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Born Losers

How many times must the Right fail before they re-evaluate?

By Hobbes  |  November 11, 2022

Well, another election has come and gone, and just as before, the far left continues its triumphant reign of toxically destructive misrule.

At this writing, we don't even know if they lost anything at all - Republicans may still end up with a majority in Congress, possibly even the Senate.  But if so, it'll only be by the slimmest of margins - not enough to do anything useful, only enough to be called "The Republican Majority!" whenever anything goes wrong for which the media needs to cast blame.

And this, after two years of ongoing disasters.

Our army run out of a country by a pack of medieval savages, leaving behind enough high-tech weapons to staff half a dozen medium-sized countries.

Gas prices more than doubling, and only held down to that by the near-total draining of our strategic reserves.

Ongoing supply chain issues leaving our stores more reminiscent of Communist Eastern Europe than anything Americans are accustomed to, and at prices more typical of legendarily-overtaxed Western Europe.

Our European allies looking at a winter of literal freezing and starvation.

A President who doesn't know where he is or what he's supposed to be doing, but clear on one thing: he hates half the country and wishes they were... well, not in any way active in politics, at the very least.  We'd say he wishes us dead, but, probably not - at least, not those of us who live in blue states where we'd keep right on voting indefinitely.

For all that... the meter moved not one measurable iota.  There was no red tsunami, no red wave, barely even a red ripple.  By comparison with historical midterm elections, Joe Biden won, and won resoundingly.  If Republicans cannot win an election under these circumstances, they never can and never will.

No doubt the next months will be filled with forensic dissections of every tactical error that contributed to yet another failure of the Right.  Did Donald Trump do a lousy job of picking his endorsements?  Did Mitch McConnell misuse his war chest to promote his supporters and kneecap Trump's?  Did Democrat operatives throughout the bureaucracy and officialdom pull off another Big Steal?

There's some truth to all of this and many others, but none of these are a true explanation.  Indeed, none of them, or all of them together, explains the failure that rightfully rests on the shoulders of our side.

To pick just one example - of course the Democrats cheated, they always do and always have.  But they clearly didn't have to cheat much; or if they did, with years to prepare, how did our side utterly fail to catch them in the act beyond reasonable doubt?  Nobody with a pulse or two brain cells should have been voting for any Democrat under the current circumstances; the fact that, clearly, millions did underscores our failure, not Democrat perfidy.

Conserving - What, Exactly?

The true cause is nothing so simple as bad choices or bad leadership, nor anything so easily fixed.  If New Yorkers are being shoved daily in front of subways and raped in broad daylight in public parks, and they still vote in the same party that misrules them, we have long since passed the point where conventional politics has any value.  What, exactly, would have to happen for the residents of blue cities to decide to make a change?  Half the city centers have been burned down by rioting mobs, and they still can't learn!

Of course, that's not exactly true: many thousands of New Yorkers, Californians, and so on have indeed learned that they don't want to live under their reigning Democrats anymore.  The problem is, they've also learned what the rest of us are still coming to grips with - they lack the political power to force change, and see no likely path to gaining it.  So instead they've moved to other places more to their taste, like Florida and Texas.

The big winner this week, if that's even a fair characterization in the midst of such catastrophic results, is Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis.  Where just a few short years ago Florida was a purple state trending blue. it is now overwhelmingly red, even urban Miami-Dade county.

Not to diminish the excellent work Gov. DeSantis has done in every way, but, this landslide was not and could not have been achieved only by his efforts.  It was driven by the throngs of newly-minted Floridians who truly appreciate what he's done, because they've spent most of their lives under something quite different.

Much the same is true of Texas, where, as re-elected Gov. Abbott has explained, the ex-Californians now residing in his state are actually more conservative than the natives.  Indeed, your humble correspondent himself relocated to the Lone Star State for exactly those reasons.

But, in doing so, and beefing up the red margins in Texas and Florida, we've also made it effectively impossible for conservatives to win elsewhere.  California is a lost cause; so, now, is New York.  Massachusetts has been for a long time.  Illinois too; Colorado is trending that way, Maryland probably has arrived at that point as well.

