Some will say that this has been the task and mission of the American Right all along. However, it is clear that the Right's reactionary battle strategy over the past four decades of playing cultural defense has failed. I suggest that it is past time for the Right to heed the dictum "the best defense is a good offense", and seize the cultural and legal initiative from the Left. It is time for the Right to be the cultural revolutionaries, the ones who subvert the dominant order and steer the culture in the direction of their choosing, rather than the being the defenders of an oppressive status quo. The alternative, should the Right fail in this endeavor, is tyranny. Either the sort of left-illiberal tyranny that the Left is deliberately attempting to create, or a temporary tyranny imposed by the Right in an effort to restore the Republic. Neither of these outcomes are desirable, the former for obvious reasons, the latter because it is a high-risk play that I am not convinced will successfully resort in a return to a Right illiberal order.
With the frame thus set, the remainder of this post lays out a potential battle plan for accomplishing this task, with props to Alte for her post on "Winning a Spiritual War".
The first step in fighting a war is to know you are at war in the first place. This statement isn't as trite as it seems, for although the ranks of right-wing combatants are increasing in size due to the success of the Tea Party, plenty of right-wingers are not yet politically mobilized, or are politically neutered by baseless yet powerful accusations of racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, homophobia, or simple meanness. In the meantime, as the Right dithers and/or cowers in fear, the secular humanist Left has been engaging in siege warfare against the Right. For lack of defenders, the Right has been reeling, falling back, retreating, giving ground along the entire front. It is time to make our stand and fight back, with the dictum "the best defense is a good offense" as our watch word.
The second step is to identify your enemy. I propose that our enemy in this case is the Evil One and his attacks on the religiosity and morality of the people via the religion of secular humanism and the displacement of self-governance with the tyranny of Man. However, as any "war on a concept" is bound to fail because the adversary isn't tangible, our energies should be primarily directed at neutralizing this religion's left-wing adherents and their ability to make cultural mischief through the machinery of the State and also through other vectors, to include NGOs, charities, and media outlets. Thus, in this way, left-wing secular humanism can be discredited as a legitimate governing philosophy, with an eye toward marginalizing it and, over time, ensuring its extinction, thus enabling the restoration of an organic spirituality and resultant religiosity and morality of a people fit to govern themselves once again.
The third step is to identify strategies and weapons to defeat your adversary. A two-pronged strategy comes to mind, both aimed toward shaping the character of the human condition: the proper role and level of government, and a restoration of religion and endogenous morality.
For the first prong, the battle over the proper role and level of government, it is important to note that role and level are not the same concept. The level of government refers to the presence government has in the daily lives of its citizens, while the role of government refers to the sorts of things the government has a legitimate involvement in. In a free society, this role is very small and, in fact, rolling back government means stripping government of the roles it has acquired for itself, especially when government, at the behest of leftist secular humanists, has been used to attack the very institutions that hold a right-wing free society together. Simon Grey has suggested a good start to accomplish this neutralizing of left-wing attacks on right-wing civil society: a complete defunding of left wing programs at the Federal level, for example:
welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, or any other programs that foster dependency...no more federal money for the “Arts,” Planned Parenthood, or other leftist nonsense. And this means no more regulatory agencies at the federal levelTo Simon Grey's hit list I add pretty much any Federal social safety net that isolates citizens and/or businesses from the consequences for their decisions (no more "to big to fail" bailouts), as well as Federal interference in the ability of citizens to contract with one another, dispose of their property as they please, to include, for example, refusing to rent out their spare rooms to homogamous couples, and marry whom they please. In fact, the State must be evicted from the business of marriage entirely, and must immediately cease awarding benefits based upon marital status. Marriage is to be returned to the Church, the original owner and arbiter of marriage, before the State annexed it.
Indeed, some of this is already happened. As evidence, I offer a pair of examples from my home state of Wyoming, which, in the span of three weeks in the end of February and the beginning of March 2011, scored two hits on left-wing governance by voting down two left-wing bills proffered by supposedly right-wing Republicans. The first defeated bill would require doctors to advise women seeking abortions about the risks of the procedure, a very mild requirement indeed, while the second would prevent the state from recognizing homogamous unions made outside the state:*
In viewing these videos, it is important to not be distracted by the Left's near orgasmic reaction to these two bills being defeated in the "reddest" state in the union. Instead, we must keep our eyes on what must be our two-pronged strategy: to delegitimize the use of government force toward social ends, even if such ends are superficially beneficial, while simultaneously advancing the religious case against liberalism, in this case, infanticide and homogamy. This two-front fight is crucially important; for in keeping cultural conservatives from limiting the excesses of liberalism, if the Right fails to bolster the religiosity and morality of the people, then members of the Right will continue acting as the left-illiberals' useful idiots--the Right will continue to undermine traditional culture and values in favor of that espoused by left-illiberals.
This brings me to the second prong of our one-two strategy: evangelization. It is admittedly the more difficult of the two, but it also is the most critical, and members of the illiberal (i.e., religious) Right must go out and evangelize unBelievers with all their heart, to win over hearts and minds of the people and persuade them of the freedom that is found in religion and morality and self-regulation. This task--convincing others of the wisdom of self-control--will be made easier when government no longer subsidizes sin itself and is no longer able to cushion individual citizens from the consequences of their actions. There will be a very clear and immediate connection between misbehavior and personal consequences, this connection makes ready the soil for the planting of the seeds of religion. It is important to note that this evangelization must not be performed for the sole and self-aggrandizing purpose of filling pews in churches, however. Instead, such evangelization must be made with an eye toward bolstering the two civic institutions that are a citizen's first tastes of proper government and frankly are far better and more effective governments to boot: the family and the church. When both family and church are healthy, it is more difficult to rationalize a muscular State. When family and church are healthy, there is little need for intrusive government in everyday life. So it is far from coincidental that these two institutions are the ones attacked the most by the religion of secular humanism, for the lack of family and church are what create the cultural vacuum necessary for Left illiberalism to flourish. And it is these two institutions that must be restored for the people to acquire the levels of illiberalism and morality required to live in a free republic.
If this strategy fails--and one can make the argument that my approach described above is too little, too late--our only alternative to salvage the culture will be the paths chosen by France and Germany and Holland: to establish a State-approved culture and use State organs to choose what is "in" the culture and what is "out". Given that right-illiberals are a political minority in the United States, I do not think betting that the Right gaining control of the machinery of government to accomplish this feat is wise. Thus the courses of action I outline above appear to be the most palatable short of political or violent revolution.
* In the second video, at 3:35, a Laramie Democrat dared to trot out the old lefty saw that one cannot legislate morality and that a politician's religion has no place in politics. Pardon my cursing, but this is bullshit, and the Right must not fall for this liberal bait-and-switch. What is the law in many cases, other than legislated morality? And it is the displacement of religion from politics that has resulted in the current mess that we are in. Where does religion belong, if not in personal-is-political politics?
Salvaging Civic Institutions
Capitalism, Social Decay, and Right Liberalism