The Long Game: The Number-One Reason Conservatives Lose
Way back in April, I wrote a piece detailing “Five Reasons We Keep Losing To The Left”. Quick recap:
First—We Appease The Left, “To Avoid Further Controversy”
Second—We Keep “Playing Nice”
Third—We Keep Firing Blind At Every Perceived Insult
Fourth—We “Counter” Propaganda With Coldness
Fifth—We Fail To Set Up Backup Plans
They’re all very important reasons—and I’d love for every Conservative to read my layout of them, in the article…especially if we actually want not only to win against the Left, but secure whatever victories we enjoy.
But here’s the thing: There is a vital, all-encompassing reason I admittedly only hinted at, there. And it’s arguably even more vital—surpassing and, in some ways, encompassing all the others. And let’s be perfectly honest, folks—Donald Trump’s iffy behavior recently over DACA and the debt ceiling just highlights how relevant this is.
Not only that…but I see how terribly we’ve performed in the Culture War. There was a time, for example, when Jennifer Lawrence came across as possibly being on our side. Nowadays, she’s going on about how the hurricanes are God’s judgment on America for voting for Trump. (Never mind how Houston and Miami are pretty…blue, J-Law. But I digress.)
Whatever political victories we seem to get, we keep getting disappointed. Even if we get a Ted Cruz or a Rand Paul, it doesn’t help as much as we’d thought. And yet, like that old definition of insanity, we keep going, “This time…” or “This is the most important election in our lifetime!” or, “These key districts in Ohio and Florida…”
And all the while, even if we win all that, those victories prove all-too-temporary—or at least, they barely do much except “Well, it would’ve been worse if…”
See, here is what might as well be the “Zeroth” reason: the ultimate cause for the Right’s struggles to get anything done in our society—why we constantly have to settle for “buying time”, all the while pretty much failing to actually turn our nation’s course around. And so:
The Number-One Reason We Keep Losing To The Left—We Keep Refusing To Play The Long Game
I’ve written about this from the beginning of my time here at Western Free Press—it’s the whole reason for my “Culture Current” series, and in another sense my “Greatest Conservative Films” series. The Late, Great Andrew Breitbart made it clear: Conservative donors keep funding the creation of yet another think tank, at best—and at worst, again, some efforts to secure some “vital” districts in Ohio. They keep focusing on the Political and ignoring the Cultural—never mind that, as Andrew also told us, “Politics is downstream from Culture”.
As he put it, if we’d focused, a couple of decades ago, on funding the creation of a Conservative kind of United Artists (where the Conservatives in our pop culture—and as Clint Eastwood noted back in 2012, there are many—could get together and make some independent content for our side), we’d be a lot better off, today.
But we didn’t think to do that. And the donors didn’t think to fund it—going instead for yet another think tank.
Andrew Klavan’s said this, too—and from him I get the concept of “The Long Game”. As I’ve quoted before, he predicted the crisis we’re facing right now over the crumbling of Fox News. We didn’t have a backup plan. And meanwhile, we constantly neglect the aspects of our culture that prove all-too-important, in The Long Game.
Bill Whittle often notes how he keeps trying to pitch his cultural endeavors to Conservative donors—endeavors such as Conservative movies that are actually entertaining, and therefore effective; maybe even a Conservative studio….
And he keeps—getting—turned—down. The donors don’t see the benefit to it.
Now think about that: We’ve got a lot of think tanks, already—too many to count! Don’t we think, at some point, things are getting a little bit redundant? And as for the electoral districts…that’s frankly the equivalent of rolling the same dang boulder up the same dang hill…over…and over….and over…!
Sooner or later, you’d think we’d all start thinking, “Gee, if only there were some way we could plan ahead, so we wouldn’t have to stay in ‘crisis mode’!”
Well there has been a way, for a very long time—but those who point it out keep getting dismissed. Our movement just doesn’t want to “risk” it.
We keep focusing on elections—elections—elections, looking for the most suitable candidate for the moment. The well-off among us—the Conservative donors—can always be counted on to support and finance whatever immediate battles need to be fought. But the long-term goals? Not so much.
Meanwhile, the Left keeps doing exactly that—playing The Long Game almost by default, whether they realize it or not.