Yes, Texas and Florida may now be out of reach for the Democrats.  How many states are out of reach for Republicans, and have been for far longer?  How many more such states do they have to permanently own, before they'll have an equally-permanent lock on the federal government regardless of how resoundingly red-states defeat their own local commies?

The point is: by doing what is individually sensible, practical, wise, prudent, and conservative at the individual and family level, conservatives may have ultimately doomed the country as a whole to leftist rule.  They're acting like Mexicans who cross our border illegally.  Instead of working to clean up their government so they could earn wealth as we have, they're walking across our border to participate in what we've built, while abandoning their natal country to its fate.

Fifty Years of Lessons Unlearned

This phenomenon is not at all new; it was trailblazed a lifetime ago by the moral heart of the right-wing, the religiously devout.

After the turmoil of the sexual and cultural revolutions of the 1960s, traditional Christians correctly observed that public schools no longer reflected or even respected their point of view - girls were now allowed to wear pants, of all shocking things!  So they exercised their American right to withdraw, establishing independent private Christian schools across the country throughout the 1970s, and pushing to secure the right to homeschool in the decades beyond that.

In a way, this worked: there are far more religious school pupils, and homeschooled children, who are not subjected to the depraved frothing of leftist indoctrinators than there otherwise would be.  But prior to, say, 1960s, nearly all Christian kids attended public schools, so their parents actually cared, participated, perhaps even taught there - thus preserving a Christian influence over the vast bulk of American children.  No, most American public schools didn't explicitly indoctrinate kids in any particular religious sect; but, nearly all were suffused with what might be called lowest-common-denominator Protestantism, and thus, so was the country as a whole.

That's now all lost and forgotten, so much so that we can barely even imagine how it could be restored.  Even if the wildest dream of conservative education policy wonks were to come true - portable parent-driven school vouchers - that would merely make life easier for parents already of a conservative bent.  It would do nothing whatsoever to help reach other people's children, who'd continue to be indoctrinated that Republican = Nazi as they have been for decades now.

As Andrew Breitbart used to say, "Politics is downstream from culture."  The Left entirely and completely owns the culture and has for most of our lifetimes; it's a miracle that the Left does not also entirely own politics lock, stock and barrel, and that there's even any resistance remaining at all.

The Wrong Questions

As things stand, most of the questions you'll be hearing over the coming months will be as irrelevant and pointless as their answers.  Should Donald Trump shut up and go away, deferring to Ron DeSantis?  Should the elderly Republican leadership retire and let younger blood take over?  Should Republican governors fight harder for what most Republicans believe?  Should the Republican party become more populist?  Less doctrinaire?  Do more outreach to constituencies previously thought owned by the Left?

In the long run, none of this will matter one iota until and unless we come up with a way to prepare people's minds to even give conservatism a hearing - and then, of course, to persuade them over to our side.  How do you do that, if the past two years haven't moved the needle at all?

Until we answer that question, the national level is irretrievably lost.

And, in the long run, so will all other levels be.  Did the devout Christians manage to preserve their beliefs and their families by their vast effort and expense at creating parallel education institutions?  The statistics are well-known - of kids brought up in Christianity, well over half abandon it as adults and become, statistically, just like anybody else.

Of kids brought up as leftist environmentalists, Communists, LGBTQWTF, whatever name-your-leftism-here, how many abandon those beliefs as they mature?  Some handful, yes - single digits maybe, if that?  The Left keeps their acolytes, the Right does not.

In a democracy, politics is not just about winning elections, it is about winning hearts and minds.  If you do that, electoral winning will inevitably follow.  If you can't or won't, you're just delaying the inevitable collapse - a worthy goal, to be sure, but let's not expect any more from our efforts than that.

Rather than participating in a blame-fixing circular firing squad or obsessively analyzing over tactics at the margins, perhaps we should re-evaluate our grand strategy - or if we even have one at all?