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Have you ever wondered why the political left is so successful at getting its way despite its status as a perpetual minority constituency?
The left is many things – immoral, deceptive, dishonest, brutal, selfish, proud, arrogant. But is also undeniably determined and effective.
I think I can help you understand why because of my history as a former leftist.
The left never worries about fighting seemingly unwinnable battles. They understand that persistence pays off over time. What may seem like an insurmountable obstacle to victory today takes care of itself a year or two down the road.
A good example of how this works in the real world is the issue of same-sex marriage – or, as the left calls it, “marriage equality.” A mere decade ago, the very idea of same-sex marriage would have prompted the overwhelming majority of Americans to burst out in laughter. But the left kept pushing it – not only through the political channels and the courts, but, more importantly, through the press and entertainment industry, the schools and universities and all of the powerful cultural institutions they control and dominate.
Today, as a result, a notion that seemed preposterous a decade ago is a reality today.
The left didn’t look at the polls and get discouraged. They looked at the polls and got determined. They went to work. They pushed the envelope. And they changed people’s opinions. They took a beating the first 31 times the citizenry of most states rejected their ideas. But they never gave up. They never threw in the towel.
Now, how does the right promote its agenda?
Let’s take another real-life issue. In 2010, Americans became so enraged about the way Obamacare was approved over their objections, they voted Republicans into power in the House of Representatives. Did Republicans comprehend the magnitude of that opportunity? Did they use the power they were handed to reward their constituency that was created for them by the left?
The answer is clearly no.
Republicans made excuses. The leadership explained that they couldn’t do anything about Obamacare or other Obama offenses because Democrats controlled the Senate and the White House. They didn’t even put up a fight.
As a consequence, they lost seats in the House and Senate and watched as Obama was re-elected in 2012.
Why this even needs explaining is a mystery to me. It is a simple, self-evident fact, yet it is clearly not one articulated on the talking head news shows on a daily basis.
It perfectly illustrates the working dynamics of how the left and the right have completely different approaches to advancing their agendas.
Of course, the right has the additional burden of not controlling the most powerful cultural institutions in the nation. But, nevertheless, even with the political wind at its back, the right fails to seize momentary opportunities and expand them into ways to reward and expand its base.
The only exception I have seen to this paradigm came in the 1980s because of the forceful and charming personality of Ronald Reagan.
He was effective because he was principled and boldly articulated his principles so well. He was able to overcome the advantages of the political left’s determination and its domination of the cultural institutions. He met the political left’s relentlessness with a patient relentlessness of his own.
Again, this is so simple and obvious that I can’t even comprehend that every single conservative and Republican doesn’t understand it intuitively. Yet, they clearly do not – at least not those holding positions of power and influence within the Republican establishment.
What’s wrong with the right?
It’s probably as simple as this: They don’t have the courage of their convictions. They don’t have sufficient confidence in their ideas. They don’t have the communications skills to counter the noise created by the left. They don’t have the passion to take the fight to the other side no matter the odds.
Though I could give you dozens of examples of how this manifests itself in Washington today, let me conclude with just one.
House Speaker John Boehner won’t use the legitimate constitutional power he has with control of the House to defund Obamacare. He will not even use the unpopularity of Obamacare to take it apart. Can you imagine the left not using the power it has to promote its agenda? It never happens. The left will abuse power to get its way. The left will subvert the Constitution to get its way. The left will violate the rule of law to get its way. The left will invent powers and assume powers it does not have to get its way. Can you imagine the left not pushing the envelope when its agenda is actually backed by the majority? Again, it never happens.
And that’s what’s wrong with the right.