Think about that all-too-irritating pattern of Lefties from California or New York or wherever—states ruined by Leftist policies—moving out of their crumbling states into their more prosperous counterparts…all, coincidentally, solid red. And what happens? They vote for the same policies that destroyed their former home states in the first place! And our states start turning purple…or worse.
Arizona used to be reliably red. Now it’s purple—and its senators are John McCain and Jeff Flake.
Now…let’s imagine something, here: California is notoriously blue—at least on a “state government” and electoral scale. There are giant red patches in the state—but all those Conservatives live in a constant state of “Oh, what’s the point?” The Left rules everything, there—and California’s economy suffers.
But suppose…suppose we were to take the methods of Lefty state-hoppers, and turn it around on them. Suppose Conservatives from, say, Texas were to move to California—and to the “blue” regions in particular?
Suddenly, the game changes. All we’d need are a few strategic electoral victories—a Republican winning in L.A., to grab an example—and suddenly the California GOP gets re-energized. Conservatives in the state can feel as if their vote actually counts, again, and they feel motivated again!
Remember what Sun Tzu said:
It may be asked, “When a large, well-organized opponent is about to come to you, how do you deal with it?” The answer is that you first take away what they like, and then they will listen to you.”
Taking away California—or at least making it a battleground again—would strike a vital blow into the American Left. So why don’t we do it?
Because we just don’t play the long game. We don’t like to.
A couple weeks ago, during Bill Whittle’s live stream of his Stratosphere Lounge, I suggested in the comment feed that Conservatives from, say, Texas should do exactly that—move to California and turn it purple (at least), using the Left’s tactics against them. A fellow Lounger responded that they wouldn’t want to, because in Texas they’ve got a guarantee of prosperity and success—but if they were to move to California, they’d have to struggle more than they “need” to.
Well…that’s the problem, isn’t it? That’s the reason our side keeps neglecting to play The Long Game: We just don’t “see the need” to do it so long as we’re comfortable. We only fight in areas where we feel the danger—the immediate danger.
At this point, some of you might be thinking the inevitable, “Well, Eric, what about you?” It’s a fair question, and I have an answer that, when you get down to it, actually proves my point:
I live in Florida—in the I-4 Corridor. The purple-est of the purple. The “vital” region. I went to college at USF—in Tampa, also in the I-4 Corridor. I started college at Embry-Riddle—in Daytona, the opposite end of the Corridor. The point it, I’ve felt this sense of “immediacy” since I was old enough to vote. Every single time: “We’re important—this area’s vital—the election all comes down to here!”
The truth is, it shouldn’t have to. It never should. But because we don’t play The Long Game…it always does.
I don’t want to see Texas suffering this unnecessary sense of immediacy every dang election cycle. We don’t need more “I-4 Corridor” situations on our side. But if the Right doesn’t start playing The Long Game and start playing soon, well…even Texas won’t be so reliable, anymore. There won’t be any place in America where we can “comfortably” live out our lives, and not worry about the Left encroaching upon our freedoms.
Am I just “sounding desperate”? Well…it’s because I am. I have to. We have to.
It’s high time we throw that sense of immediacy in their face—hit them in California, where it will hurt. Maybe in New York, too—but I focus on California for a reason.
You see, it isn’t just political—as I said above, it’s also cultural. I cannot emphasize this enough: The pop culture that comes out of L.A. must be seen by our side as a battlefield. Far too many of us give Hollywood up for lost, because it seems so Left. Maybe it is…but why?
Because the Left plays The Long Game…and we don’t.
We need to.
The future of our country depends on it.
Eric was raised by Conservative Christian parents, but first became especially passionate about politics in high school, through reading up on economic theory. He also first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged around this time, for the ARI's essay contests. He now owns a great deal of Ayn Rand's work. Also included in his library are the collected works of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, etc.
Eric is no stranger to writing commentary, as the writer of the Conservative Considerations column on CampCampaign.com, and as a film critic and commentator on FlickRev.com. He has also carried on the Conservative tradition of talk radio commentary, as the host of "Avengers of America" for the USF student radio station, Bulls Radio. In the meantime, he is practicing what he preaches: Striving to enter the professional realm of Hollywood, he has already written and directed short films for the Campus MovieFest, which can be found on his YouTube channel, Hard Boiled Entertainment.
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