Con­ser­va­tive: The new cool

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means do­ing an about­turn and walk­ing back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soon­est is the most pro­gres­sive.

C— C.S. Lewis ome­dian Jim Wie­gand — aka “Jim Wiggins, the last hippie in Amer­ica” — is a throw­back to a by­gone era. The hi­lar­i­ous 70-yearold wise­cracker is known for, among other things, a quite lib­eral world­view. He’s also known for rais­ing Joe Wie­gand, his re­bel­lious, good-for-noth­ing son. Apart from shar­ing both a sharp sense of hu­mor and mu­tual love and ad­mi­ra­tion, fa­ther and son see eye to eye on lit­tle else.

Joe, a good friend of mine, isn’t a re­bel­lious good-for-noth­ing in the con­ven­tional sense. He’s a 40-some­thing Illi­nois­based GOP strate­gist, a Teddy Roo­sevelt im­per­son­ator with­out equal and a but­toned-up evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tian.

The el­der Mr. Wie­gand can’t fig­ure out where he went wrong. He jokes that when Joe was a young­ster, he once dis­cov­ered mag­a­zines hid­den un­der the boy’s mat­tress. He was shocked to find his son look­ing at such smut: Na­tional Re­view.

Hip­pies once were the coun­ter­cul­ture. Lib­er­als were the non­con­formist rebels, proudly wear­ing un­washed an­ar­chy on tattered sleeve. They loudly and proudly raged against the es­tab­lish­ment ma­chine.

To­day, they are the es­tab­lish­ment ma­chine.

All of our rul­ing-class in­sti­tu­tions — academia, courts, gov­ern­ment, me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­tries — are teem­ing with closed-minded, hard-left ide­o­logues who seek to “fun­da­men­tally transform Amer­ica.”

Con­sider that, ac­cord­ing to the non­par­ti­san Pew Re­search Cen­ter, self-iden­ti­fied lib­er­als out­weigh their con­ser­va­tive coun­ter­parts in the main­stream me­dia by a 5-1 mar­gin.

Like­wise, a 1999 North Amer­i­can Aca­demic Study Sur­vey (NAASS) of stu­dents, fac­ulty and ad­min­is­tra­tors in col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties through­out the United States de­ter­mined that five times as many col­lege fac­ulty mem­bers vote Demo­cratic as Repub­li­can. In fact, 72 per­cent de­scribed them­selves as “to the left of cen­ter,” while a mere 15 per­cent iden­ti­fied them­selves as “right of cen­ter.”

One can only imag­ine that in the en­su­ing decade, the ide­o­log­i­cal dis­par­ity has in­creased. Ask any kid in the halls of aca- demia, and he’ll tell you, with few ex­cep­tions, that pro­fes­sor so-and-so is a lib­eral.

Still, lib­er­als — or “pro­gres­sives,” as they pre­fer to be called — per­sist in la­bor­ing un­der an em­bar­rass­ing mis­con­cep­tion: They hon­estly be­lieve they re­main the non­con­formists. It’s pre­cious.

In fact, to­day’s lib­er­als are noth­ing of the sort. They com­pli­antly con­form — like lit­tle windup, patchouli-daubed lem­mings — to a car­ni­val-prize car­i­ca­ture of what they imag­ine non­con­for­mity to look like. You know, the usual stuff: neoMarx­ism, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist ac­tivism, sex­ual rel­a­tivism, big­gov­ern­ment nanny statism, an ac­tions-with­out-con­se­quences ren­der­ing of re­pro­duc­tive rights, and other such pop­ulist non­sense. Sim­ply put, to­day’s pro­gres­sive non­con­formist con­forms.

In­deed, the “Step­ford Wives” have be­come the “Step­ford Les­bians.” The prud­ish, judg­men­tal church lady has swapped spots with the easy — yet some­how self-right­eous — birth-bash­ing fem­i­nist.

So what is a young per­son — brim­ming over with that in­stinc­tive, de­fi­ant im­pulse to rebel against “the man” — to do?

Well, in this up-is-down, spend-money-to-save-money world, con­ser­va­tives have be­come the con­tem­po­rary non­con­formists. To­day’s re­bel­lious youth are telling the pro­gres­sive es­tab­lish­ment to put its moral-rel­a­tivist, re­dis­tri­bu­tion­ist party-line pig swill in its well-used cham­ber pipe and smoke it.

Kids: Re­ally want to get un­der your ob­nox­iously “tol­er­ant,” Volvo-driv­ing, MSNBCwatch­ing folks’ skin? Try this: Go to church, ab­stain from pre­mar­i­tal sex, join the Young Amer­ica’s Foun­da­tion, at­tend a Tea Party rally, en­roll at Lib­erty Univer­sity, lis­ten to Rush Lim­baugh and vote Repub­li­can.

You’ll have them writhing in their Birken­stocks.

I’ve of­ten said that Pres­i­dent Obama could ei­ther be the best thing to hap­pen to Amer­ica or the worst. The best in­so­far as this man’s poli­cies are so rad­i­cal, so ex­treme that, in keep­ing with New­ton’s third law of mo­tion, the “op­po­site re­ac­tion” might well trig­ger Repub­li­can rule in per­pe­tu­ity.

First, the bad news: So far, Mr. Obama is the worst. Now, the good news: I be­lieve he has awak­ened a sleep­ing gi­ant in the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion (ages 18 to 29). To­day’s coun­ter­cul­ture is re­ject­ing the tired pro­gres­sive poli­cies pushed by this pres­i­dent and his sec­u­lar-so­cial­ist syco­phants.

For in­stance, a 2010 Marist In­sti­tute for Pub­lic Opin­ion poll de­ter­mined that nearly 60 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als be­lieve abor­tion is “morally wrong,” a nearly 10-point in­crease over the more pro­gres­sive baby­boomer gen­er­a­tion. The tide is turn­ing.

Sim­i­larly, a re­cent sur­vey from Har­vard Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute of Pol­i­tics found that mil­len­ni­als are wor­ried sick about their fu­tures. Yet Pres­i­dent Hopey Changey and Democrats in Congress con­tinue to play back-al­ley dice with their lives via in­com­pre­hen­si­ble deficit spend­ing and a na­tional debt that swells an­nu­ally by the tril­lions.

Do you think these kids won’t rebel as the clouds quickly darken?

Win­ston Churchill once ob­served, “If you’re not a lib­eral at 20, you have no heart; if you’re not a con­ser­va­tive at 40, you have no brain.” Lib­er­al­ism is emo­tion-based and rooted in soar­ing, knee-jerk no­tions of “so­cial jus­tice.” Con­ser­vatism is logic-based and rooted in re­al­ity.

To­day’s re­bel­lious youth have the heart part down. I’m glad to see they’re de­vel­op­ing some brains.

J. Matt Bar­ber is vice pres­i­dent of Lib­erty Coun­sel Ac­tion.

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