So what connects James Cameron’s 1991 classic Terminator 2: Judgment Day to today’s — or for that matter, the past century’s — political/cultural panorama?
Picture this: a sleek, raptor-faced cyborg, clad in police-officer blues, lopes with piston-like ruthlessness after a fleeing automobile. That vehicle, driven by another, albeit less-technologically-advanced, cybernetic humanoid, carries two actual human passengers, mother and son.
Those at least minimally aware of the previous two decades’ pop-culture milestones will recognize that scenario: it rolls out during the late first act of the aforementioned cinematic sci-fi/thriller. I’d argue it also helpfully offers Constitution-honoring, God-and-Country loving Americans a shrilly cautionary metaphor; and, prayerfully, a wake up call.
Let’s imagine actor Robert Patrick’s futuristic T-1000 android represents a standard issue liberal activist — political progressive, secularist agitator, sexual anarchist, OWS type, take your pick.
Meanwhile, consider Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800: flatly disadvantaged in vital respects but determined to hew to his duty, to wit, the protection of a desperate Sarah Conor and her teenaged boy John (Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong).
Regrettably, the movie’s main flesh-and-blood protagonists, perhaps even their hulking guardian, could be viewed as stand-ins for past generations’ politico-cultural conservatives. Doughty, scrappy? Sure. But too often frantic or reactionary or scrambling, as well; seemingly not up to the task; seemingly programmed for eventual exhaustion and, ultimately, defeat.
I’m unapologetically repelled by modern philosophical Liberalism, whatever its form – but, if for nothing else, I’ve gotta give its practitioners props for obstinacy and devotion to their causes. I’m reminded of a preacher who, praising his kindly grandmother, noted she never failed to find something nice to say about anyone, including even the devil. “Well,” she charitably conceded about Beelzebub, “he is persistent, isn’t he.”
The anti-god/family/military, collectivo-statist, race-obsessed radicals of the past hundred years are certainly persistent, aren’t they. That’s why, too often, when it seems they’ve been vanquished — well, whaddya know! They end up prevailing anyway.
Theologian Abraham Kuyper homilized that God surveys every corner of the universe and booms, “Mine!” Since so many Leftists are right-at-home impiously claiming God’s place, it shouldn’t surprise that apparently they’ve adopted that same battle-cry for their purposes: they want it all; and refusal? Not to be abided.
Liberals’ relentlessness came to mind just the other day when I read about their intensifying presence among the National Association of Evangelicals. Marvin Olasky has unearthed the NAE has been receiving regular, generous swag from the pro-choice Hewlett Foundation. This, predictably, is generating a dismayingly diminishing emphasis on sexual purity and measurable increase in contraception talk from this prominent, theologically-traditionalist, bible-believing organization.
Remember California’s Proposition 8? That measure was supposed to amend the Golden State’s constitution, nailing down the male/female model for marriage, settling the issue, right? Ooops. The remorseless “homosexuality-will-not-be-denied!” brigade found a way, found a district judge, to dump the initiative. Phony marriage, presto-change-o, was once more reinstated; just another piece of the zany status quo in Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Brown’s goofy realm of reality-denial.
Then there’s healthcare (one-seventh of the American economy); the Left decrees, “We’ll take that” — and they do! College loan programs? They snap up control of those, as well. Ditto for the educating of our children. Ditto for the earnings of citizens daring to work hard, sacrifice and succeed.
Abortion legalization? Check. Next on the list: tax-payer subsidies for same. Mainstreaming of sexual perversion? Check. Next: the mangling of marriage, nationwide.
Private property rights? Print and broadcast media? Hollywood’s films, L.A.’s music? TV dramas and sit-coms? Popular literature? Chick-fil-A? The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts? Light bulbs and flush toilets?
“Thank you, very much,” Progressive bullies sniff, insistently prying each of these from the hands of their inferiors. (Actually, I take that back: they usually don’t bother with the”Thank you.”)
Look, it’s plain that intellectually, historically and constitutionally, theistic-conservatism – that is, traditional Americanism — has it all over today’s and yesterday’s trendy Liberalism. No matter the mutated forms in which they have materialized since the Woodrow Wilson era, progressivism’s elitist theories have been discredited; the Judeo-Christian, liberty-honoring ideals which powered our Founders, vindicated.
To devotees of the morally relativistic, Big-Government set, however, that’s all irrelevant. Pollster Dick Morris writes when President Bill Clinton discovered he would be facing impeachment for his lying and Oval-Office canoodlings, the Lecher-in-Chief resolved, “Well, we’ll just have to win.”
There it is, from this supposed specimen of a “moderate” Democrat; the credo of the Left: D-mn it, we’re going to win! No matter how long, no matter what way — we win.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.” The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations credits that maxim to a celebrated anti-progressive, Calvin Coolidge. Yet, it’s consistently progressives who’ve taken our thirtieth President’s wise counsel and fruitfully run with it, from his age to ours. “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent,” he continued. “The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Legions of Liberals have presumptuously flattered themselves with the capacity to patch up a broken world. Yes, they’re misguided, but they don’t know it; thus, with their nostrums they bring the appropriate levels of unwearying tenacity.
In T2, Schwarzenegger’s beleaguered hero finally, barely, outlasts his shape-shifting adversary, saving the day and his human charges. Skin-of-the-teeth survival, though, won’t do for right-thinking patriots, let alone for America, engulfed in the storm of the contemporary civilizational crises. But that will end up the best conservatives can hope for — unless we match and surpass our adversaries’ unfaltering, hardheaded resolve.
A November Mitt Romney win, even the full recapturing of Congress, hardly spell a wrap-up. At most, these promise a beginning; a door opening to lots more hard work ahead for those conservatives who hope to terminate the undying threat which is Liberalism.