The Best Defense

Conservatism fails to defend because it's failed in offense.

It's a truism among military theorists that, eventually, offense will always trump defense.  That never stops mature civilizations from hoping that their defense system will always protect them, but attackers eventually get through.

The Great Wall of China helped limit the effects of raids from the north, but it didn't prevent the Mongols from conquering and ruling China.

The walls of Constantinople protected the Byzantine Empire for hundreds of years, but the city eventually fell to the onslaught of Mehmed the Conqueror and his Muslim hordes, leading to one of the most horrific and barbaric events of mass murder, rapine, and destruction prior to modern times.

The French, of course, built the famed Maginot line, which Hitler's blitzkreig simply went around.  The only reason there is a France today is because of the bulldog determination of Winston Churchill not to bow to Germany, and of the industrial capacity of the United States which was able to build Liberty ships faster than the Nazi U-boats could sink them.

Now, in a civilized world, most people recoil from personal physical violence.  So when they feel threatened or attacked, but not physically in an immediate, direct, and personal way, their first question is - can I afford to just surrender this ground?  Is it really all that important?

Thus it was that, over the course of the 1960s, Christianity was largely driven from public schools.  In 1960, most American schooldays began with a prayer, and often a brief Bible reading.  By the end of the decade, both were banned, not by democratic action by elected officials in response to changes in society and politics, but by diktat from the Supreme Court.

At the time, the overwhelming majority of Americans identified as Christian.  Had they wished, they could have used the political process to demand a restoration of what was not merely an American tradition, but what many of our Founders cited as the very basis for American governance and liberties.

But it didn't seem that important at the time.  Besides, there was an easier way: large numbers of devout Christians simply withdrew their children from the "godless" public schools, instead educating them at home or in private religious institutions.

By the 1980s, as the leftist agenda moved forward, conservatives determined that relying on the black-letter rights enshrined in the Constitution alone to protect them wasn't enough; they needed judges and justices that would properly interpret the Constitution along traditional lines.  First Reagan, then the Bushes, and now Mr. Trump put forward the importance of their judicial appointments as reasons to vote for them.

For a while, this approach seemed to work out OK: conservatives had the occasional loss before the high court, but tended to win more often than not, to widespread frustration among the media and cultural elites.

Yet, somehow, despite all those points conservatives put on the board, the ball kept continually moving further left.  What the Left won, it never lost thereafter; the Right won some and lost some, but whenever they lost, that loss became a "super precedent" never to be challenged or changed back.

In other words, just like with military defenses, the defenders have to win every time.  The attackers only need to win once.

Which brings us to today.  In a stunning series of decisions that, politically, should be considered the equal of Pearl Harbor, the conservative strategy of "judicial defenders" stands revealed as utterly bankrupt, worthless, and a complete waste of a half-century of effort.

Second-Guessing Is Easy When You're In Full Flight

Look at it this way: If Hillary Clinton had won in 2016 and appointed a Supreme Court justice, there would be absolutely no surprise to see the Court deciding that there's really no such thing as male and female; that a lawless amnesty for illegal aliens cannot be lawfully revoked by the same Presidential pen that put it in place; and that Congressional taxing powers extend to requiring the private purchase of health insurance even when there's no taxing involved.  The legal logic is irrelevant; the ends justify the (leftist) means, and that's all that matters.

That didn't happen though.  Our Court has several justices who are openly far-left partisans, appointed by Democrats; but a clear majority were appointed by Republicans and touted as staunch conservatives at the time.  Yet as the years (or even months) wear on, under those black robes their Constitutional hearts have rotted away.

Why doesn't it ever happen the other direction?  Why don't we ever see Democrat appointees grow in maturity, wisdom, and conservatism over their years on the court?  The exulting media reports covering last week's cases all give the answer: the court was "responding to public pressure" or "changing social views."

The plain fact is, judges are human beings like everybody else.  They have friends and neighbors like we all do.  They live in Washington, D.C., though, so virtually every single voice they hear in their normal, non-court lives is calling for them to move left.  When they do, they are honored; when they refuse, like Justice Clarence Thomas, they are pilloried and reviled.

Holding lifetime seats as they do, why wouldn't they do what makes their lives more pleasant?  Only a man of the strongest character and most ironclad of personal beliefs could resist the constant, ongoing, universal, daily pressure.

Christians and other social conservatives may have looked to John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch to save them, but how many traditional Bible-believing Christians and such are numbered among their close personal friends and neighbors?  Any?

Yes, Justice Gorsuch is a faithful churchgoing man, but even before his appointment to the high court, the church he chose was itself pro-homosexual rights and described itself as“largely liberal in a largely liberal city.”   Yet that was the man expected to defend traditional America, and there's good reason to believe that he was among the best available.

Stand And Fight!  Or Die.

How did the left win all these court victories over the years?  Simple: they just ignored court decisions they didn't like.

The most important aspect of illegal immigration is that it is illegal, and has been for as long as any of us have been alive.  So what?  Democrat mayors and governors simply ignore the law; Republican "leaders" aren't willing to make the offensive effort to enforce the law and actually deport the millions of illegals; and, of course, the unanimously-leftism media constantly drums up sympathy for them.

