Did you happen to notice what the Left did when they lost the Brexit vote?
I hope you did. Because it’s one of the oldest plays in their book. It’s also one of the biggest reasons they have been claiming victory again and again in the culture war.
They demanded another vote.
It only takes a moment of reflection and a little imagination to see how that one little statement is why their side has so much momentum in defining the rules that govern our culture.
We can complain as much as we like about media biases, or about the deliberate indoctrination of students in universities or the public school system. We can lament corrupting influences in our culture. All of these things are secondary. There is something far more basic at play.
It’s easy to illustrate. Take the same scenario, and reverse the result. Britain votes “remain”. The Left cheers. The Right sulks, but Stays Calm and Carries On.
Both sides, they would argue, played by the same rules, and the vote was fairly taken. They hate the result, but will respect the will of the people. The strongest reaction you might see is a cuss word and a defeated shrug.
By contrast, we are already watching the Left say “will of the people be damned, I will not accept this result.“ And so they don’t. Whether they will ultimately get it or not, they have already begun pushing hard for a do-over. In the process, they will be using every trick (fair or foul) that they can imagine and employ to get their desired result.
This isn’t new. In fact, in scripture, we see a prophet scolding a king for the same kind of a “meh” attitude so commonly held by our side today. The passage, from 2 Kings 13, is describing a conversation between an Israelite king and the prophet Elijah’s protegee, Elisha. The prophet, now nearing death, is sought by the king who is worried about a neighboring kingdom that had been a lingering threat.
Elisha — like so many other prophets — uses pictures to get his idea across. He tells the king to grab his bow and arrows, which he does. A few moments of dramatic symbolism play out, including shooting an arrow out the window, and Elisha explains that this process is to represent the Lord’s victory over the king that has been encroaching on them.
And then it starts to get weird. (I know, the whole thing seems kinds weird today.)
Elisha tells the king to strike the arrows on the ground. He does. Three times. Then he stopped. That’s good, right?
No. In verse 23, we see Elisha’s reaction. “So the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.”
What’s the problem? He did what he was supposed to do. Right? And then he was scolded for it. What gives?
When it comes down to it, he didn’t really put his heart into it. And doesn’t that perfectly describe our side when we engage in culture issues? We might engage in individual skirmishes (like the king did) and we might beat back the the other side once in awhile, but most of the time, we stop short of a total victory. We’re not desperate for the win.
But they are desperate for their win. For them, everything is political, and every political battle is a death-struggle with nothing less than the forces of evil and the future of mankind. (We play the “forces of evil” in their narrative, if you haven’t noticed.)
They are energized by the assumption (however incorrect) that they represent all that is right and good, and that they are ushering in a Brave New World.
In short they are playing a long game. Whereas we just want their side to shut up and go away so we can have a day or two of rest from their constant nattering. And they spend that time framing the arguments, and shaping public opinion, day after day.
Until one day that we wake up to learn that we have Glamour mag offering “Woman of the Year” accolades to the proud owner of a penis. We have a harpy who should be in prison, breaking big rocks into little ones now as a finalist in the race to the White House. In the last few months we found military-grade weapons caches in mosques in three different European countries, but we continue to speak of it as “the Religion of peace”.
If we want to take back the reigns in defining our culture, we’re gonna have to fight for it. And just like every coach tells his team in the finals — we gotta want it more than the other guys.
And up to this point… I don’t really think we have.