As I say in the oh-too-brief review, what makes Steyn’s writing so powerful is that he makes palatable our lamentable circumstance with poignant humor. We can face decline and fight against it without eternally exploding in frustration. Sometimes, the actions of the left are not worthy of outrage, but only of contempt in laughter.
In the President’s handbook, Saul Alinsky wrote that laughter is the greatest weapon against your enemy. And America’s statist automatons have given us an unlimited supply of hilarity to use against them, if we only choose to unleash it. After all, Saul Alinsky couldn’t have written anything if the government hadn’t put the roads there for him… or something… I’m still not sure how the math on that works out.
Conservatives have slowly learned to fight these battles on a cultural level, because that’s where the biggest problems lie. For a great deal of time, conservatism has only reacted to the left’s assumed control of the culture, the academy, the media, the arts, entertainment, et cetera.
Yet, there’s no reason why these things should be controlled by the statist minority, especially since America remains overwhelmingly conservative, even in those aforementioned industries. These aren’t closed shops; some conservatives are buying what the Conformicrats are selling. This is why I’m a huge fan of people like Andrew Klavan, Alfonzo Rachel, and the late Andrew Breitbart, among many many others. They understand the role of a worldview in the culture and in art and entertainment.
No political victory can last if the culture is ceded. Politics follow culture, just as demographics can indicate the destruction of the traditional family. Trying to win politically and ignore everything else is like trying to extinguish a house fire by hosing only the roof. If the rest of the house is burning, that roof is going to collapse anyhow. The roof is only there to keep the weather off the furniture. So don’t let the furniture burn in the meantime. In order to preserve the Constitutional limits that confine government, the people must support and demand of government only those things laid out in the Constitution. In order to keep a small government, people must be vigorous and virtuous in their own lives.
What does this mean for you and me? We fight our battles wherever we can. I write books that tell great stories from a conservative worldview. Check out Sunlost, which is generally a light read, no matter how dark the premise sounds. I also point out how the most basic ideas of humanity support the conservative worldview. Even the left often acknowledges this, and usually they are entirely oblivious that they are admitting it.
Most of all, the best way to promote conservatism is to live it. Be self-reliant. Help others where you can, and help them to become self-reliant. Find out what you believe and why. Figure out precisely where morality comes from. Abide by the law. Become active in shaping our society from the ground up. And stay passionate about it, because this is the only chance we get!
Steyn is a hero of mine for his immense output in publications, speeches, talk radio, and on and on. He also is an eminent thinker whose worth to the American cause is incalculable, not to mention the cause of liberty throughout the world. And he’s hilarious which magnifies his contributions several times over.
Thanks again, Mark!