By Chuck Rogér
Reaction to my article, “Conservatism that Assures the Unthinkable: the Reelection of Barack Obama” (also at American Thinker), has been understandably mixed. Most reactions have been refreshingly receptive, demonstrating a recognition of the catastrophic effects of GOP presidential contenders pushing social issues on the cusp of an economic inflection point.
Yet there have also been emails and comments suggesting that a fair number of conservatives are unwilling to take a measured strategic approach to Election 2012. And there are die-hards determined to push the conservative social agenda even if the tactic gets Barack Obama reelected.
Several comments are so insightful that I thought it good idea to reproduce the remarks here and expand where appropriate.
1) We cannot trade nanny state Democrats for Christian sharia. Sanctimonious social intervention and control from either left or right won’t work and guarantees endless controversy and strife (of which we have way too much already). It poisons the discourse (as many on the left have so deftly demonstrated). Enough already.
… Issues like abortion and gay marriage are best left to individual choice. It’s not like we’re not already overrun with dumb people (as the whole world is). …[F]undamentalists of whatever stripe are a real hindrance to common sense and moving forward. Enough already! Free markets in a free country!
Though commentator #1 employs an over-the-top analogy with the use of the term “Christian sharia,” the point is well-taken. Sanctimoniousness of any kind, forced on the people through the power of government, will not bring about a truly free America.
2) Every time I read one of these indignant commenters [sic] here who wants to dig in and keep warring to the bitter end on every moral issue, I brace myself for an inevitable sequel to Hope & Change. That’s fine, gentlemen, go down with the Titanic, heroically brandishing your swords over gay marriage and faith, denouncing the loathsome RINOs who agree with you only 80 percent of the time instead of the mandatory 100 percent. Let’s see how that works.
To you conservatives who think the average American wants an arch-conservative in the White House who majors in social issues: You need to expand your circle of acquaintances. You’re misjudging the electorate, to our great peril.
The ideological stubbornness criticized by commentator #2 constitutes a surefire recipe for alienating independent voters who just want to live lives free of ideological oppressiveness from any direction — right or left.
3) …a GOP professional politician would be the worse thing for this country. I’d rather have Obama and a Republican Congress than a substitute crony capitalist. The GOP professional politician “frontrunners” …reek of crony capitalism.
Commentator #3 provides an important perspective. Indeed, would merely another corporatist in the White House, this time wearing an elephant skin, be all that much better than the guy in the donkey skin currently in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
4) Since the 1960′s, an alien leftist ideology has conquered America by invading and “marching through its institutions” — education, the universities, the media, film and theater, the arts and literature — a strategy developed and elaborated by the Italian communist Antonia Gramsci and by the Frankfurt school. Subvert the culture they said, and the apparatus of all political power will fall into our hands without firing a shot. The overarching goal of the great American conservative movement must be “reconquest” — to “march back through the institutions” and take back the culture and America. The goal of the invaders was to subvert the culture; hence the effort to destroy the roots of culture, which is the family and religion.
However, in their strategy of reconquest, the Spanish adopted flexible tactics, sometimes advancing, sometimes retreating. As I read Chuck Rogér, he is not talking about the longer-term goal but about shrewd tactics.
Precisely. Commentator #4 understands that something that took decades to accomplish — the nastification of American society — will take time to reverse. Trying to use the 2012 election to reverse decades of cultural Marxism will turn off a large number of voters that the GOP candidate will need in order to defeat Obama.
5) With only 2 choices (parties), peripheral issues can skew the election results, because of voters who do not grasp the overall picture and vote on one issue. If we want to reduce the size & scope of government to save our economy, the candidates need to concentrate on that and put the social issues aside for now. If we end up with an economic collapse and civil unrest, the social issues become moot.
Commentator #5′s observations sum up exactly what must happen in 2012. Republicans biting off a bigger chunk than necessary to save our economic butts will result in our butts getting flushed down the economic drain by a Barack Obama who will grow ever more ideologically crazy in his second four years.
6) If our more socially/religiously conservative brethren must (at least overtly) temper their fundamentalist, scriptural literalist zeal in the effort to DEFEAT OBAMA, so be it. We must struggle within the confines of our political reality. Smart up conservatives!
Commentator #6′s analysis needs no clarification.
7) Wow, I think many of you that remain staunch in our “Conservative Values” miss the man’s point. To stick to a 100% “No-Bend” righteous viewpoint (or we won’t vote conservative) is absurd. I don’t care if it’s Howdy Doody up against Obama, I’m voting for the Doody ticket . . .
This isn’t about compromise at all, and nobody suggests that we change our Values. It’s about Priorities Folks. Stay on the Fox hunt and quit chasing the Rabbits the MSM keeps throwing out there to distract the Top priority. Obama and the Left’s Agenda needs to be jettisoned off the Planet. You think 25 Million folks out of work care about Darwin, Gays, and Abortion right now?