DACA is now law and the illegal-alien Dreamers are legally protected for the first time - and only because our side refused to demand that the law be enforced and obeyed for all these years and decades when their presence was clearly and definitively unlawful.  Nothing's really changed save a scrap of paper - in realty, we lost that fight a long time ago, by not aggressively and comprehensively enforcing the laws in every jurisdiction and opportunity where conservatives held any executive or police powers.

How much of what conservatives decry has long been criminal, yet for years on end nobody did anything about it including our own supposed leaders?  We see this today: aren't rioting and looting felonies?  Don't we have cameras everywhere and an NSA that snoops on everyone everywhere with face-recognition software?  Don't we have a Republican president and a Republican attorney general?

Yet how many Antifa thugs have been locked up on terrorism charges?  Yes, a handful, but fewer than pastors who've been arrested for holding peaceful services in their own churches during the lockdown - something supposedly explicitly protected in the First Amendment.  But who cares about that?

Something is wrong with this picture, and it's easy to see what: as a movement, conservatives simply do not know how to fight, and don't wish to fight.  There are no more Christian soldiers, just bleating sheep.

The court could make the decision it did because most Americans had have decades of indoctrination in that direction.  For most Americans, it would be a head-scratcher as to why anyone might ever think it's OK to fire a homosexual.  Most people are convinced that such a firing would be inherently immoral and wrong, because they've had 30 years of "gay is OK" propaganda, and around 15 of something akin to "gay is better."  The underlying legal issues and principles of free association entirely escape them, because nobody has bothered to teach them, and the media actively conceals any underlying issues, morals, or principles that contradict leftist tenets.

Donald Trump, God bless him, at least knows how to try to fight, and in doing so, to educate an ignorant electorate; but whenever he uses his bully pulpit to do so, half of the people he's defending tsk-tsk at his intemperate language.  That's not the way to win a battle for our nation which we are, on current trends, conclusively losing.

Where U.S. Grant drank whiskey, The Donald tweets rudely.  Lincoln was wise enough to call for whiskey for his other less-aggressive generals; why are we so stupid as to not demand that our other leaders follow Trump's example, the only part of conservatism that's managed to actually accomplish anything at all in years?

We don't have to wonder what will happen when the government moves to shut down churches - it already is doing precisely that.  Or didn't you notice?

We don't have to look off into the future to see when our children will be forcibly indoctrinated in beliefs antithetical to everything right, true, and American because that's been happening for at least 50 years.  But that was to other people's children, it was not our problem.

Well, now those indoctrinated other-people's-children are all grown up and run everything, and they're running roughshod over what we thought we were protecting.  How much good did that do?  None whatsoever.

Today, many assume that their wealth, connections, or intelligence will protect them.  Nobody had more justifiable reason for such confidence in 1453 than Loukas Notaras, prime minister and chief admiral of the Byzantine navy, and as enormously wealthy as such a position would indicate.  Yet on the day of conquest, he and his family were caught flat-footed by the invading Turks.

Not to worry; surely his wealth would by him protection?  On the contrary, when Lukas offered a staggering bribe for his freedom, Mehmed the Conqueror replied with contempt:

You possessed all this wealth and denied it to your lord the emperor and to the City, your homeland? And now, with all your intrigues and immense treachery, which you have been weaving since youth, you are trying to deceive me and avoid that fate you deserve. Tell me, impious man, who has granted possession of this City and your treasure to me? [Notaras answered that God was responsible.] Since God saw it fit to enslave you and all the others to me, what are you trying to accomplish here with your chattering, criminal? Why did you not offer this treasure to me before this war started or before my victory? You could have been my ally and I would have honoured you in return. As things stand, God, not you, has granted me your treasure.

Whereupon he was decapitated and his family enslaved or executed.  Will that be the fate of too-comfortable Americans who aren't willing to invest their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to stand and fight the onrushing tyranny already being imagined for them?

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

In defense of the military value of walls: Of course in the ultimate case, offense is the best defense. But walls still have a value as a "force multiplier". The Romans knew this, and applied it. For centuries, they did not merely hide behind their walls. They actually had mobile units operating OUTSIDE the walls. In Roman Britain, this prevented my Celtic ancestors from invading at any-old-place-they-chose along the border. The Roman mobile units could thus beat them out in the field, or pin them against the walls where they tried to get through. I suspect that the armies of imperial China operated in much the same fashion.The Maginot wall was never completed as planned, but where it was built, it DID work, and the Germans had to invade elsewhere.The same thing is being applied with substantial success today along our border with Mexico. Israel and Morocco are applying the same tactics today. successfully.

June 26, 2020 1:42 PM

Right, nobody ever says that walls aren't useful. The point is that you can't depend on them alone - they work as a force multiplier, but you have to *have* forces to be multiplied. As long as the Romans and Chinese made sure they did, walls were helpful.

In the border context, a wall would be only minimally helpful if we weren't also working hard to catch and expel those who cross it. Any wall, all by itself, won't do.

June 26, 2020 1:45 PM

You cannot have religion taught in government schools without violating the principle of separation of church and state. So that is good. What is bad is having government schools.

June 26, 2020 2:08 PM

Heard today on Fox F&F...(in essence) 'our young people today are not being educated; they're being indoctrinated.' true!!!

June 27, 2020 10:00 AM
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