“The Conservative Case For …” Giving in to the Left

They won't love us for it

By William M Briggs Published on February 23, 2018

Do a search for “The Conservative Case For…” (we’ve met this phrase before). Know what you’ll find?

Almost exclusively, articles about how to graciously surrender to the left. About how progressive positions can be seen, if viewed in just the right light, as conservative after all. About how if we capitulate the culture wars gracefully, our progressive masters will love us and speak well of us.

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Seek and Ye Shall Find

A few recent examples (all emphases mine).

  • The conservative case for reforming America’s sick gun culture.” Some of the author’s best friends “have guns.” He sees “America would face insurmountable obstacles in trying to confiscate guns.” But even though gun crime is down, he’d like government “tests that aim at qualifying the character of a gun owner.”
  • The conservative case for a carbon tax in Canada.” Author admits conservatives are “nearly unified in their opposition to the implementation of a carbon tax, or carbon pricing.” But by surrendering to the left, “Conservatives can show that they really are interested in conservation and sustainability, opening up the Conservative brand to a wider range of the voting population, while not being forced to abandon their principles.” Except the principle of avoiding unnecessary and confiscatory taxes.
  • Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.” From a Senior fellow at the Brookings Institute comes the argument that because some (public) conservatives disrespected their own marriages, therefore so-called same-sex marriage “is part and parcel of a re-commitment to family values, not a flight from them.” Thus “Same-sex marriage is socially conservative.” Never mind that sodomy is a sin that cries out to Heaven for justice. And never mind that same-sex “marriage” destroys the very logic of marriage as involving (only) one man and one woman.
  • The Conservative Case for Women’s Issues.” Author says, “The culture war is over and we lost.” Which is why conservatives should support “policies addressing family medical leave, paid parental leave, workplace discrimination, gender wage discrimination, an earned income tax credit, childcare incentives and food tax reform.” Conclusion? “There is nothing to fear and everything to gain for conservatives to pursue the quest for happiness for everyone.”

A Vast Ocean of Surrender

There are many, many more. “The conservative case for single payer,” “The Conservative Case for Unions,” “The Conservative Case for Overturning Citizens United,” “Paul Ryan and the conservative case for President Trump to keep DACA,” “The conservative case for SSM,” and on and on. Try it yourself.

Too Tired to Fight

It isn’t only conservative-case-for keywords that signal retreat. There are many ways of advertising submission. The most common is to feign exhaustion. To claim the tide is so overwhelming that there is no use in fighting. Best to abandon the cause and save our energy for another battle.

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A great demonstration of this from a (said-to-be) conservative author is in the article “It’s Time for Legalized Prostitution.” This was in Slate, where the author then played the same role as does David Brooks does now at the New York Times.

The author admits the “stigma associated with selling sex remains strong, as is the stigma against buying it.” This is a conservative thing to say. But the author immediately sucks the force from that truth. “This is despite the growing evidence that decriminalizing the buying and selling of sex has significant public health benefits.”

How can prostitution and the corruption of the souls of all involved with it have any significant public health benefits? The answer is obvious: It cannot. But if, perchance, it turns out via some bizarre statistical measure that pimps have fewer hangnails than construction workers, it can never be a conservative argument that there ought to be more pimps.

Yet we do not need a surrender-disguised-as-defense of conservative principles. We don’t even need a real defense of those principles, but rather to have them implemented.

Play Nice

We can avoid causalities if we let progressives take the hill. Every hill. Loyal opposition conservatives hope polite notes left behind on the battlefield will somehow give leftists pause. Maybe slow them a bit as they advance toward their next goal. Our authors think this kind of appeasement is the best way to protect or even defend conservative principles.

Yet we do not need a surrender-disguised-as-defense of conservative principles. We don’t even need a real defense of those principles, but rather to have them implemented. Like General George S. Patton said, “Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.”

This, incidentally, is what accounts for the success of President Trump. Unlike many on the right who came before him, folks who were keen to be known as chummy conservatives, Trump does not reflexively apologize for his beliefs. He doesn’t concede ground merely to be conciliatory. Nor does he try to put a friendly face on an ugly situation. He asserts conservative, even Christian, beliefs.

Now no man is perfect, but Mr. Trump seems to have taken the apostle John’s words to heart. If you were of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

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  • Ken Abbott

    The human capacity to invent rationalizations for sin and error is endless as we are always seeking to excuse ourselves.

  • Paul

    There’s a CSS tag problem going on just before the Play Nice section

  • Ken Abbott

    Another notable detail is Mr. Salam’s use of the word “stigma.” This typically refers to a mark of shame or discredit, but it is an applied mark, meaning that the thing being stigmatized is such because we consider it such, not necessarily being the thing is bad in itself. In other words, we may now retain a moral consensus that selling and buying sex is wrong, but this doesn’t have to be a permanent condition. Morality by opinion or feeling. Doesn’t that just fit progressivism to a T?

  • Andrew Mason

    Arbeit macht frei. The only question is how much work is required from conservatives.

  • Chip Crawford

    We are to resist evil.

  • tz1

    Cuckservatism defined.

  • tz1

    The conservative case was not given by #NeverTrump, but in the “Flight 93 Election”.

    The same conservatives that gave the above cases wrote the #NeverTrump articles and wanted David French and Evan McMullan to run as spoilers and even suborn the electoral college.

  • James

    It seems like conservatism is little more than contrarianism. An opposition to liberalism for the sake of opposing liberalism.

    Conservatives once supported gun control as an anti-crime measure. Reagan, in particular, was not a fan of mentally unstable people getting guns. This was when liberals were giving violent criminals weekend passes.

