Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Conservative Movement Is a Big Con - By Jack Kerwick

Time constraints preclude the thorough analysis of “The Big Con,” the so-called “conservative movement,” that this subject deserves.  For now, however, suffice it to say that the conservative movement is largely a fiction constructed by the merchants of Big Conservative media—to whom, from this point onward, I refer simply as Big Cons.
As long as those of the Big Cons remain the faces of the official right, the left will continue to do what it has been doing for the last so many decades: It will continue cleaning house in the “cultural wars.”
Of course, the Big Cons could never so much as remotely concede this as a possibility, much less an actuality.  Such an admission would, after all, be bad for business.  Yet it is true all the same.
Simply put, Big Cons have neither the will nor even the imagination necessary to fight the left on the terms that the left has established.
To put it even more bluntly, Big Cons fear the left.
In fact, even this manner of speaking understates the case: Big Cons are terrified of the left.
So as to avoid misunderstanding, the referent here isn’t limited to the fear of professional ruination and/or the loss of social status, i.e. all of those invitations to Manhattan and D.C. cocktail parties that so many Big Cons crave. The fear to which I refer is more primal than this:
Big Cons fear for their physical safety lest they get on the bad side of the left’s more rabid faction.
Leftists make noise, issue uncompromising demands, organize in massive numbers, clog streets, and use abrasive, even outrageous, language—tactics designed to intimidate others.  Yet leftists do more than just intimidate.  They attempt to slander and ruin reputations and livelihoods. They are also known for destroying property and engaging in acts of violence, even murderous violence, in some instances, against those who they regard as their enemies.
All of the while, the “respectable” voices of the left in government, academia, Hollywood, and the media either ignore the thug antics of their street soldiers or try to rationalize them away.  Neither course of action is particularly difficult, for Big Cons are all too eager to allow the Democratic left to distance itself from the barbarism of its base.
Big Cons can be counted upon to do one or more of three things, and they tend to engage in these moves in tandem.
First, they react to the left’s more obvious excesses by calling attention to them.
Then, they go on the defensive, bending over backwards to assure the world that just because they are critical of the left for this or that position doesn’t mean that they aren’t “sensitive” to the subjects at hand.  In other words, Big Cons spare no occasion to advertise to the world their abhorrence of just those moral transgressions of which the left accuses them—“racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” “xenophobia,” “fascism,” and so forth.
Finally, toward this last end, Big Cons launch an offensive—only it’s an offensive against those on their own side, or to their right.
This three-fold prong is the standing operating procedure of Big Cons.
The cooked Confederate monument controversy is a textbook illustration of this Big Con pattern.
(1)Big Con commentators focused their audiences’ attention on, say, the scene of a mob of zealot leftists trying to tear down a statue of a Confederate hero—a scene that any American with a scintilla of sanity and civility will have no problems recognizing for the ugliness that it is.
(2)Then they condemned the hysteria, irrationality, and destructiveness of the “protesters” (yes, Big Cons never fail to accept whatever terms the left selects for its positions and activities).
(3)However, Big Cons were quick to qualify their condemnatory remarks with assurances that they understood and empathized with those people, particularly black people, who purported to be traumatized by the sight of statues of long-dead Southerners.  In doing so, they distanced themselves from Southerners (and others) who defended the monuments, and in many instances, Big Cons joined the call for the removal of the monuments and even went so far as to accuse some monument supporters of being “racist.”
Big Cons are partisans, for sure.  They are partisans of appeasement, appeasement of the left.
This three-point strategy of Big Cons is, unequivocally, a losing strategy against an enemy as aggressive and resolute as the left.
While talking and writing are important, for sure, Big Cons never do more than this.  For instance, they never use any of their vast resources to call for boycotts of leftist enterprises. Big Cons could quite easily organize demonstrations rivaling, and possibly exceeding, in size those that George Soros and other leftist millionaires and billionaires fund.
Big Cons have refused to form marches on Washington D.C. and, for that matter, around the country, pro-Second Amendment marches, say, or One Million Deplorables rallies intended to register the disgust of millions of Americans with the Russian-Collusion/Trump witch hunt.
If only they had the will to do so, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and the lot of the Big Cons, given their combined fortunes and influence, could have effortlessly arranged for several of these immense demonstrations of loud, militant, and enraged Americans.
But they do not have the will.
Perhaps those Big Cons with television programs could reserve a daily segment on self-defense training for Americans who want to avoid being pummeled by leftist vermin simply for wearing a MAGA hat or an American flag decal.  These segments could include tips on how to physically fight offensively, or maybe even showcase an gun expert who could familiarize viewers with different sorts of weapons.
The point is this: Short of secession (which, ideally, is the most morally proper option), there can’t be any peaceful co-existence between those who want to win by whichever means necessary and those who live in fear of offending the sensibilities of those who want to win by whichever means necessary.
There can be no peaceful co-existence between people as long as one of these two groups lives in fear of the other.
If a tentative peace can be had, it can be had only when both groups have fear.
This, though, is the problem.  The left, for all of its hysteria, doesn’t genuinely fear their enemies. That is, they don’t have that raw fear of being physically harmed.  While violence is something to be avoided and used only as a final resort, violent leftist bullies and terrorists must know that if they proceed to lay a finger on the hair of the head of anyone who they would demonize as a “racist” or “fascist,” it could mean their very lives.
This is a message at which Big Cons will never so much as hint, lest they be accused of advocating violence.
Interestingly, Big Cons never tire of rejecting pacifism and appeasement as responses to Islamic terror, and they are the first to lambast the “feminization” of boys and men.  Yet in the face of the ongoing violence to which non-leftist Americans are being subjected right here at home by leftist thugs, the Big Cons won’t dare suggest that perhaps those on their side of the political divide prepare to physically fight in defense of themselves and other innocents.
As long as the Big Cons remain in charge of the official right, the left will continue to advance, for the left has no reason to fear the Big Con.
Jack Kerwick [send him mail] received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at At the Intersection of Faith & Culture.

Previous article by Jack Kerwick: Nikolas Cruz and ‘Mental Health’