Imagine a scenario: An expansionist force that has already seized 70 percent of its neighbor’s territory invades another 15 percent of what remains. The defenders push back and, though outgunned, manage to oust the invaders from 25 percent of the newly taken territory. Yet despite still having lost much land, including during their adversary’s current campaign, something curious now happens:
The media portray the defenders as the aggressors for seeking to recapture what just last week was their own domain.
This would be a very effective con if you could pull it off, if you could, let’s say, somehow convince all and sundry that Ukraine is the aggressor for seeking to retake the eastern Donetsk from the Russian invaders. That’s not happening, of course, but this illusion is being effected in a different conflict: the culture war.
The Washington Examiner’s Timothy P. Carney pointed this out last week, writing that conservatives “are responding more forcefully on sex ed because the Left is pushing crazier stuff.” A colleague of his, Peter Laffin, followed up on this Monday, emphasizing that far from the media-nurtured notion that America is in the “midst of a regressive backlash against LGBT rights … cultural progressives are actually the ones on the offense.” This has been going on for a long time, too.
As Carney writes, “Some commentators, reporters, and activists seem to sincerely believe that conservatives are making some sort of culture war offensive against gay and transgender people or their ideology.”
“Everywhere you look, you see stories about rising tides of ‘anti-[LGBTQ] laws’ or rising anti-LGBT sentiment.” Yet this increased resistance is merely a reaction to the Left’s pursuit of a jump-the-shark, mental-institution-worthy version of social change.
Echoing Carney, Laffin illustrates the phenomenon by writing of the “situation in Montgomery County, Maryland, in which the school district now requires fifth graders to read the book Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope. In response, a group of Muslim parents issued a statement and joined forces with social conservatives to request an opt-out policy.”
“It is common for the left to successfully frame situations like these in a way that makes the Muslim parents and their allies the aggressors, not the other way around,” Laffin continues. “No less an LGBT luminary than Elton John recently attempted this feat in an interview with the Radio Times, in which he contends that there is a ‘growing well of anger and homophobia that’s around America,’ and that, ‘we seem to be going backwards.’”
“This posturing is so pervasive that it almost goes without saying in mainstream discourse,” he adds.
Yet, just as I’ve been pointing out for approximately 15 years that there’s no good science behind the MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status, aka “transgender”) agenda, Carney writes that MUSS ideology is essentially based on a “religious conviction” — one contrary to the norms of every culture in history.
Consequently, it’s not surprising that a Muslim group, the Coalition of Virtue, has joined social conservatives in opposing Montgomery County’s attempt to indoctrinate children with sexual devolutionary ideology and silence students who dissent. But here’s the point:
“Muslims’ beliefs in the [sexual] binary and that marriage is between a man and a woman are not new,” Carney reminds us. “This county’s sex and gender curriculum is new.” Put differently:
The ones invading territory here are the sexual devolutionaries — not the traditionalists. The latter are just playing defense.
This is not opinion. One may believe this saga’s metaphorical Vladimir Putin is right, that the land he claims in the metaphorical Ukraine should be his; that is, one may believe, literally put, that the change the sexual devolutionaries seek is valid. But the fact is that whether the status-quo alteration they desire is the fire of Truth or of turpitude, indisputable is that they’re the ones who lit the match.
And how unprecedented is their agenda? “Not a single liberal in 2013 said that public schools should teach fifth grade girls that they might be boys, keep it secret from parents if the girl starts to claim she’s a boy, and then that the state should take the girl away from her parents if they don’t treat her as a boy,” Carney informs.
In fact, “Only a decade ago, for instance, the Democratic Party platform didn’t even mention the word ‘trans,’” Laffin adds. “And yet today, trans rights are perhaps the party’s defining cause.”
What’s more, “Pride Month, which many hadn’t heard of a decade ago, is now so mainstream that it rivals Christmas as the nation’s preferred holiday season (especially in terms of corporate advertising),” he continues. “This alone makes it patently ludicrous to suggest that we’ve somehow ‘gone backwards’ in regard to LGBT acceptance.”
Yet this illusion has great utility. By convincing people that conservatives’ counteroffensives are actually unprovoked aggressive acts, leftists can paint themselves as victims, as underdogs, and thus rally support based on sympathy; these supporters may then help them retain recently seized territory or even seize additional land, wrongly believing it is the Left who’s playing defense.
This isn’t to say it’s all deception. Many leftists do “sincerely believe” conservatives are the aggressors, as Carney senses. Their worldview helps explain this, too.
The only consistent definition of “liberalism,” which is a process more than an ideology, relates to a desire to continually change the status quo (whereas conservatism is the process of ever trying to preserve it). This means that liberalism is perhaps better conceptualized as “changeism,” a worldview in which instead of being a means to a legitimate end, change is an end unto itself.
Yet to the point here, in a society in this pseudo-ideology’s grip such as ours — where there’s continual change unguided by Truth — this process becomes the status quo. Under this way of thinking, resistance to leftist efforts at change is synonymous with an effort to change liberals’ change-effecting status quo; thus, a changeist may very well instinctively view such resistance as aggression.
Yet the reality is that since the Left owns little cultural territory that wasn’t once conservatives’, the latter’s efforts are almost always counteroffensive in nature. To clarify the matter even more, however, realize that the onus in a conflict always belongs on a certain party: the one fighting for a lie. It never belongs on those defending Truth.
And the Truth is that in our culture wars, we should never fall for the lie that conservatives are the aggressors — though it would be good if they could become just that.