    Cap and trade was the conservative solution to pollution—and very successful at reducing sulfur dioxide emissions that were causing acid rain. Taxing pollution (while offsetting the new tax with a tax cut elsewhere to make it revenue neutral) was also a conservative solution. Both rewarded clean practices and penalized polluters with market incentives. The liberal solution was to ban pollution and punish the offenders.

    Gay marriage was a compromise. In 1989, gay conservative Andrew Sullivan wrote that the rejection of bourgeois sexual norms was killing gay people because of AIDS. Gay marriage would mean that gay couple’s accept the social norms in exchange for social acceptance.

    Universal healthcare? F.A. Hayek, one of the great defenders of capitalism, supported both universal healthcare and even universal basic income. Such measures were necessary to preserve the society that made capitalism possible. The program known as “Obamacare” originated at the Heritage Foundation and was based on a state program signed into law by Mitt Romney.

    “The conservative case for”… often came from conservatives themselves.

    • Myth Buster

      Well written. Many liberal issues are also actually Christian at its root. The Bible is a big book. There’s a lot more to it than abortion and anti-gay quotes.

      • James

        American Christianity is dominated by a me-and-Jesus Protestantism that many of the social obligations of Christianity.

        • Myth Buster

          Yes, I too have noticed this. Just recently I did a careful read of all four gospels, as it relates to Jesus and his teachings. Sadly, when talking with right wing Christians it seems they’re very good at data mining anti-gay and anti-aborsion rhetoric out of the Bible (mostly Old Testament stuff); yet, when confronted by what Jesus actually said, on a whole array of topics, they show out-in-out ignorance of it or run in terror not wanting to discuss the issue any more. Just recently I discovered they even have a slightly derogatory name for followers that promote the social obligations of Christianity. They call them “Social Christians”. It’s oxymoronically used as a derogatory by them. Yet, they’ll be quick to tell people they “love Jesus” and “everyone should read the Bible”. This oxymoronically makes no sense and one of the reasons why there is now a noticeable rise of the Christian Left over the past year. Which in my opinion is also a good thing.

          Without turning this commentary into a college dissertation Right Wing Christians can’t continue to back Trump, for instance, with all of his moral indiscretions and give him “mulligans”; yet, be completely unforgiving of them when perpetrated by Democrats. It looks to hypocritical to an outsider looking in and one reason Christianity is losing followers. The blind support of Roy Moore was the epitome of stupidity by the Evangelicals. They supported him for the seat. I’d suggest there be no right or left wing Christianity and we also start promoting everything Jesus spoke of beyond the abortion and anti-gay subjects. Not just giving it lip service in church and nothing more – we need to support issues like taking care of the poor, the sick, the destitute; stop calling them “lazy” and promote Idolatry of Money (one of Jesus’ main talking points) or those that seem to like it – like Trump who endlessly bragged about his money. This too means we also become “Social Christians” just like Jesus said……

          • As I was saying…

            The four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance are (in order):
            abortion, sodomy, blasphemy, denying a man his fair wage.

            Your “seamless garment” devilry here is little more than marxism.

            One of the worst demoniacs in history, gramsci (your teacher), taught that removing transcendent language from the Church would make weak people into marxists. This tactic worked in your case.

          • Myth Buster

            Don’t deal with Stupid. Go away…..

          • Myth Buster

            Sorry, but all four Gospels in the New Testament outlining Jesus’s teaching and the key elements of the Christian belief, trump your four highly selective cherry picked sins, used here to excuse Trump’s past immoral and non-Christian like behavior and to maintain continued support for him. Right Wing Christians can’t continue to hypocritically back Trump, with all of his moral indiscretions and give him “mulligans”; yet, be completely unforgiving of them when perpetrated by Democrats without looking like complete fools. Love the “marxism” word tossed in for effect. I’m sure its use impresses some….

      • James

        For decades, Republican politics was dominated by mainline Protestants. As the mainline denominations have collapsed, the Republicans lost their social conscience.

      • ArthurMcGowan

        Socialism “works” in Europe because American taxpayers have funded almost 100% of their defense costs. As that swindle is phased out, and Europe is swamped with tens of millions of IQ-85 aliens, socialism will cease to “work.”

        • Myth Buster

          “American taxpayers have funded almost 100% of their defense costs.” This is not true. In fact, it’s not even close to being true. I think you actually need to take a trip over to Europe and see how they live. Don’t where you’re getting these ideas.

          • Dr. James Russel, PhD

            It’s entirely true, be quiet.

          • Myth Buster

            Sorry, but you need to educated yourself on the issues. American taxpayers have not funded almost 100% of their defense costs. We didn’t even do that in the early days of NATO and sure not doing it now. I’d suggest backing off the idiotic pro-Trump crap, reading some books on the subject and dropping the phony baloney doctorates title. You could be a doctor and that uninformed.

          • Dr. James Russel, PhD

            It’s entirely true, be quiet.

          • Myth Buster

            It’s true. You’re going to backing off the idiotic pro-Trump crap, start reading books on the subject and dropping the phony baloney doctorates title. You’ll do all of that? Great!

    • ArthurMcGowan

      You are right. Conservatives support taxing pollution.

      You left out one teeny-weeny detail from your argument: Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

      • James

        And what qualification do you have to make that assertion?

        • He doesn’t need one. Carbon dioxide is a building block of life. It doesn’t became a pollutant because you or your sci hacks say so.

  • HighInformationVoter

    This is basically Conservatism in the Commonwealth. It consists of bending to the Left until all of your teenage female relatives are controlled by rape gangs.

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