As Democrats indulge in another high-tech lynching of a Supreme Court nominee, it’s worth noting that the fight over Brett Kavanaugh isn’t really about who’s qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court. The controversy is the latest manifestation of the Left’s effort to reshape or destroy American institutions. Now rapidly morphing into a leftist party reminiscent of those in Europe and Latin America, the Democrats and their activist supporters are not following a policy agenda focused on a specific issue or candidate so much as a grand strategy to discredit and redefine the institutions that make civic American life possible.
To beat the Left, the GOP not only must understand this reality, it must refuse to play by rules for which Democrats have no respect nor interest in maintaining. Not only that, conservatives and classical liberals should embolden themselves and re-engage the American cultural spheres long dominated by the Left. Fretting on the sidelines simply won’t do.
Designed for character assassination, the manufactured scandal Democrats arrayed against Brett Kavanaugh followed a simple formula based upon past leftist successes in politics and culture. Unable to find legitimate arguments over prior rulings or procedure to block Kavanaugh’s appointment, the Democrats accused him of a crime and capitalized on our culture’s moral panic du jour embodied in the #MeToo movement. The Democrats would have us pay no mind to the fact that the way someone was in high school, thankfully, does not often translate into the way a person will be throughout life. Nor would the Democrats remind us that the #MeToo movement only was made possible by the predatory behavior by powerful men in Hollywood, one of the most profitable of the Left’s occupied territories.
Fact is, the Democrats placed Kavanaugh in a position of having to prove he did not commit a crime. The only way definitively to prove innocence is to prove someone else committed the crime in question; otherwise, all that can be done is to cast doubt upon the notion of guilt. As with Hollywood, the Left controls academia and has done so for decades. If the Left comprises the erudite class that it so often claims for itself, however, its spokesmen would know that a nonevent couldn’t effectively be disproven. Was Kavanaugh at a party with Christine Blasey Ford or not? She says one thing, he says something else. There is no evidence either way—and so there is nothing an investigation might find to say he wasn’t there.
Of course, this does not mean that Kavanaugh is innocent; rather that the Democrats simply redefined the standard of jurisprudence and evidence to suit themselves. If the standard of America’s legal institutions does not fit the Left’s agenda, it might as well be reshaped or destroyed. The Left’s strategy here is no different than elsewhere, and embodies nothing more than to undermine and abolish the Western worldview.
America Used To Be Different
In the past, the Left’s strategy to control or redefine aspects of American life deemed undesirable helped it take over entire swaths of our culture. The United States is unique in that its founding represented a complete break with the way the individual relates to the power of the state, and how that state was defined. The spirit of the American republic did not condemn its citizens to a life guided by the circumstances of their birth, nor lock them into a primordially determined hierarchy. Equality under the law as the basis for citizenship replaced nobility, and equality under God replaced any monarch’s claim to a divine right to rule.
Critics of the American experiment will cry foul at these notions, rightly pointing out that slavery’s tenure through nearly a century of the republic’s existence contradicts and gives lie to the ideas of the Founding. Yet the Left also discounts that the republic went to war not only to free the slaves but also to solidify the country’s logic of equality under both God and the law.
Most of America’s major wars were about preserving or promoting institutions animated by liberty and individual dignity. Liberty offers the individual autonomy over his or her own decisions, without implementing a burden of class, race, or any other metric prized by the Left. Similarly, without some notion of a Creator bestowing inherent worth upon a person, a person’s value can be redefined by material conceptions and considerations. If human worth comes from a divine source, it cannot be measured by the state or those in power. Rather than empower theocracy, when combined with liberty the notion of God safeguards against authoritarianism.
If muttered in the halls of academia or in the breakroom of any large media outlet in the country, such principles would make you a pariah at best or unemployed at worst. To the Left, the twin ideas that define the American experiment are discredited and considered old hat.
