Tired of the Battle? Don’t You Dare Give Your Opponents That Victory
I’m tired. I woke up at 2:30 am today thinking of issues to work on, teaching to do, tasks that I’m behind on. I lay there restless until I finally gave in and got up at 4:45 am. Usually I sleep through the night. Not this time.
I suspect a lot of us are tired, though. It’s been a hard year-and-a-half. Forgive the understatement, please, but we’ve all been through a lot. The past six weeks have been particularly hard for me, with three family crises to deal with, including the death of my father.
Our family’s crises are more or less over now (I hope!), but there’s still plenty to keep us all awake nights. Or maybe we’re feeling the temptation to turn it all off and just sleep through it all.
I’m talking about current events, of course. It gets exhausting, the way things keep going crazy. I could have used a break after last year’s election, but that’s laughable now, isn’t it? Biden and Co. hit quick and hard with their progressive agenda starting the afternoon of January 20, and they haven’t slowed down a bit since then.
The Left’s War of Attrition On Us
So if you’re feeling worn out, you’ve got plenty of company. I don’t know how intentional this is; I don’t know if progressive strategists gather and talk about how they can wear us down.
Intentional or not, it functions as a major part of their strategy. The left is fighting a war of attrition against us. They want you and me to let go, to drop out, to go numb. Don’t do it. Don’t let them win!
It helps me sometimes to study their tactics, so I can see what they’re using against us. One of their best and easiest weapons is obfuscation. It’s not their nastiest tactic, but I’d wager it’s the one they use most often. It’s so simple for them to do, and so hard for us to counter. It takes them no energy at all, but it can sap ours completely, if we let it.
I’ve seen it twice this week in discussion on Critical Race Theory. First, a writer at mic.com who said, “Critical race theory is under attack, and Tiktok might be our savior.”
Savior? Where have we heard that word used before? Couldn’t they have come up with a better religion than Tiktok?
But that’s not the example I mean to point to here. It’s down the page a bit, where the writer says CRT is about “(true) history;” that it’s “the practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in our society.” Opponents’ opinions on CRT, he says, are no better than “an attempt to whitewash history,” putting “truth and empathy at risk.”
CRT Isn’t Innocent After All
Feeling rotten yet? Relax. He’s either lying or he’s incompetent. He’s missed the truth so far, it has to be one or the other.
You want a real description of CRT? Go to the source: the authoritative Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (3rd edition) by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic. Proponents of CRT themselves, these authors describe it this way:
Unlike traditional civil rights discourse, which stresses incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.
Translation: It’s not just about race. It’s about dealing a death blow to American society, flipping it upside down and letting it crash on its head. Further, CRT’s origins trace to Marxist revolution-seeking and postmodern rejection of truth. Doesn’t sound much like what we read at mic.com, does it?
See what happened there, though? It took me a whole lot more time and study to get to a true answer than it did for this writer to dish out a false one. He invested no energy; I put in a lot. That’s how it works when someone invents a halfway plausible, yet entirely wrong version of a controversial topic.
CNN does it too:
Critical race theory has become politicized in recent months, with proponents arguing the area of study is based on Marxism and a threat to the American way of life. But the study, according to scholars, explores the ways in which a history of inequality and racism in the US have continued to impact American society today.
That one’s a bit easier on the surface: It’s an obvious false dichotomy, in which two views presented as mutually exclusive when in fact both may be true. Dig in deeper and you’ll see just how misleading this false dichotomy is.
CRT’s academic roots are decidedly Marxist, but it isn’t just academic anymore. It’s moved into the heart of public life, where it’s a lot less about scholarship and a lot more about white-shaming, manufacturing novel versions of “racism,” and distracting us all badly from the real solutions racism needs.
Over and Over and Over and Over …
This is how it goes, though. Start a conversation on CRT, and the first thing you have to do is tell the other side, “No, you’ve defined it wrong again. CRT isn’t that; it’s this instead.” Continue the conversation, and that’ll be the second thing you have to do, too. Then the third. And the fourth … and on and on and on.
It’s not their nastiest tactic, but I’d wager it’s the one they use most often.
Maybe that’s overstated. A little. Not much, though. And CRT is only one example. The same thing happens in disputes over immigration policy, care for the poor, or just about everything else. And they’ve got plenty other ways to wear us down besides.
Don’t Give In!
So, are you tired yet? It’s okay: You can own up to it. You’re better off recognizing it for what it is. They want you to fold, to pack it in, to give up the fight. They’ve got strategies to get you there. But don’t go. It’s a war of attrition. Don’t let them win.
So yes, I’m tired, but I’m not giving up.
Sure, I’ll take time to take care of myself. I had to slow my working pace over the last month and a half. Later today I’ll catch up on some of the sleep I missed last night, and over the weekend I’ll spend some time outdoors just to get refreshed.
Stay Strong in the Battle
Besides that, I’ll stay connected with others fighting the same battles, for there’s strength in numbers. Mostly that means church and small groups, but it’s also phone calls, emails, messages, and other ways I can find support, and offer it to others.
I’ll keep on praying. That’s where the real work gets done, and it’s also where my own strength comes from (Is. 40:28-31, Is. 41:10, Matt. 11:25-30).
I’ll continue equipping myself for the battle through study and practice, bearing in mind that the reason for pulling out from battle is to strengthen myself to go back in.
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And even if the results aren’t obvious, I’ll keep on trusting God with them (1 Cor. 15:58).
Those are just some of the basics. How you live them out will depend on your own work and family situation. Got kids at home? You’re probably tired just from being a mom or a dad. You’ve also got that much more incentive to stay on top of the battle. They’re depending on you.
Whatever your situation, take care of yourself enough to keep engaged and equipped, but don’t drop out. Don’t give your opponents that victory. Show them you’re stronger than that in the Lord. And stay in the battle.
Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the recently released Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.