They don’t call it the culture wars for nothing.
As I watch conservatives and their libertarian allies pummel each other over whether we are to take a hard-line against the creeping socialism infecting our culture or take a more incremental approach in addressing the problems brought to the forefront with the election of our current President, I can’t help but be reminded of an old story. Like most of the readers here I would love to see the Republican’s take a solid, no compromise stand on upholding the Constitution in any number of areas from the debt crisis to social issues, but only if they have a chance at succeeding in the overall objective of returning our culture to a more classically liberal foundation. For the previous fifty years, the Left has patiently and incrementally taken over the institutions that disseminate information in our country until it has reached the point that positions held by the majority of the citizenry can be presented and sold as “extreme” by the minority who seek to impose their vision of what the country should be on the rest of us. In a society such as our own in which most of the people do not, and will not ever, pay attention to differing political philosophies and how they can affect their lives over time, many who consider themselves classical liberals in the spirit of our founders seek to enter the race at this late date and win merely by shouting into a crowd no longer listening that our ideas are provably superior than theirs . This is not the way culture works. Culture evolves over decades and while we have elected to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as is our right, others have been doing the dirty work of undermining those rights. Progressives having done the hard decades long work of marching through the institutions now see their vision as attainable, and are making the final push to transform this nation into something it was never intended to be. “Standing athwart history and shouting Stop!” was a quote attributed to William F. Buckley and as much as I admire the sentiment, we are too far down the left fork in the road for it to be of much use in this day and age. The culture has changed.
To my Tea Party brethren, I say I am with you. When you say no compromise, now is the time, I say don’t play hare to the progressive tortoise. There is much work ahead and many good people willing to do it if they are not staring at defeat right out of the starting gate. If a bit of strategic retreat in the current battles being waged in DC offer the chance of overall victory, then let’s take that defeat with our true objective in mind. To be free of the statist project pushed by both of our ruling parties will require time and a change of culture. Fight as if it is the last battle, take all the ground that you can, but accept that winning a battle is not the same as winning the war and that there will be set backs along the way.
Not so fast.