Look at the freedoms of your grandparents, compare that to the rules your parent’s lived by, contrast that to today’s regulations, and then extrapolate out the world your children will raise their children in. If you are fearful or angry over the difference you can see that we are losing.
When I was in high school, I carried a pocketknife and did not think twice about it, but today while visiting a federal office to turn in a form I had to race through my mind to ensure I was not carrying any such “dangerous weapons” as I was being searched by a thuggish security guard.
During hunting season, I saw many rifles and shotguns in the back of my fellow student’s pickup – now children are suspended for having a picture of a gun, a gun shaped piece of paper, or making a gesture that looks like a gun as a deaf child named Hunter signs his name.
Rather than ranting about who is to blame for this slide into tyranny – I want to explore my thoughts on why we are losing the culture war, and some steps we can take to win it.
First we need to understand that whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a cultural war for the soul of our Country. This war is between the conservatives and the progressives and is not, as the media wants to claim, between the Republicans and Democrats.
By definition, conservatives want the structure of the country, fiscal, legal, moral, and societal to remain the same or shift back to the original intent of our founders.
By the same definitions, progressives want to change the fabric of our country. They want to move it to the left towards a socialist society.
With that in mind, realize that with every compromise conservatives lose. This can be applied to any law or social movement contrary to the ideals of our Republic, but let’s use guns as an example.
The Constitution of the United States clearly and eloquently proclaims that well trained, disciplined, and armed citizens are vital to the security of a free country; the right of the citizenry to own and carry firearms shall not be limited or undermined.
The term “responsible gun laws” or “closing loopholes” are bandied about, and even the NRA supports gun control legislation so as to compromise and be seen as a player in this debate. Tell me how more laws limiting the citizenry’s right to own guns brings us more in line with the Constitution of the United States.
We will come back to the gun control symptoms in a second…
What is happening is Conservatives live by their beliefs that this Country was founded upon the concept of inalienable rights given to up by our Creator, and that chief among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We believe that we should be free to live how we choose, and that those different than us have those same rights. Therefore, we act as individuals, and rarely join sustained advocacy movements. Unfortunately liberalism does not believe in Creator endowed rights, they believe in state supplied rights.
Because of this, they are much more willing to band into groups, to organize, and to protest. This advocacy gives them power – both political and social. It has also given them the ability to frame the language used.
As I wrote in my Terrorism: Chess vs. Checkers article, words have power, and when we call terrorists jihadis (Holy Warrior) instead of mufsidoon (Evildoers who engage in terroristic warfare aka “unholy Warriors) we are proclaiming that Islamic based terrorism is a just tactic for a holy cause.
This creative use of words called “political correctness” is a weapon the left wields very effectively – pro-choice sounds so positive, assault weapons sounds so evil. Closing the “gun show loophole” sounds much more reasonable than national gun registration.
In a short video I recommend that you watch “Cute Lawyer Tricks” by Mas Ayoob. Ayoob quotes a first year law school concept that “when the facts are on your side, argue the facts, when the law is on your side argue the law, when neither the law, nor the facts are on your side attack the credibility of your opponent.”
Can we not see that for decades liberals have attacked the credibility of the conservative? Is it not obvious that the constant labeling has stuck? – Progressives do not attack Conservative causes based upon the validity or utility of an idea, only that conservatives are evil, stupid, selfish, or racist.
Somehow conservatives have been labeled selfish racists that love guns and hate science. This offends me, and frankly makes me angry. It is not only a lie, but a lie that traps its believers into a life of servitude and dependence.
It was Lincoln gets the credit for ending slavery, and he was a Republican. It was Republicans that passed the civil rights act – and Democrats that stood in the doorway of schools to prevent desegregation. It was Democrats that used dogs and rubber hoses to enforce segregation, it was Democrats that used gun control to control free slaves, and it is liberal Democrats that have trapped our poorest citizens into a life of cyclical poverty by “educating” them away from personal responsibility.
(To be fair, the Republican Party is not anywhere near the party of the conservative, but that is how it is portrayed by the liberals, and liberals are almost exclusively Democrats.)
Let me go back to guns and give you another example to show why we are losing. The argument is framed in such a way to suggest that because children are being murdered in schools our country is in need of additional gun control. The liberal argument is not based upon the best way to protect children, or how to discover and eliminate the root cause of the problem, or how to enforce the laws we already have – but rather dead kids bad – guns bad – ban guns save kids. Which when looked upon rationally, is shown to bet very faulty logic.
