What Is To Be Done? Part 3 - Institutional Infrastructure

Conservative institutions have not been effective for years, and are now doomed if they don't change.

Ever since the beginning of the Industrial Age, wise generals have understood that an effective army needs far more than effective leaders and brave soldiers.  It needs a complex logistical tail, staffed with dedicated workers who'll never hear a shot fired but who provide the army with food, equipment, supplies, weapons, ammo - all the makings of modern war.

The same is true in the political arena.  We need effective and principled candidates, yes.  We need experienced campaign staff and political aides.  Historically, Republicans have done very poorly with these - it's commonplace for elected Republican officeholders to betray the principles they ran on, something that almost never happens to Democrats.

But, just as an effective war requires factories, engineers, and scientists, so an effective movement requires organizations who don't appear to have much to do with elected politics and yet are essential.  For the Left, that's unions, Hollywood, the media, the education system, the Tech Lords, and increasingly Big Business of all sorts.

If 2020 has proven anything in politics, it's how much more effective all those forces were at carting Joe Biden supinely across the finish line than he was himself.  Just as Hitler was defeated by our Air Force bombing out his factories, ultimately, we'll have a hard time making any headway while the Left has unhampered control of every major institution in American life.

Assuming a Defensive Stance, Not "The Position"

The Left, though, knows which institutions still allow conservatives - there really aren't any institutional categories where conservatives hold sway, but there are individual institutions where they still predominate.  And true to fascist form, they've already lined up a plan to shut them down: "anti-discrimination" laws.

On its face, discrimination seems like it's something definitionally un-American.  Any institution partaking in it rightly should be attacked and bankrupted.  If someone sues the KKK for discrimination because they won't hire black people, most of us would laugh and flip them the bird.

The problem is that the Left has expanded this into all sorts of other realms, including, now, homosexuals and mentally ill people suffering from gender dysphoria.  We note that they do not consider political views to be diversity worth protecting.

It just so happens that there's a clear correlation - not an absolute one, but statistically strong nonetheless - between the new "woke" protected classes, and leftism.  There doubtless are some (otherwise) conservative homosexuals and "transgenders," but mostly, they are associated with the Left.

So when those categories are added to antidiscrimination statutes, an immediate problem ensues.  What will happen when the Heritage Foundation is inundated with job applicants whose every belief is the antithesis of what the organization stands for, but their protected class allows for a lawsuit when they aren't hired?

The problem is even more critical for conservative religious organizations, who've been under assault by the Left for years due to their stance on abortion.  It's settled law that ministers have to adhere to the beliefs of the religion, but there is large and growing case-law saying that antidiscrimination law applies everyone else in the organization.  Sure, you can require your pastor to be the male "husband of one wife," but you can't refuse to hire a flamboyant drag queen as janitor, since he isn't preaching and can clean toilets with the best of them.

Indeed, in blue states we are now seeing laws passed for the express purpose of crippling religious organizations with traditional views:

In July, Virginia became the first Southern state to pass sweeping LGBT rights legislation that bans discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The Virginia Values Act (SB 868) compels churches, religious schools and Christian ministries to hire employees who do not share their stated beliefs on marriage, sexuality and gender identity, according to a statement by ADF. A companion law (HB 1429) requires the ministries and others like them to include coverage in employee health care plans for sex reassignment and “gender affirming” surgeries that run contrary to their beliefs. It also prohibits the ministries from offering sex-specific classes for parenting, Christian discipleship and sports.

An overlooked side effect?  Not at all:

The supporters of this legislation aim to use it against religious institutions and individuals who do not endorse LGBTQ ideology. Virginia Delegate Marcus Simon during a February committee hearing on SB 868 declared: “I’ve actually looked at the [unlimited punitive damages] language… and I think it’s actually doing exactly what we intended for it to do. If you don’t want to be subject to unlimited punitive damages, don’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” [emphasis added]

As a blue state, there's no practical hope of this unConstitutional and unAmerican law being repealed.  At least there are lawsuits under way, so it may be struck down, as it should be.  But there's no doubt that it shows the way the wind is blowing in any state where Democrats hold power.

This shines a completely different light on how charitable institutions operate.  Traditionally, a successful institution such as a church was one which owned its own facilities free and clear.  With this type of legislation, though, a paid-off church building is nothing more than a big fat sitting duck for a lawsuit - remember the expressly-intended "unlimited punitive damages"?

It would be a criminal disservice to generations of worthy donors for their hard-earned money to be stolen by their bitterest enemies.  Instead, conservative institutions should be seeking to sell or mortgage their buildings, investing the cash immediately in their charitable mission or, perhaps, in defensive actions of other kinds, leaving nothing to be stolen but an indebted shell.  That way, at least some good may come from the donations.

We also need to look hard at what our institutions are accomplishing, and on what timescale.  Judicial Watch, for example, invests its donations in legal action to shine sunlight onto the perfidious actions of bureaucrats.  Not only is this immediately useful, but it doesn't create a tempting target - there's mostly only operating funds sitting around, arriving from donors before being spent on lawyers.

In contrast, consider the Heritage Foundation, which owns a lavish headquarters in downtown D.C.  There are probably more Republicans working there than vote in that particular ward - how long do you think they'll be allowed to keep it?  Unless immediate action is taken, before long they'll only have the choice to be sued into nonexistence or to be taken over by their enemies through enforced "nondiscriminatory" hiring practices.

Yes, Heritage has long produced high-minded white papers on conservative policies.  That is not what we need right now, and not a worthy investment of our time, talents, and treasure.  When London was ablaze under Hitler's bombs, Churchill was not worrying himself with how Germany should be governed after it had been conquered - that came later.

For a long time, grassroots conservatives have complained about the ineffectiveness of "Conservatism Inc."  This may be the opportunity to force them to finally choose sides once and for all.  As the saying goes, "When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

Small Is Beautiful

Who will be the first target to be downed?  It will, without doubt, be a big, rich, sluggish, slow-moving one - a megachurch, say, or the Heritage Foundation itself.

By contrast, it'll be a long time before the Left gets around to suing the double-wide Pentecostal church on County Rd. 43, whose only assets are a 20-year-old 15-passenger van and the carcass from last week's church supper chicken.  Yet there are an awful lot of such churches, with a great many members - too many, indeed, to be squashed all at once without recourse to the Gestapo and concentration camps, which we don't expect for the next decade anyway.

What power have they to change our course in that time?  Individually, precious little - but it's worth noting that the original American Revolution was heavily backed by independent local churches, each working separately but towards the same noble goal.

Of course, the Revolutionary War wasn't fought by churches - it was fought by the colonies that became states, via their elected representatives.  Our Founders created a republic rather than an English-style unitary government, for the express purpose of protecting the rights of the people under a diversity of different power structures each with their own domain.  It is there that we focus in the next article in this series.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Society.
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