The violence at the Capitol has now entered into history as an event of a dramatic and emotional character. The debate over the details and issues involved still rages. However, in the court of public opinion, the final narrative reflects negatively upon President Trump and his supporters.
Independent of the merits of the issues being discussed, some lessons about the left should be drawn from the January 6 fracas. They should govern all future action since the conditions on the ground will require wisdom and discernment from conservatives. The way the left capitalized on this incident should serve to make the right wary.
The Moral Relativism of the Left
The first lesson that must be learned is that the left’s mode of operation is different from the right. The left’s moral relativism allows it to be selective in calling something wrong. The radical left has always taught that the end justifies the means. Its followers do not believe in objective right or wrong. Anything that advances its revolution is moral and praiseworthy. Anything that hinders the revolution must be scorned and vilified.
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Thus, the Capitol’s storming was a wrong act that needs to be condemned. However, do not expect this censure to be applied to similar actions performed by the left. It does no good to contrast the Capitol incident with the hundreds of left-approved, “mostly peaceful” riots that caused an estimated $2 billion in damages over the summer. Conservatives will point in vain to a thousand inflammatory quotes and videos of liberal politicians justifying and validating the civil unrest during 2020. Leftists see such violence as well and good. It favored their revolution.
This is the left’s mode of acting. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.
Don’t expect leftists to be consistent because their moral relativism allows them to pick and choose what they support. Don’t expect them to be moved by the injury and death of conservative “deplorables” since these poor victims have no value in their revolutionary narrative.
Thus, conservatives should behave knowing their acts will be unfairly scrutinized, and the left will break the rules with impunity.
Holding the Right Accountable
The second lesson is that the left’s moral relativism vanishes when judging actions by the right. Indeed, the radical left will hold the right up to Christian morality’s highest standards (which leftists neither believe in nor follow). The left’s level of moral outrage at rightist errors will always be inversely proportional to their generous condoning of leftist violence. Not only will the left take note of any error, but it will make sure not to let a good crisis go to waste.
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When the right does something wrong or illegal, expect the media and cynical left to fall upon these actions with fury and rending of garments. No number of apologies will suffice to redeem the perpetrator. No amount of groveling before liberal media will ever cause them to forget.
Leftists know that rightists are not moral relativists and will admit their errors as wrong. Thus, conservatives should act knowing that they will be judged by this double standard. If an error happens, they should calmly admit it but never let it frame or dominate the debate.
Do not Respond in Kind
The third lesson is that the right can never adopt the left’s tactics and modus operandi of the left. Such actions work contrary to its moral convictions and are doomed to fail. Any dipping into moral relativism deprives conservatives of the strength of their cause found in its strict adherence to a higher moral law.
Thus, if the left resorts to lies, vulgarity and insults to vilify individuals or causes, the right cannot respond in kind. Such means work contrary to the ends that should orient its actions. Conservatives cannot resort to riots and violence simply because the left gloats in such crimes.
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A contrary policy of civil and courteous discourse must be maintained. This policy does not exclude responses that are firm, energetic and even passionate. However, everything the right does must be governed by reason. Indeed, adopting this strong attitude elevates the debate and is attractive to public opinion.
The Highest Standards of Behavior
Finally, the best manner for conservatives to win the debate is to hold themselves up to the highest standards of behavior. They must give no pretext to the other side to attack them. The best way to advance the cause is by a reasoned appeal to strong moral principles. A noble reaction will always impress the public more than a disheveled rabble.
For this reason, the clearer the message, the better. The more principled the stand, the greater its chance of success. The less personal the attack, the more impact it will have. There should be no pandering to politically correct nonsense and identity politics.
The left advances by hiding its goals and obscuring its nefarious message. The best path to victory on the right is to be entirely consistent with traditional Christian principles and always staying on message. The left loses when its goals (like defunding the police or promoting socialism) are denounced. Conservatives must always insist upon discussing these subversive goals and the left’s hidden doctrines and ideas. They must avoid debates that degenerate into strings of personal attacks or insults.
A Pondered Attitude of Deliberate Action
What is needed is a pondered attitude of reasoned speech and resolute action with a calm, wise, George Washingtonian tone. The future belongs to those who are not afraid to affirm (and practice) Christian morality, denounce socialist schemes and defy political correctness.
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The liberal establishment and media paint this Washingtonian approach as backward and unattractive. However, it has immense appeal when faithfully and perseveringly used since it is based on human nature and a higher moral law. The human condition is suited and attracted to moral behavior since it leads to unity and harmony. Sin and vice work against nature by leading to disharmony and self-destruction.
Amid the crisis America faces, it becomes more crucial than ever to confide in God. As sin now dominates society, human solutions will fail. Appealing to God and His Blessed Mother is the only way to pull out from the path to disaster and ruin. Any other political strategy that excludes this appeal is doomed to fail.
Photo Credit: Tyler Merbler CC BY 2.0