We love this country, but are growingly concerned with its top-down control. We love freedom, but that same freedom is abused by immoral and evil people, with an end result of far less freedom than before. The confluence of philosophy and reality weaves a complex – sometimes hopeful, sometimes bleak – future.
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Lately, I have found myself holding mutually exclusive thoughts regarding the current status and prospective future of America. The problem for many conservatives, as I see it, is that we are resolute in our defense of many American principles but simultaneously recognize a growing problem with entrenched and seditious Deep State machinations. America as an idea is not America as practiced. In the end, too, only one side can win.
Most conservatives – at least the kind of conservatives we want to support – could better be called Constitutionalists. Donald Trump, Ron De Santis, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, Rand Paul, and others are each imperfect, but a uniting feature of them is their love and pursuit of individual liberty. The Constitution is pretty straightforward in its ideation of this nation: The federal government has basic duties like ensuring trade and defense, but otherwise directs individual states, who themselves should have limited power, to determine the structure of a community for citizens.
At the end of the day, people decide what’s best for them, not a ruling class or body. Our government derives their powers from the consent of the governed. Moreover, elected public officials should be representing and serving their constituents. On paper, it’s the best form of governance available.
At the same time, the United States is hardly recognizable as a country of true individual liberty. Without a doubt, we are still the best hope. Indeed, we are the last best hope, as Lincoln called us. He was as right then as he is now. Immigrants coming here by the millions, and every Trump-hating buffoon staying, are proof enough of the unique greatness of this nation. We are richer, fatter, and more materially satisfied than any group of people ever. That’s saying a lot, but the writing is on the wall.
Even discounting fraud, nearly half of the voting public has steadfastly and repeatedly chosen a political ideology so opposed to every American value that has heretofore delineated us from the rest of the ugly history known to all other human civilizations. It is hard to see how this voting pattern – fueled entirely by ignorance, arrogance, immaturity, and covetousness – changes, particularly as the government continues providing more money and services for “free.” They care not a whit that free entitlements only serve to lessen our freedom.
On top of individuals voting for our demise, nearly every critical institution, public and private, is helmed by indoctrinated zealots dedicated to the dismantling of society. They are succeeding before our eyes, reshaping peoples’ viewpoints on race, science, and whatever opinion needs shaping to serve a political goal. Even language is evolving in order to reduce our ability to fight back.
The question for me – and presumably other conservatives – is how do we reconcile these differences? We love this country and believe it is worth preserving, but at the same time we are seeing that in its current form cannot be trusted. We are lied to by a corrupt medical establishment, we are defended by a corrupt military establishment, we are censored by a corrupt technological establishment, we are kept poor by a corrupt central banking system, we are lied to by a corrupt media establishment, and we are governed by a corrupt political establishment. As if that weren’t bad enough, there are countless unelected bureaucrats doing the bidding of every corrupt acronymized establishment.
Relatedly, conservatives’ general framework of a functioning society is to live and let live. We never have an adequate response to large cultural shifts because our nature is to focus on ourselves, our families, and our communities. If men want to prance around as women, for example, that is their prerogative. Even pretending that blacks are oppressed is a concept that one is free to hold, however ludicrous the notion might be. The large problem with unrestrained liberty is that these situations compound one after another and eventually bleed into mainstream consciousness, resulting in monolithic cultural degradations that we are often powerless to combat.
Whether in congenial and adversarial conversations, I find myself contradictorily defending and bemoaning the United States. When prompted to respond to Black Lives Matters lies, I quickly remark that American blacks are the most fortunate blacks in human history. Idiots like Bryan Stevenson suggest slavery merely evolved, but if that’s true, I have a lawn that needs mowing. He’ll be cheaper than the neighbor’s kid. Not a moment later, someone pushes back and says the Capitol Insurrection pushed our democracy to the brink.
Suddenly, I find myself saying things that just a few years ago would have put tin foil on my head – there was massive voting fraud that no one will admit to, they know how Ashli Babbitt died, there were false flag operations leading the charge, and for good measure I start talking about the media and political elites lying about Covid numbers and bizarre vaccination demands on previously-infected people. It’s all absurd. This practice of schizophrenic conservatism is neither healthy nor sustainable. I love this country and what it has represented, yet I reflexively seek to detach myself from it. It’s like a political Jekyll and Hyde.
Even then, though, America as an idea only functions as a reality when the majority of folks are a “moral and religious people,” as John Adams observed. It has remarkable upside, but the Constitution “is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Given the decline of Amercians in every sense of personal morality and responsibility, eliminating wasteful government bloat won’t suffice.
To be sure, contradictions are not unique to the conservative cause. Joe Biden said guns wouldn’t be enough to overthrow the government on account of F-15s and nukes, but at the same time the government is prosecuting and jailing unarmed visitors to the U.S. Capitol based on the premise that their very presence threatened to undermine democracy. Not that long ago, women were also to be believed one-hundred percent of the time. Hashtags like MeToo and BelieveAllWomen flourished. Despite the preponderance of social activity dedicated to leveling the playing field, suddenly a biological male could shower with women and young girls (as was evidenced in a Los Angeles spa), violent male offenders could be jailed with women if they felt feminine upon sentencing (as is happening in California), and athletes can break every record if they wake up thinking they were previously in the wrong body. Perhaps the most illogical contradiction is the cause du jour in America: Racism. American blacks are the most fortunate and successful in the world. They will even be allowed to represent a country that supposedly hates them, as they have for over one hundred years, at the Olympics. It’s almost like Germany letting Jews compete or China letting Muslim Uighers compete under their flags.
Leftist absurdity notwithstanding, their contradictions are rooted in purpose. In any given moment, they need to feed a narrative. The fact that Democrats can claim massive illegitimacy in Doinald Trump’s 2016 election over Hillary Clinton while simultaneously censoring anyone claiming concerns of widespread fraud in the 2020 election does not register as a contradiction. Only the narrative matters.
For the conservative movement, however, these contradictions are more deeply rooted. We love freedom, but that same freedom is being abused and weaponized against us. If we allow men to pretend they’re women, blacks to pretend they’re oppressed, and leftists to pretend Trumpers deserve the firing squad, suddenly their liberties are interfering with ours. Do we curtail liberty to preserve liberty? When has that ever ended well? But, if we do nothing, we can see the future quite clearly – and it too looks bleak.
For America to be preserved, it will take individual Americans to do the preserving. White suburban women turned off by Trump’s advertised loathsomeness must balance their distaste of a man with their abject horror of a dystopian future. Black voters turned off by lies of racism within the Republican Party must balance their ignorance with the reality that no black community is thriving – or has ever thrived, for that matter – under Democrat leadership. All Americans that have thrived in the best country on earth must recognize that freedom is one generation from disappearing. Once gone, our mighty Constitution might never come back.
I hope enough voters get that message in time.