Anyone who has played sports knows that strange feeling where you look up and see you’re not just losing but getting clobbered, despite feeling like you were doing well. Maybe the last time you looked up it was close and now it is a blowout. Perhaps you feel like you’re competing, but the other side just keeps pulling away. When you’re in the heat of the battle, it is easy to not only lose sight of the bigger picture, but get a wildly incorrect view of that bigger picture.
Reading conservative sites the last week, I’m getting that vibe from both the chattering skulls and their readers who show up in the comments. There’s a state of shock at what has transpired over the two weeks.Their preferred party sold them out to please global finance. The court untethered itself from the English language and made itself the enforcer for the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Not only was the Right not winning, they were blown off the field.
As I pointed out the other day, the gay marriage ruling is the biggest assault on religious liberty in the history of the nation. One cannot read the majority opinion without wondering how long before the courts declare Christianity illegal.
The ObamaCare decision is the most radical in the history of the court. Judge Roberts literally declared that the English language is no longer a constraint on the court, which means they no longer have to read the relevant laws in future cases.
Most of the Right is in shock, unable to muster more than the old complaints that sound rather silly given what has just transpired. Surprisingly, Rod Dreher gets it, as far where things stand for people of his faith. That’s a well written essay displaying the right amount of sadness for what he and his coreligionists face in the coming years.
No, the sky is not falling — not yet, anyway — but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically.
It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.
Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.
What Rod and others got wrong is they thought they were in the fight. They truly thought they were giving the other side a battle over who will control society. The fact is, they never had a chance. They were getting their butt kicked for decades. The last week is just the part where the other team does the outrageous celebration on the loser’s team logo.
Last week was part of the mopping up phase of the culture war. The major institutions of the West have all been converted to the Cult of Modern Liberalism. There are no cultural institutions that stand in opposition to any of this stuff.
Their breathless support is seen in the speed with which retailers banished the rebel flag. A white guy shoots up a black church and the Cult demands a sacrifice in return. Hours after the gay marriage ruling major companies were celebrating it in TV commercials. You would not be cynical to think that maybe this has all been coordinated.
It’s tempting to think that normal people will resist, but history says otherwise. The Catholic Church is maneuvering to join the Cult on global warming. The Pope has already made noises about embracing the homosexual agenda. Everyone with something to lose is figuring out that it is time to join the winning side. You can be sure that the rest of the Christian sects will follow the Catholics into the abyss.
I received an e-mail from Paul Gottfried a while back, in response to one I sent him. I don’t know Professor Gottfried and he does not know me. I doubt he knows of this blog. Today, no one thinks twice about firing off an e-mail to a stranger and I’m no different. I sent off my query after reading this column.
It occurred to me that we are losing a lot of important knowledge as the geezers of the Old Right die off. They are the last ones to remember the old fights and why we find ourselves where we are. Professor Gottfried would do us all a great service by putting together a list of writers and books that the next generation could use in the resistance.
He was not interested and sounded a bitter tone in his response. Professor Gottfried, like many on the Old Right, has been shunned and forced to live on the fringes. The fringes of the public intellectual space, that is. Almost all of these guys used to write for mainstream publications and conservative publications with wide circulations. One by one they were proscribed starting in the 1980’s.
I really don’t blame these guys for being bitter, assuming they are bitter. They were right from the start. In the 80’s, when being Right was suddenly cool, all sorts of faddish sorts jumped on board, but few possessed the social core required to carry the fight to the Progressives. Instead they went in for whatever was fashionable to sell books, radio shows and ugly ties. Instead of building a movement that could displace the Left, they sucked it dry. The so-called paleo-cons predicted this result.
That’s all water under the bridge now. There’s value in learning from past defeats, but the time for that has passed as well. The only job left is to pack up the old books and articles in the hope that some future generation, looking for a way out, discovers them and find some inspiration.