Saturday, December 15, 2012

Conservatives shouldn’t abandon the (cultural) field.

"People don't care what you know until they know you care."

--Jack Kemp (1935-2009)

Some posts are more important than others. One of our most important posts quotes New York’s Jonathan Chait, a self-identified liberal, on how liberal domination of our culture is driving politics. And we know from conservative Charles Murray that Hollywood’s culture has truly negative consequences--it is destroying working class lifestyles, even lives.

In the face of liberal cultural domination, conservatives cannot simply roll over.  They not only have to communicate with America’s working class, they must also help uplift the values of honesty, hard work, faith, and love of family that build a future for America’s next generation. Dependency and victimization are not acceptable ways of living.  Honest work is good for the soul.  The easier path, the road most taken, isn’t the best path.

Listen to the words of conservative Matt K. Lewis, writing in the progressive magazine The Week. Lewis, born to a working-class family, has grasped that while folks on top can survive a decadent lifestyle, working class people can’t:
A lifestyle of addiction, promiscuity, and chaos comes with a hefty price tag. Sadly, our elites are exporting those values to the people least capable of sustaining them. Most will likely spend the rest of their lives paying for the sins of their youth. The rich kids, on the other hand — well, they will likely land on their feet.
Lewis believes that while modern culture mocks social conservatives for "family values" such as marry first, then have kids, people should remember the “practical reason these values caught on.”

Lewis describes those growing up in rural communities as having to face tremendous economic pressures armed with little to believe in. He says they “lack a purpose in life, and humans need a purpose.” They end up feeling you "gotta be bad just to have a good time."

Lewis doesn’t favor government forcing failing businesses to defy the laws of economics. But we have to recognize that failing businesses or even failing towns mean people fail. There are real-life consequences to "creative destruction." He offers a poignant story out of the New York Times about golfing great Ben Hogan. Hogan's father, "a blacksmith put out of work by the spread of the automobile, had committed suicide, shooting himself while 9-year-old Ben looked on in horror."

How do we help? It begins with caring. We need a culture that uplifts, offering faith in the future, guidance down the right path. We need schools that work. Most of all, we need jobs.

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