A comment to this Ed Driscoll post caught my attention:
The reason the left has been so triumphant over the right over the past four decades is simple – They NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER stop!!!!!!!
Neh – ver.
And unless the right thinks similarly, and is prepared to rise in defense of liberty and conservative values always and forever until the end of time, they will lose ground. Period. The reason the right does not in general do this is obvious. The very DNA of leftism is that state power is the be-all, end-all, and absolute end-authority of all. Conservatives entire ethos is to be able to compartmentalize the state, get it out of our lives, and just not have to think about it all the time. Maybe consider other dumb worthless things like family, church, community, business, etc. Gee, which side do you think will tend to be more relentlessly politically effective in directing the state, long-term?
Does [that] mean conservatives have to be relentless until they die? Yup. Does that suck? Yup. But, that doesn’t mean we are losing or will lose, as McCain seems to be sounding like here. It just means we can stop fighing when the left does, which is NEVER EVER EVER… and that’s our world. Live in it, fight the battle, and WIN. We are doing rather well at the moment.
Wisconsin is far from over as the next post explains. But enough with the “Oh, 204 votes, what a crushing defeat, it’s all over….!” Please. We are better, and we are doing better, than that.
I agree, even if I have expressed some pessimism about Wisconsin’s situation myself. In fact, the above goes hand in hand with my “Almost There” theory of politics. The differences are never resolved and the political battles to settle them are never over. Not in a free society such as ours (to the degree that we remain free). As long as there is an opportunity to change a political outcome, the left will try to change it. But the fact of the matter is that the right can play that game, too. Any political faction can.
The left has never had a problem embracing the concept of the unending struggle. It’s at the heart of their drive to build utopia over the rubble of whatever stands in the way of their version of the perfect world, aka “Revolution,” which can occur either incrementally or in a more far-reaching fashion, they don’t care.
The right may find the concept of unending political struggle a little harder to embrace because being conservative means – in part – wanting to preserve what you see as good, protecting the status quo as opposed to upsetting it. That difference in perception has undoubtedly given the left a tremendous advantage over the right for decades.
Libertarians in a representative democracy like ours can also take part in an unending struggle for their views, of course. In fact, we have already seen Libertarians and Conservatives joining forces within the Tea Party movement precisely to push back against the major policy tenets of the Obama White House.
It’s ironic that it took the overreaching of the Obama White House to awaken the activist in so many on the right, but in that sense a famous Obama slogan is right on target: we are the change we’ve been waiting for. And we always will be – as long as we have political freedoms – because there are no permanent victories in politics.
Thus, making sure leftie political victories are not-so-permanent is up to each of us on the right as individuals. Of course, it isn’t always easy. The ability to push back is a function of individual freedoms (is this why the left likes to limit individual freedom?); and it will vary depending on time, place, and other factors.
To illustrate: If you and your spouse have to work 60+ hours a week – each – to support your family AND the super-perks of your state’s government employees, plus help subsidize some green energy program along with Charlie Rangel’s vacation – while also paying private school tuition for your kids because your public schools are not cutting it – being politically active won’t be as easy. Money is freedom, indeed (maybe that’s the whole point of so many leftie political initiatives – ever wonder?).
But the bottom line is the right doesn’t have to wait for a Red Dawn scenario to push back. The right can still be day-to-day relentless by organizing smartly and taking advantage of modern technology as a force multiplier. We already saw this happen from 2009 to 2010 in the rise of the Tea Party movement and its fueling of the November 2010 “drubbing” of Democrats nationwide. Heck, Wisconsin wouldn’t be where it is now if it wasn’t for that effort and those victories.
And, as any member of the Tea Party movement will surely agree, – if the GOP does not have it in it to be an engine of the relentless right, then I guess the right doesn’t need the GOP.