There is a difference between a skirmish and a war. Failure to recognise that might explain why conservatives keep retreating in the Culture War.
A skirmish is the place where today’s battle lines meet and shots are exchanged. Sometimes there is a winner, but not necessarily. Even if someone wins, it might not change the battle lines very much.
Traditional thinking assumes: winning a war comes from winning more skirmishes then the other side. That is how conservatives fight. It is also why we lose. If you have been paying attention to their social engineering efforts, this is NOT how the other side fights.
Here’s a typical script: We see their side advance their agenda, and we turn all on attention to stopping it.
This leaves us on the defensive. We have only two possible outcomes with this approach. If we lose, they have advanced their cause. If we win, we maintain status quo. Is there any wonder thin side is so aggressive? They risk NOTHING!
Best-case scenario (from their perspective), they win. Worst-case? The status quo. If those were your only possible outcomes would YOU be timid? Or would you happily charge in with a take-no-prisoners crush-your-enemies onslaught? In that light, why wouldn’t their agitators be so bold?
Their side not only has more clearly-defined goals than our side, they also have multiple paths to success.
One is the ideal success or perfect outcome. Meaning, we roll over and play dead while they move ahead with their agenda. This revised cultural battle-line becomes the “new normal”. Should anyone try to push them backwards from that, they will insist the science is settled, or that battle has already been won, and needs no further discussion. (Even many on our side foolishly throw in the towel by that point.)
But that is by no means the only option at their disposal. Lenin is credited with the quote “probe with bayonets, if you encounter steel, withdraw, if you encounter mush, continue.”
If you have a big goal, don’t go directly at it full strength. Try a small advance, and see how easily you proceed. This lets you learn the strength of your enemy, and adjust your strategies to better match your strengths to their weaknesses.
Just as the military has feints, and tactical retreats, so do they. Sometimes their objective is not actually to win the skirmish, but to gain advantage in the greater battle. So they make a little move, against a specific target, or for a certain policy. (It could be bathroom policy, prayer in school, gay marriage, gun control, Obamacare, immigration — practically anything.) Then they bait us, and let us get outraged. Next they drape themselves in victim status, gaining public sympathy, and claim we are being bigoted, while inventing new slurs that define us as the bad guy. (“X”-ophobic has been popular lately.)
Having a few “hate crime” stories splashed across national news goes a long way to help with the process. It doesn’t even matter if they’re faked, either, so long as the public gets a sense that danger lurks around every corner for this new victim group.
Then, the next time they advance the same issue, some will already shy away from being tagged with the intolerance label. Conservative calls about the negative consequences about their policy will be casually dismissed as “hate”, and — under the guise of tolerance — the conservative will be ruled out of the public discussion, with his opinion discounted, because he is obviously tainted with that bigoted view.
Without actually winning the debate, they have ruled “out of bounds” the very group of people who would most directly challenge the wisdom or fairness of their new “Progressive” policy. Even their term “Progressive” is a lie intended to make the dissenters look backward and outdated.
We now have the same people who told us there was no slippery slope beginning to argue against of the few axioms that civilized Western society accepted almost universally: “pedophilia is a great evil”. But we are so deep into the culture war that even this is changing now.
The popular leftist website “Salon”, for example, that routinely puts out articles slagging Conservatives (and especially Christians) for how horrible they are. They use such outrageous accusations and generalizations that they would be funny if they weren’t so venomous, and yet Salon has printed several stories painting a pedophile in a positive light.
At the same time, some Psychologists have begun putting forward the idea that sexual attraction to children is not abnormal. Add to that, a shift from calling it a crime to a disorder. This would not be the first “alternative lifestyle” that went from “abomination” to “celebration” by a similar path of rapid progression.
If the Left can’t take their primary objective, they aim for z secondary objective. This is usually anything that will paint their side favorably on an EMOTIONAL level, and our side negatively on an EMOTIONAL level. The Left knows that emotion is (initially) more persuasive than fact, and if their audience can be emotionally convinced … people can then be convinced to close their ears to counter-arguments.
When we fight, how does that look? Do we stay in our little castle, and hope to repel the invaders when they come looking for us? Do we spend more time looking to our next fallback position than our next objective? Too often, the answer is yes. And that is why we lose.
Love him or loathe him, one of the things that has attracted people to Trump is that he doesn’t play by those rules. He won’t wait for the media to run him through and leave him for dead. Instead, he takes the fight to them. Exposes their biases, mocks their mistakes, calls out their lies.
He isn’t afraid of the “war on women” attack from Hillary. He will call out Bill’s record, and more to the point, Hillary’s cover-ups of the “bimbo eruptions”.
Trump is actually charging toward the other side’s defensive position, trying to take ground, rather than trying not to concede it. There is a world of difference.
We need more of that. In the political arena. In our culture. In the Church.
Even Jesus himself, addressed our dealings with a hostile culture when he said that He would build His church and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.
Whatever theology you might use to unpack the sentence, one thing was clear: Jesus was NOT describing a defensive campaign against an overwhelming aggressor. The Church was to be proactive. To create change. To make a difference.
And so are we all. So pluck up your courage, and get back into the fight.