We are now less than three weeks from Election Day, and the amount of political advertisements that we see on our televisions and hear on our radios is increasing exponentially each day. Anyone exposed to them will notice that the vast majority of these ads are of the negative variety. “Don’t vote for her, she eats dead babies. Vote for me instead, I’m a vegan,” followed by the obligatory, “I’m John Doe, and I approve this message.” As annoying and disturbing as some of these ads may be, there is a reason why they’re run: because they work.
We witness a similar approach constantly within political debates and dialogue; not only those we see in the media, but even in our personal discussions with friends and family. To illustrate, consider the last time you observed, or perhaps participated in, a discussion regarding the candidacy of President Donald Trump. If that discussion was not focused on attacks and subsequent defenses of Trump’s character, then it was an unusual conversation indeed.
Trump’s opponents, and particularly those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, appear not so much to refuse to engage on Trump’s policy wins and losses, but are instead incapable of doing so. Such conversations inevitably generate such passionate hatred for the president that even attempting to shift the discussion towards the merits of his foreign policy, for instance, results in bulging blood vessels and raised voices. Therefore, a question: for those of us on the Right, should we direct the energy of our discussions and debates towards the benefits of conservatism, or should we instead use the “negative approach” and focus on the ills of leftism?
A strong argument can be made that we should concentrate our efforts on the advantages of conservatism, particularly when we consider the widespread ignorance of the Left regarding the tenets of conservative ideology. Conservatism is truly an ideology with a “big tent” approach; we don’t all think alike, and there are there are differing opinions amongst us on a wide variety of issues. Most conservatives aren’t anti-immigration, however, we are anti-illegal immigration. Additionally, conservatives frequently believe in free domestic markets, a strong military, limited government regulations, lower taxes and lower spending. All of which are compelling positions that are easily defended by someone who is well-informed. If such arguments are made to a reasonable, open-minded person — even if that person is indeed on the Left — they can occasionally result in swaying his/her opinion. Conservatism, generally speaking, is logical, cogent, and time-proven. Conservatism works.
We can therefore conclude that we should take the high road and extol the virtues of conservative governance rather than point to the obvious absurdities of leftist alternatives, correct? Not so fast. Twenty years ago, perhaps we were better off pointing to the fiscal ideas of George W. Bush as opposed to directing our attention to Al Gore’s affiliation with the sleaze and dishonesty of the Clinton Administration, but these are different times. As repulsed as we may have been with turn-of-the-century Democrats, in comparison to today’s nutty leftists they were just a bunch of fun-loving, tolerant moderates. Unfortunately, in America today we cannot afford to simply try to enlighten folks with the values of conservatism, we must instead ensure that we do everything possible to expose the Left for what they have become: a bunch of bat-crap crazy, America-hating whackos.
With President Trump’s recent nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, we’re hearing renewed calls from the Left to “pack the courts,” thereby changing the number of seats on the Supreme Court for the first time in over 150 years. Additionally, we’re seeing suggestions of expanding the number of states by adding Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico to the union. We shouldn’t be deceived into thinking these are idle threats; they are not. If we learned nothing else from the hearings to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, we learned that the Left are hell bent on power, and they will stop at nothing to attain it. Never mind that packing the courts and adding states would totally upset all political norms and could result in civil war, quite literally. That prospect won’t even give the Left reason to pause.
In addition to these Constitution-jeopardizing ideas, we have countless other outlandish leftist initiatives. The Green New Deal was proposed just last year, and implementation of it would drastically change our very way of life and bankrupt the country within a few years, with its $90 trillion of new spending. The Left has proposed opening our borders and abolishing ICE, which would submit us to skyrocketing crime and budget deficits. They continue to float the idea of slavery reparations, which are so unjust and ridiculous that it’s hard to believe California is actually taking steps to make reparations a reality. Democratic states such as New York have already legalized abortion-on-demand up to the time of birth, and Bernie Sanders’ views on Socialism were considered “fringe” only four years ago, but have now become mainstream Democratic Party philosophy.
Ultimately, most rational discussions will likely have elements of both approaches: some focus on the positive effects of one’s positions, and some attention on the negative impacts of the opponent’s. Conservatives tend to be optimistic about our country and its future, and we normally stress the importance of personal accountability rather than attributing blame to a collective group. But in America in 2020, we must set those ideals aside, if only temporarily. The Left in 2020 must be exposed, and they must be held accountable, and it’s not hyperbole to suggest that if we fail to do so dire consequences await. If policies that are being proposed are in fact enacted, if court-packing and the addition of states to the union are indeed achieved, the harm that will be done to our great country may very well be irreparable. There will be a time and place in the future where we can get back to focusing on being conservatives, but in the meantime we should take the approach of anti-leftists. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to take the gloves off.