One thing is certain: I will have to go to confession this weekend for some of the things I thought and said to myself late last night once it became clear that Barack Obama had won reelection despite running the pettiest, most vindictive, most substance-free campaign in my living memory. As my family members will tell you, I’m a gal with some mood regulation issues (including a heck of a temper) — but I don’t think I have ever been angrier than I was around midnight last night. EVER. And even though some of that initial anger has now faded after a few hours of sleep, I still cannot believe that so many people fell for what Obama was selling. Like Matt, I despair over what this nation has apparently become — dominated by people who are incapable of seeing through the pop culture’s perversions and empty bumper sticker slogans. Have so many people really sacrificed their God-given brains on the altars of getting what’s coming to you, screwing the people who are not in your identity group, and congratulating yourself for your “compassion”? When did envy and divisiveness become central American values?
To single women (i.e., people in one of my “identity brackets”): Free birth control, abortion, and Daddy Government are not going to save you. For God’s sake, look around you! Poverty is becoming increasingly feminized, the objectification of the female body is becoming ever more pervasive, and decent, upstanding men (like Matt, for instance) are becoming more and more difficult to find. THINK! Use the grey matter between your ears and start seeing the connection between the radical liberalization of our sexual mores and your own struggles. As the saying goes, why should a man buy a cow when he can get the milk for free? And as for Daddy Government? Sorry, but Uncle Sam is broke. It may not seem like it now, but our government’s spending is categorically unsustainable. We can’t keep spending more than we take in. And no — if you tax the rich, the rich will eventually go away, and we still won’t have enough money to pay for your “free” birth control. If you raise taxes in general, history reveals conclusively that the government will find yet more things to spend those revenues on, and we’ll be right back to where we are today: stuck with a bloated dinosaur of a federal bureaucracy that always opts for more expensive, more inefficient means to deliver what we all consider to be genuine public goods. As Sarah Hoyt wrote the other day, we have come to the end of cake. It’s time to put on our big-girl pants and face this fact.
To the bishops and priests of the US Catholic Church: Valiant effort, guys, but it was too little, too late. You’ve lost at least one generation – and maybe two – of Catholics because you failed to explain why the sexual revolution has been so poisonous. Yes — the writings of John Paul the Great are brilliant, but they’re also impenetrable to many who lack a solid background in theology. You must popularize the message of the Theology of the Body and preach it from every pulpit in America. Further, over the years, you’ve also cozied up a little too much to the top-down, statist approach to social justice, which has handed the members of the Catholic left their excuse to flat out ignore the Magisterium when it comes to abortion, contraception and other “social” issues. It’s time to step back and reflect on what that has done to our church and our greater society. Let’s really examine the assumptions that drive the welfare state and start questioning whether this is really the best way to serve the poor and uphold the dignity of the human person.
To those conservatives who are justifiably disappointed and angry: I think Bill Whittle is largely right in his latest Stratosphere Lounge broadcast (the one entitled “A New Beginning…”). Personally, I still believe faithful Catholics should engage in civil disobedience regarding the HHS mandate up until it’s struck down. But otherwise? Frack ’em. I will still support conservative candidates come election time, but I henceforth refuse to waste any more emotional energy on the Jon Stewart dimwits, the leftist academics, and the perpetually aggrieved hatemongers who populate my Facebook feeds. I cannot convince them. They are brainwashed ideologues, and I have no use for them. Eventually, they will learn – in the school of hard knocks – that things that can’t go on won’t.
In the meantime, we must work together to build something that will be able to fill in the gaps when the top-down, centralized state finally collapses under its own weight. Matt’s worried about his future children, and frankly, so am I. But I think our answer is to opt out. Just opt out. Don’t patronize the traditional public school system. If you’re attached to sending your kids to a brick-and-mortar institution, fight hard to get them into a charter school or a Catholic school (as far as I know, parish schools offer aid packages for the financially strapped, so don’t be dissuaded by the prospect of paying tuition) — and if you’re not attached to such institutions, go for home schooling. In any case, make sure your kids are taught to think critically and to appreciate the value of hard work so they won’t be swayed by the pernicious messages sent by the media.
As Whittle argues, we conservatives need to work on building parallel institutions to bypass the government. First and foremost, we must dedicate ourselves to our families so that our kids will come to embrace the family as the central pillar of our civil society. Moreover, regardless of what the government does, we must build our own schools, our own service organizations, our own movie studios, and even our own space program using the talents and treasure we possess en mass. This course will require great sacrifice from most of us, but I think that it will ultimately be worth it.