Talk about “get it”; commentator #7 nails it. People who really want to work but cannot, because of Obama’s economically devastating policies, care not one iota whether the fossil record shows the “transitional” lifeforms that “should” be evident if the theory of evolution is correct. The motivated but unemployed also couldn’t care less whether Jim and John have the same government license for their relationship as George and Tammy have. And while many of the unemployed may care about the millions of babies killed each year in abortions, they also recognize that with other voters not seeing things the same way, 2012 is not the time to make abortion an election issue.
8) I am not a citizen of the USA. It is my modest opinion that if the conservatives want to win ANY future elections, they have to “get out”…
1-Get out of peoples’ bedrooms! Are you against “The pursuit of happiness”? We are talking about consenting humans above the age of consent.
2-Get out of science! The applications of science and technology are something that comes under the jurisdiction of law makers. Science as the FREE pursuit of knoweledge for knoweledge sake should bee, well, FREE. Your never-ending bickering with Evolution only makes you (the conservatives) look ridicoulous.
3-Get out of religion! Yes, freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion. Otherwise it’s up to the Capitol to decide what is religion and what is not! Does THE RELIGION OF ATHEISM qualify?
Even if I have not convinced you, don’t you understand that NOW is the time to save Western Civilisation?
Commentator #8′s remarks capture the pure libertarian spirit of the Founders, who never intended that government get involved in any of the three areas discussed.
9) The left is aware of this and will surely try to sidetrack every debate by bringing these issues up.
If a candidate simply says: “That issue is completely irrelevant,” then that candidate will be seen in a negative light. Americans have been propagandized to expect definitive opinions on these issues, and will be disappointed if they don’t get the answers.
So, the advice should not be to candidates so much as to the American people to get away from thinking inside the idological box.
Commentator #9 reinforces common sense.
Let’s end with a real barn-burner.
10) I could not disagree [with Chuck Rogér] more. If the only way to beat Obama is to accept such huge parts of the “Cultural Marxist” agenda, then I don’t care if Obama wins. What difference does it make? For example take illegal immigration. We can implement all the Tea Party planks with respect to limited government, federalism, low taxes, less regulation, etc etc etc, yet if we don’t stop and reverse the ethnic cleansing of white America due to the tidal wave of illegal immigrants swarming over the border and putting unbearable and unaffordable burdens on our welfare, then nothing matters anyway! All victories will just be temporary as white people are erased from our own homeland. You make it sound like it is so important to win the upcoming battle that it doesn’t matter if we lose the war (our country). I say, I want a full fledge dyed in the wool conservative or i will just stay home on election day. I have nothing but contempt for someone who only cares about economics while the rest of our country goes to Hell.
Ah, commentator #10 provides the preeminent staunch conservative mindset and engages in two thought errors:
- That my thesis is that “the only way to beat Obama is to accept such huge parts of the ‘Cultural Marxist’ agenda.” (This is categorically not my thesis, not at all.)
- That if weak thinkers like this commentator have to give up their weak thinking, then they “don’t care if Obama wins” again in 2012.
Had I pondered long and hard, I could not have encapsulated this mindless, over-the-top emotional, staunchly ideological posturing. The commentator’s position is exactly the nonsense at which my article is aimed. The piece lays out a case for focusing on the economy for 2012 in order to make it possible to later address the social issues. The payoff paragraph reads: “There will be plenty time for America to debate the contentious social issues that distinguish the progressives who dominate government, education, and media from the conservatives who once enjoyed but lost similar dominion. But there will be time for such debates only if America returns to prosperity. Without economic healing, economic survival will consume the people.” But to the stubborn ideological crusader, these three sentences did not, and might not ever, register.
Commentator #10′s rant about the “ethnic cleansing of white America due to the tidal wave of illegal immigrants” is so shrill that I wonder if the comments may be a plant by a lefty. Yet, I have observed such absurdities coming from known conservatives. And finally, as if to illustrate my point, it appears as though I arranged for this commentator’s call for “a full-fledged dyed in the wool conservative,” followed by the promise to “just stay home on election day” if said arch-conservative does not emerge. But I did not arrange for this ridiculousness. Such people really do exist. And if enough of them “stay home on election day,” then we will all be screwed.
Take heart. Many more of the responses to my article read like the next one, which came shortly after the remarks posted by commentator #10.
11) Good grief, people here are declaring they’ll stay home on election day if they don’t get a gung-ho social conservative on the ticket. Words fail me. Just what do you think the president’s job is? To elevate the moral climate of our nation? To promote faith and personal virtue? None of those things fall within the strict purview of government, certainly not the Constitution. It’s up to families, religious institutions and individual citizens to foster those things, not the president. Your unwavering demand for 100-percent ideological purity — if it’s shared by enough people like you — will usher in Obama II. Is that what you want?! Don’t you see the bankrupting of successive generations as a moral issue? I’m baffled by you people. Baffled!
Baffled indeed. Let’s hope that the vast majority of conservatives understand the utter stupidity of including “gung-ho” social conservatism in the GOP platform. I, for one, do not wish to experience Obama II.