Recently in a rural Tennessee county there was a threat of a school shooting. Word quickly spread and soon several armed men were seen upon a ridge-top overlooking the school. When interviewed, the news suggested that the men (fathers and uncles of some of the students) were “hunters”. Believe what you want, but there was not a shooting that day, and these “hunter’s” were closer to being part of the solution, than part of the problem.
The conservative viewpoint is two pronged and not based on emotion– guns are not the problem, killers are the problem, and enforce the laws on the books before you add new laws.
When you look at background checks (using the FBI statistics found on their own website) the FBI proudly proclaims that the NCIC background check system has prevented 700,000 felons from buying guns. Impressive – and it leads you to think a stronger system would prevent even more felons from buying guns… However when a felon walks into a gun store (or a dealer at a gun show) and asks to see a gun for potential purchase he is committing a felony. When he then fills out the background check form and checks the box “I am not a felon” he is committing yet another felony. Lying on a background form is punishable by a 10 year prison sentence. To run the background check that felon has to sign the document, write down his address, which has to match the driver’s license he is required to present, and (at least in my state) give a thumbprint.
That is some hard evidence – with the testimony of the dealer, surveillance tapes, the felon’s signature, driver’s license, and thumbprint all showing an overt crime. You would think that with such a mound of evidence, this is an easy crime to prosecute.
Want to guess at how many of the 700,000 felons that broke these federal gun laws were convicted? Even easier, want to guess how many were prosecuted?
That’s right none. None of the 700,000 felons were prosecuted, but the BATFE and the Federal politicians want a nation-wide gun registration so that they can close the gun show loophole that no one understands or has seen the text of but supposedly 91% of American’s agree with.
We are losing because:
- Only the extremes are educated about the issues – it has become socially unacceptable to discuss politics
- We have lost the ability to define the issues – progressives create the media frames to define what is good and evil by using suggestive terms.
- We rely primarily on facts, while progressives rely primarily on emotion. Since the majority of our populace do not understand the facts and lack critical thinking skills emotion is winning.
- We fight amongst ourselves for minute differences, while progressives band together under the large umbrella of hating conservatism. The liberal causes of anti-religion and anti-morality are diametrically opposite the Islamic worldview, but progressives support both because both fight against conservative causes.
- We allow ourselves to become distracted – I don’t care if the shotgun in Obama’s hand is photo shopped, aimed in the wrong direction, has the wrong choke, doesn’t show recoil, or is dated suspiciously – shooting a shotgun in a photo-op does not magically make you pro-gun any more than an actor kissing someone on TV prove they are in love.
- We allow liberals to both own and eat the cake – they love citing civil rights as an impenetrable barrier for the 1st and 5th amendments, but not the 2nd or 10th. We allow them to make up rights like “universal health care”, but then infringe upon our enumerated rights.
Additionally we as conservatives believe in the rule of law, and do not go to war for “light and transient causes”. I will not say that is why we are losing, but it does put us at a tactical disadvantage to those that do not have a moral code and are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to reach their goals.
So, there is the problem, now for the solution:
- We band together, we unite under the umbrella of the Constitution. If a group, cause, or idea supports the Constitution of the United States we support it, even if it is not our “pet cause”.
- We educate – in small bites, without drama, and by living the example.
- We use feelings – As a rational man this is distasteful to me, I believe the measure of an idea is in its truth, and not the feeling it invokes, but as a father, I cannot afford to let my distaste lead my son into slavery.
- We become loud; we must let our elected officials know that we are much greater in number than the polls want to show.
- We call out their lies, we demand all of our rights, and we stop caring about them being uncomfortable as they try to make us extinct.
- We prepare, we practice, and we plan – because if we fail – the lighthouse falls and the world becomes a much darker place.
Above all, we must not allow ourselves to become disarmed. Only a tyrant will order billions of rounds of ammunition and tens of thousands of “personal defense weapons” and then claim those same weapons in the hands of ordinary citizens are assault weapons and should be banned.
I prefer to talk, to discuss problems, and to come to rational solutions that benefit everyone. I hate violence, and mean no ill will to anyone. But I will not live as a slave, and as long as I breathe my son will not have his birthright of American civil liberties stolen. I hope more than anything that my last prayer will not be the prayer of the gunfighter, but if it is to be…
Lord, make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true and my hand faster than those who would seek to destroy me. Grant me victory over my foes and those that wish to harm to me and mine. Let not my last thought be “If only I had my gun”; and Lord if today is truly the day that You call me home, let me die in a pile of brass.