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“A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.” — Baltasar Gracian
There is very little good that I can say about liberalism. It’s spiteful, cruel, meanspirited, miserable, impractical, anti-American, hypocritical, intolerant, illogical, and it wallows in victimhood, censorship, and totalitarian impulses. There are some good people that are liberals, but that’s because liberalism tends to be like an infection. A person can tolerate it before it becomes severe, but once that same person is on fire with it, it consumes them. It’s a dishonorable philosophy that does little good and much harm. That being said, there are things conservatives can learn from liberals. Maybe not morally or economically, but tactically? Absolutely. Do you know what I admire about liberals?
I admire the fact that liberals think long-term about how to get their agenda implemented. Hollywood used to care about morals, promoted America and the military, and was openly anti-communist. Journalism may have been leftward leaning, but it was center-left until recently. Schools didn’t use to be overtly political. The demographics in America used to favor the GOP. However, liberals have spent DECADES turning Hollywood into a vehicle for promoting leftism, “journalism” into little more than a Democratic Party organ, and schools into propaganda factories. The immigration bill that has transformed America’s demographics in a way that favored the Left was passed in 1965. We’re talking about what we’re planning to do in the next 2-4 years, but they have dominos falling into place that were set in motion 55 years ago.
Conservatives also have an awful tendency to want to fix every problem in one fell swoop. All we need to do is get the right politician in there and they’ll take care of it all! Except they never really do. Know why liberals always seem to be moving forward? Because they’re willing to embrace incremental change. They tell you the Confederate flag is intolerable. Then it’s Confederate statues. Then, after people swallow that, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to “George Washington was a monster because he owned slaves and Abe Lincoln wasn’t woke enough!” Next, liberal teachers will be telling their students that the Founding Fathers were terrible people and that any country built on their ideals needs to be changed to something completely different. It’s a long process that many conservatives don’t take seriously until it gets nearer to the end. Gay marriage was decades in the making, but we went from that to trans women are real women, children can be trans, and they must be allowed to dominate your daughter’s sport at school in about 5 minutes. Preparing the ground took a long time, but once they did the rest was easy.
Incidentally, liberals will stick with ideas FOR DECADES. It doesn’t matter if the public likes it or if they try and fail to do it a dozen times, they’ll stick with it until they get it through. This is even more remarkable given that so many of the ideas they push are obviously bad, harmful, or are proven failures. Conservatives will toss a great idea in the trash because of a bad poll or two. Liberals will keep demanding open borders or abortion on demand for decades and good luck getting them to drop an idea once it’s in place. It doesn’t matter if Head Start works or if it makes no sense that a giant corporation like PBS shouldn’t be funded with public dollars, they don’t believe in going backward on anything. Can you imagine if conservatives were that ferocious about doing the right thing?
Let me also add that conservatives have heard Andrew Breitbart’s most famous quote, “politics is downstream from culture,” but liberals live and die by it. They are 100% committed to shaping the culture and if that means censoring people, embracing cancel culture, or blackballing actors and singers that don’t toe the liberal line, that’s what they’re going to do. They put an almost unlimited amount of money, effort, and time into dominating the culture and it pays off for them. On the other hand, conservatives won’t support the church, won’t work to strengthen marriage, and put very little money and time into making inroads into the culture. How is that working out for us?
It’s also worth noting that liberals aren’t cheap dates. They believe in boycotts and they make a real effort to punish people and corporations that defy them. What do you think the liberal reaction would be to Twitter and Facebook constantly censoring, banning, and suspending liberals while giving conservatives a pass? Those companies would have already been broken up. They would have been united down to the last congressman in going after them. Meanwhile, corporations can stomp conservatives into the mud and Republicans will mumble something about the free market before shrugging that there’s nothing they can do. Liberal politicians understand the first rule of politics, which is that your base comes first. Meanwhile, half the Republicans in Washington are more worried about a bad story in the New York Times than offending the people that put up their yard signs, work on their campaigns, and vote them into office.
Last but not least, we conservatives often mock liberals for centering all their arguments around emotion instead of logic, yet which one seems to win more often than not when the American people have to make a decision? The Green New Deal and DACA are logically lacking, but are Americans evaluating the situation logically or obsessing over polar bears who won’t have enough ice and Republicans supposedly putting “children in cages?” We always seem to think it should be enough to have logic on our side, but the reality is that it often isn’t. Until we start putting as much effort into creating emotional pitches to go along with the logic, we’re going to have trouble convincing people to go our way.
At some point, we have to stop taking solace in the fact that we’re right and our policies work while their policies don’t and start focusing on winning these ideological battles for the sake of the country. We don’t want to become the conservative version of liberals, because that would make us as monstrous as they have become. However, if we don’t start learning some lessons from the Left about how they win, they are going to destroy this country.
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