by Joe Long
If logical argument is the Right’s “Maginot Line,” a defense against attacks from other directions entirely; if winning rational arguments doesn’t actually help much in our Society of Feelz, then how do we counterattack the Left in ways that matter? What can an individual do to check this so-called progress and even roll it back?
The answer does not lie in reflecting the tactics of riot and harassment advocated on the Left, and certainly not in fulfilling Leftist caricatures of our side. You don’t need “The Anarchists’ Cookbook,” and your familiarity with Alinsky—though necessary—is necessary solely for “Defense Against The Dark Arts,” not emulation. We’re not doing open social sabotage, but surreptitious social repairs. Here are some suggestions for effectively winning hearts instead of arguments.
Take someone to a gun range. Introduce a person who has never fired a weapon to the pure pleasure of safely poking holes in a paper target. Let him feel the recoil and smell the powder. Odds are, he won’t leave with PTSD. Every gun-range target proudly displayed on a new shooter’s fridge, or his Facebook wall, is worth a thousand well-ordered Second Amendment arguments.
Request a book at your library. Right-wing books are very popular, but we tend to buy them—and our public libraries tend to, well, not buy them. American Library Association group think results in the over representation of leftist books on the “New Books” shelves of your local public library. And I’m not just talking about popular polemical works, but the writings of conservative scholars in their fields, and even fiction with a conservative bent. All of these often get shortchanged. That book you wanted to read, but not enough to buy it immediately? Go request it at your library. The inter-library loan librarian will be happy to secure it for you, when your library doesn’t have it. The library staff won’t know that conservative works are in demand, if nobody ever requests them.
While you’re at that library, visit the juvenile biography section. Think of a young person in your life and find a quality, age-appropriate biography to inspire him. Stroll right past the biographies of sports and entertainment figures. Look for fighter pilots, generals, explorers, Old West lawmen; anything which would make an SJW roll his eyes. Ask the children’s librarian for help, if the politically-incorrect hero you’d like to introduce your young person to isn’t represented. “Do you have a biography of George Patton? What about Eddie Rickenbacker?” Speaking of which…
Introduce a child to classic American heroes. Hokey old movies are excellent for the young. Fess Parker’s Davy Crockett is not particularly accurate, but that show inspired a love of history—and nation—in a whole coonskin-cap-wearing generation. You can find a coonskin cap, too, if you look, and a nice toy flintlock, Christmas is coming, after all.
Join a “little platoon.” Many of the organizations which our grandparents loved can’t contribute as much to society as they used to because of declining participation. Whether it’s the Knights of Columbus or the American Legion, a genealogy-based civic group like the Sons of the American Revolution or an activity-focused one like the Civil Air Patrol, these non-governmental social institutions do good work. They also inevitably take their political and cultural tone from their most active members. And when political pressure towards progressive sensibilities is inevitably applied to the group, you can (and should!) push back as an invested contributor, not an outsider.
Reprove your Alma Mater. If progressive indoctrination classes are required there, or other leftist discriminatory policies are in place, the next fundraising letter they send you should be returned with your message that until those egregious offenses against education are done away with, your contribution money will be reserved to buy your children sports apparel, featuring the logo of your Alma Mater’s bitterest rival.
Tell some jokes! A little research will turn up dozens of jokes about your own ethnicity. Tell the funny ones, if you can avoid offending yourself. They do say that in humor, timing is everything. Well, it’s time.
Reprimand an apology. The next time some public figure publicly prostrates himself for inadvertent offenses against the gods of our marketplace, send him—and his bosses—an email or postcard saying that you’re sorry he’s sorry, since there’s nothing to be sorry for.
Use inclusive masculine pronouns. It was fine, if poor usage of English, to say “their” when unsure about the sex of the pronoun’s antecedent, back when it was an informal convenience, but today it’s deliberate Newspeak. No one has the right or the authority to change your language, to align with his delusions. Push back!
Churchgoers, sing the original words to Christmas carols—no matter what anyone else may be singing. Some hymn books have “updated” them for sensitivity’s sake. Refuse to be “updated.” “Let earth receive her king,” not “its king.” (Also, if they’ve replaced “ox and ass” with something less giggle-inducing, bellow out “ox and ass” anyway. Actually, that’s probably not actually always good for inspiring reverence in young boys, but . . . simple pleasures are still the best pleasures.)
Request a song. Soon it will begin to sound a lot like Christmas on your radio station, and from what I hear, winter weather’s coming too—in fact, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” already.
Adopt a punk. The “punk right” is my nickname for that element of young anti-leftists who praise Western culture, but have precious little familiarity with it. They only know it must be great, because their teachers hate it. Show them why they’re right about that. Take one to a Shakespeare play or give him a volume of Chesterton. Then recruit him into your “little platoon.”
See “Gosnell.” In fact, see every single high-quality, non-polemic movie written by a great conservative writer which comes to your local theater. It’ll get you out of the house, once every 10 years or so.
None of these simple steps require rudeness. None should require dis-ingenuousness, either; if you can’t do a particular step sincerely, don’t fake it.
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Joe Long lives in Cayce, South Carolina. He holds a master’s degree in history from Georgia College and State University. He has a very patient wife, five homeschooled children, and a job.