Contrary to the avant garde pseudo-sciences offered in ethnic, gender, and global studies departments, the philosophical logic of America’s founding assumes an innate and common human condition. Western civilization is predicated upon the notion of the rationality, dignity, and the ineffable worth and frailty common to every individual. Through a combination of stupidity and malice, the Left redefined this commonality to vary according to conceived collections of gendered, racial, and economic interest groups united by a nebulous notion of victimhood. The presupposed victimhood promoted by the Left is only possible due to its philosophical premise that knowledge and experience is not part of a human condition so much as a tribal reality unique to each group.
Every major political institution in the country follows the Western definition of individual worth and liberty. The First Amendment protections of religion, speech, and petition not only place restrictions upon the state, but also effectively place the government on the defensive against exercised sovereignty of the country’s citizens. This differs from the Left’s efforts to stifle speech that is problematic to its tribalized narratives on college campuses, and its pressure to coerce religious compulsion by those who disagree with the societal norms it promotes. The Second Amendment, far from supporting authoritarianism, acts as the ultimate safeguard to other rights granted not by the state, but rather by a higher power.
Acquiescence or Re-engagment? That is the Question
Even discussing or debating political philosophy has become increasingly difficult due to the Left’s grand strategy. The Left’s efforts, now embodied by groups such as Antifa and an increasing number of Democratic elected officials, to demonize and redefine words and concepts are not about defending their positions on policy or winning specific elections. Instead, the Left as a whole seeks to control and redefine the institutions it can, and destroy the institutions it cannot. The Democrats blatant disregard of due process displayed in the Kavanaugh hearing, and their zeal to crucify his career and hang his reputation upon flimsy accusations does nothing to advance individual rights. Instead, it returns civic discourse to the age of the Salem Witch Trials and the era of Joe McCarthy. In such an imperfect dystopia, where innocence cannot be found, the definitions of human dignity and rights realized by the Founding are disregarded for ideological tribalism.
The larger looming question in American life is not so much whether the Democrats will continue their leftward lurch, as only the ballot box will answer that question. The greater question in American political and social life is whether their opponents will continue to acquiesce to the Left’s efforts to redefine American culture and institutions as they labor to control and reshape them. So far, the prospect for such a renaissance is grim. Commentators on the Right and Republican elected officials must cease operating by a separate set of rules than those applied to the Left. Patriotic Americans must re-engage the country’s cultural engines of education and entertainment, and must refuse to be cowed by false allegations, scandals, and accusations of bigotry levied against them by the Left. Politicians of conscience must not insist on the classy and civil way out of scandal if those standards will not apply to the Left and they must never appease the calls of a leftist activist mob and grassroots organizations.
Most importantly, the classical liberals and conservatives who comprise the majority of the nation’s citizens need to go on the offensive.
No Left-controlled aspect of culture and politics should be off limits from direct challenge; yet, little effort seems underway to challenge the status quo. It does not help that domains such as the media and higher education are treated as hopelessly irredeemable, or that big name conservative commentators are given simply to lament the sad state of cultural institutions in the country. If the culture wars that conservatives abandoned serve as any indication, the country will not survive. Rather than contesting classroom curricula or media coverage, the Left is challenging foundational and fundamental aspects of the country that make it viable. If Democrats succeed in redefining concepts such as justice, borders, sovereignty, and what constitutes rights, the country will no longer be recognizable.
We need to cease being polite and intellectually lazy in countering the Left’s strategy at redefining American institutions. If we do not succeed in doing this, what happened to Brett Kavanaugh will become the norm rather than the exception. Good Americans who pursue lives of family, honor, and civic duty increasingly will become the targets of the Left’s intimidation. Justice will contort to emphasize past injustices to favored groups as well as abstract collective notions of guilt and judgment.
The Left will do all of this without regard to individual merit. The citizenship that Americans in the past fought to preserve and secure will become meaningless in the face of demands made by migrants demanding rights without responsibility and the seditious Democrats who enable them. Education will continue to devolve into differentiated schools of social justice theology that do nothing to ennoble citizen-students, and contribute nothing to civic discourse.
Democrats are not mobilized around policy debates, but rather around redefining of America’s institutions. The stakes are high, and we need to think beyond the next election and adopt a grand strategy of our own.
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