Over at Protein Wisdom, a former Marine and gun store owner speaks a few truths.
Unfortunately, we’ve become expert, as a popular and political culture, at pretending we haven’t encountered those very truths we continue to molest — all in an effort to will new truths into being out of something so gossamer as manufactured consent based around manipulated perception.
All ideologies emphasize some truths and de-emphasize others. What Jeff is talking about is something far more insidious, because unspoken: an exercise in doublethink. One hears, one perceives truth, and one simultaneously pretends that the truth is not true, due to its simplism, its epistemic cloture, its unreasonableness. Because we do not like the truth (that the state is in many ways powerless to stop people from harming others), we will replace it with one more to our liking (that with the Courage to Act according to a Rational Spirit of this Our Enlightened Age, we can Do Amazing Things).
They are, of course, wrong. Human nature is not infinitely malleable, and even if it were, the state would need totalitarian powers to mash us into the New
Soviet Man desired. And no state with totalitarian powers avoids becoming evil. Hayek spelled this out seventy years ago, but people refuse to believe him, because they do not feel empowered by it. It spells out a limitation of human ability, which one cannot accept and remain progressive.
And right now, the progressives are powerful. Via double-think and the long march through the institutions, they can and do frame the debates to their utmost advantage. They routinely apply (while conveniently denying) a double-standard to the actions and pronouncements of people based on ideology and party affiliation. They run the tables on us, and we barely manage to stand across the train tracks yelling “Stop!”
This is all true, and we are only beginning to come to terms with it. We are passing through the stages of grief, from Shock (Holy crap, are we really going to lose Florida?), Denial (Karl Rove attacks the call), Anger (Whose Fault is this!), to Despair and Acceptance. Right now, I sense Despair, the hopelessness of standing against the Beast, the longing for the Sweet Meteor of Death, the call to Let it Burn. This feeling is real, and it is irrelevant.
Because they are wrong.
They. Are. Wrong. About Everything. About Guns. About Abortion. About Social Security. About spending, about taxation, about debt. They are Wrong about the Economy, and the government’s role in same. About every issue of public policy that has shaped the last 100 years, the progressives have put their yearning to immanentize the eschaton ahead of any other consideration, and have led themselves into continuous and repeated acts of folly, while blaming the world and we who disagree for reality’s obstinate recalcitrance.
Boasting of tolerance, they despise and indulge in violent fantasies about anyone who marches not in lockstep with them. Vomiting populism, they coagulate into a clerical/political class that exempts itself from the health care and gun laws they extol for the provincials. Yammering about freedom, they labor like stevedores to build Caeser’s dais.
There is no magic bullet to defeat them. Negotiating with them will not slow them down. The only way out is through the truth: continuously, convincingly demanded. Taken to public forums and shoved in their face over and over and over again, until they first recognize that we will not be cowed.
And there are other ways. Pop Culture is not going to go away. It is a fertile breeding ground for assumptions – ideas which are not examined. We can use this it, too – once we understand how it works.
See, Andrew Breitbart didn’t expect someone else to do the hard, grassroots work of retaking our culture. There’s no army of conservatives out there who’s going to do it while you’re curled up watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show (starring an actor who shilled for Obamacare).
There’s you. You need to occasionally – not always, not all the time – acquaint yourself with pop culture sufficiently to participate in the discussion it sparks. Girls poses hard questions about young people, their aimlessness, their lack of morality, their crushing unhappiness – and conservatism has answers.
You need to make sure the people around you hear those answers, but step one is to be a part of the discussion.
There’s a step two, but step 0.5 is to be prepared to argue with people, to tell them, deftly, politely, bluntly, wittily, that their ideology is built on quicksand.
So get the hell on with it. It matters less what our gutless triangulating Congressmen do if we have the strength to punish them for it. They will believe we have that strength when we start manifesting it in every way we can.