To Survive, Conservatism Needs its Own Culture
That sound you hear is the final buzzer.
The game is over, and we lost. Handily.
While the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and assorted small victories, such as the occasional judicial appointment or tax cut, tricked many conservatives into thinking we were somehow still competing in the nation’s culture war, recent events have made it clear we lost a long time ago.
America’s current woke-infused chaos is just the latest symptom of a long-festering disease that now threatens the foundations of Western civilization and, by extension, conservatism.
The left’s initial inroads in the Sixties have radicalized exponentially with each new generation. Meanwhile spineless so-called conservatives, terrified of being labeled “intolerant,” sat idly by as hordes of Marxists ran roughshod over our institutions. From the arts to education to the corporate sector, the left has saturated the marketplace of ideas with flimsy philosophies wholly antithetical to the nation’s founding.
The horrifying result: more than two-thirds of American liberals want a new Constitution.
Recently victims themselves, they now realize they helped fuel a fire they could not possibly control and fundamental rights once championed by many on the left, such as as free speech, are in their death throes.
Not even college football, the most flyover state sport of all, is immune; student athletes are demanding the removal of statues and the cancellation of fight songs while head coaches take pay cuts for wearing the wrong tee shirt. And corporations, which rely on what is left of America’s capitalist foundation for their existence, are bowing to a Marxist mob that will destroy their executive class the first chance it gets.
Let’s face it: with virtually no representation in any major cultural or political arena conservatism, as a guiding cultural and political philosophy, is down for the count.
For far too long the right has talked a big game when it comes to fighting back. But little has been done to truly defend our philosophy against the left’s cultural Leviathan.
Now backed into a corner, our survival is dependent on a final, desperate solution: we must build our own cultural framework from scratch.
For years the left has rebutted conservative allegations of online censorship with snide counterpoints along the lines of “Build your own Twitter, Mr. Free Markets!” And after much reflection, I’ve decided they have hit on the only workable solution.
While I have gone on record extolling the regulation of social media and Big Tech, the founding of a new, free speech platform would be a superior strategy.
Replacing a Silicon Valley heavyweight such as Twitter is no doubt an enormous task; Wal-Mart owned retail for decades before Amazon seized the digital moment sufficiently to eclipse the brick-and-mortar powerhouse. But every true conservative should agree that innovation is a better solution than regulation.
Just as MySpace went the way of the Dodo, so too will these rapidly aging behemoths. Alternatives such as Parler and locals.com are rightly preparing for that day, and free-thinking people (regardless of political affiliation) would be wise to support these and other alternatives. Or suffer increasing censorship and irrelevance.
For proof they need look no further than Hollywood, which has long banished conservatives to ideological leper colonies.
But just as Big Tech could soon be undergoing a sea change, America’s decades-long cultural epicenter may also be about to implode. And the resulting vacuum will be an enormous opportunity for entrepreneurial storytellers.
As Tinseltown lurches further and further left, its audience runs further away; box office receipts have been declining for some time, and ratings for the Academy Awards, the industry’s absurd annual self-pat-on-the-back, are in the toilet.
But the thirst for good stories remains. Conservatives, despite certain stereotypes, are inherently creative and plenty capable of making great art.
In fact, I would wager the 2020 election that the majority are more capable than any current Hollywood screenwriter of crafting great films. For that matter so are the majority of chimpanzees; the last couple decades have seen little outside of terrible reboots and (sometimes) decent comic book adaptations.
It’s well-known there are closet conservatives in the industry, and there are no doubt a good many with deep pockets. Though recent ventures such as Rebeller Media have failed, we should support those that seek to fill their shoes be it via million-dollar investments or one-night rentals—the stakes are nothing less than American artistic culture.
But to truly save conservatism, and the country, we must seize the reins of higher education; for it is the well from which our current madness sprang.
American universities have long been a point of national pride and have led the way on virtually all forms of modern scientific progress.
But their gross ideological imbalance forbids the most benign conservative inclinations; one Yale professor estimates the representation of conservatives on his campus at around zero percent.
This monopoly on thought produces an increasingly radical crop of workers intent on ridding their respective industries of any conservative thought, thus hastening its demise in the business, as well as academic, worlds.
But enrollments at universities are in decline as parents across the country have come to realize they don’t want to spend a fortune, or sentence their children to lifelong debt, for an increasingly unmarketable education (turns out paying $100,000 for a Gender Studies degree from Amherst is a bad investment. Who knew?).
This dissatisfaction is giving rise to alternatives that are moving higher ed further from theory and closer to practicality. Trades and certificates in sectors like IT are increasingly attractive to young people due to their greater ROI compared to traditional college. Even Google smells blood, launching $300, six-month courses that the company will treat as four-year degrees in its own hiring protocols.
But a true, well-rounded education, particularly one geared toward a responsible citizenry, requires a dollop or two of the liberal arts and Humanities. Not the current socialist groupthink seminars posing as Humanities, of course, but the actual study of the history and structure Western Civilization and, by extension, the ideals that shaped the greatest country the world has ever known.
But to topple America’s rotting ivory tower conservatives must hit universities where it hurts the most: their pocketbook.
Those of us with alma maters can start by refusing to donate to fundraising campaigns aimed at alumni. Further, we should pressure politicians to restrict the flow of taxpayer dollars to curricula that have everything but the well-being of the taxpayer in mind. And that means demanding they seriously scrutinize federal grants to American universities as well as their funding at the state level.
If they can be reformed we should make every attempt to do so. If not, we should allow them to self immolate and start over. And if that means losing the liberal arts so be it.
We have reached the point of no return.
Simply put, there will never be a better time to take back these powerful institutions. And if conservatism is to survive, we have no choice but to reclaim what is in essence ours. It will be neither quick nor easy, but no great struggle is.