything. As National Review’s Jim Geraghty has said, “Everything is the culture war now.”

The question is, are we going to get real about fighting back? Are we going to devise and follow our own offensive strategy so we’re not always on defense? If so, then let’s get serious not just about winning elections, but also about retaking lost territory when we do. Otherwise, we’re just dragging out our inevitable surrender.

 

Excerpted from Fight The Good Fight by Jay W. Richards and James Robison. Copyright ©2024 by Jay W. Richards and James Robison, published by Regnery Publishing. Used with permission.

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