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Conservatives get a lot of flak from their own side for standing on principle. Our political betters are quick to explain that such and such issue is “not the hill to die on.” As we’ve been sounding the retreat for the better part of a decade, and the hills flying our enemy’s banner disappear in the horizon, it gives me pause to wonder why only our side is ensnared by this trend.
We’ve largely surrendered on Biblical morality following the Obergefell decision. Rather than attempt to recapture this territory, the GOP went along to get along. Meanwhile, the pagan horde, with hardly a pause for celebration, pressed their advantage. We are now faced with a choice to fight or retreat on the issue of puberty blockers for children, with tolerance of “minor-attracted persons” sure to follow.
Government spending, once a favorite talking point of the kabuki troupe, has been purged from our collective memory, only making a cameo appearance when apposite the inflation debate. If a serious push to cut spending and pass a budget came to fruition, would we die on that hill?
Obamacare, repeatedly challenged when there was no threat of a repeal, is still the law of the land. A government created “of the people, by the people, and for the people” was fundamentally transformed into a quasi-socialist dystopia where the elect few choose what we can and must buy. When the opportunity to turn back the tide was present, did we choose to die on that hill? Begrudgingly at first, but that faint glimmer of hope was quashed by the agents of spite and malice, to sighs of relief from the begrudgers.
Time and time again, the left advances and the right sounds the retreat.
How is it then that the most extreme social views in US history are unceasingly advanced without upsetting the independent voter, but any attempt to roll back those changes is anathematized?
In parts of the world where haggling over price is still the norm, a shopkeeper may overcharge for his wares in preparation for the customer to lowball him. While savvy customers can typically negotiate a fair price, a naive customer may end up paying far too much and walk away thinking he got a huge discount.
In the marketplace of ideas, Democrats in power tend to amplify their most ideological members to establish a prohibitive cost for their policy agenda, e.g., the Green New Deal. While this would typically upset the independent voter, the party leadership steps in and agrees to negotiate with the conservative minority. Negotiations proceed from the absurdly high cost already established by the left, and ultimately the Democrats walk away with 70% of what they wanted while the GOP adulate themselves for the 30% discount. Both sides are happy, and the Democrat leadership is praised for its willingness to negotiate with the minority party.
On the other hand, Republicans in power tend to suppress their most ideological members to appeal to the independent voter, and inadvertently establish a low cost from which negotiations start. Democrats accept a “difficult” compromise where the GOP squeaks by with a slim advantage on an already anemic deal.
In short, Democrats expend their political power to shift us left. Republicans expend their political power to keep us right where we are. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that trend line.Published in