Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"We’ll be lucky to wind up with a cameo in the national narrative"

It's good to see Mark Steyn making the same point I was trying to make in the previous post:

That’s the problem, and pulling the lever for a guy with an R after his name every other November isn’t going to fix it. If the default mode of a society’s institutions is liberal, electing GOP legislators eventually accomplishes little more than letting a Republican driver take a turn steering the liberal bus. If Hollywood’s liberal, if the newspapers are liberal, if the pop stars are liberal, if the grade schools are liberal, if the very language is liberal to the point where all the nice words have been co-opted as a painless liberal sedative, a Republican legislature isn’t going to be a shining city on a hill so much as one of those atolls in the Maldives being incrementally swallowed by Al Gore’s rising sea levels.

However the election had gone, conservatism’s fractious precriminations – David Frum vs Tony Blankley, Mark Levin vs Peggy Noonan – would be set to continue. But the lesson of the last grim year is that it’s not merely about candidates or policy or electoral strategy. We have to get back in the game in all the arenas we’ve ceded to liberalism – from kindergarten to blockbuster movies. Otherwise, as in Daniel Craig’s improvised casting call, we’ll be lucky to wind up with a cameo in the national narrative.

I think Steyn is spot on here. Where I differ is that I don't believe that conservatism is capable of successfully changing this situation. The conservative movement has had 50 years to achieve this and they didn't do it. That's more than enough time to determine the viability of a political movement. And so it's time to move on and devote our energies and resources to creating a movement that will be more likely to be successful. If we don't want to end up with a "cameo in the national narrative" then we have to write our own script and produce our own movie.

2 comments:

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Conservatives don’t start revolutions; they simply make sure their shackles are made no heavier. Selwyn Duke

Some sort of coalition of American Exceptionalists, libertarians, entrepreneurial frontiersmen, people who want to be left the hell alone, Gulchers, Constitutionalists, Appleseeds, bitter clingers, Christians and Patriots, all working together to shrink the power of government, needs to rise from the ashes of the Republican Party.

phil said...

Hey Cannoneer,
Well they've got to do something. Continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different outcome isn't going to get us anywhere. The question as yet unanswered is whether these different factions are willing think creatively and challenge long-held assumptions. If they are not willing to do that then they are just going to end up repeating the same old failed rhetoric and tactics.