“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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