The cultural war trap: Principles vs. power

The people we seek to reach will only listen if they think we care. And we do care. We care for our fellow citizens much more than the Left, who use all humans as pawns.


It all comes down to principles against power. Conservatives fight for principles; Leftists fight to gain power and control. The generalization doesn’t fit everyone on both sides, of course, but it fits well enough. This will be most prominent in the election of 2024 and will define the outcome, the victors, and losers and not just for this upcoming election but for our future beyond.

With a stagnant and languishing economy suffering from an extensive hangover of “Bidenonmics,” one would think the economic state of our nation would be issue number one for next year’s election. Or perhaps an open border that has completely shredded our national sovereignty, which is nothing short of a foreign invasion.

Or the fact that we are sliding deeper and deeper into a Ukrainian morass of a replay of Western Front 1914 trench warfare, increasing the prospects of a war with Russia that should put foreign policy at the top of the list. Not to mention our continued incoherence on trying to formulate a “China Policy” as the Celestial Empire seeks global dominance amidst our naval gazing, suicidal, self-critical, incompetent national leadership disaster.

All of these issues will be prominent next year, but both parties seem hell bent on making the cultural war issue number one, front and center. This is certainly what the Left desires, and if current trends hold, and current attitudes, talking points and debate rejoinders, and if our prescriptions don’t adjust, the Republicans are toast. They will lose the House and fail in their attempt to stop Biden 2, or is it Obama 4?

It is not that the cultural issues aren’t of critical importance. I would argue that short of keeping us out of a nuclear exchange with Russia (not wholly improbable), these issues are critical for the long-term health of our nation. We indeed are in a cultural free fall.

It all comes back to our fighting for principles and those fighting for nothing but power. And it is the way the Republicans and conservatives talk about these issues that leaves us flailing and is dooming us.

Dying on a hill for a great cause is noble and heroic. But in politics it can also be the side of the lost cause, the side of losing. Politics and democracy are nothing short of a sausage grinding mess, we all know that, but when fighting for a great cause, it is hard to know when to back off, when to compromise, when to bend.

Most Americans are not on that hill, they are not ready to die for a cause. They are leading their lives, they are moderate, dispassionate when it comes to politics or just downright apathetic. They aren’t watching endless hours of cable news, listening to countless podcasts, and reading late into the night on all of our favorite websites.

On the social issues, they are in the middle. They are not for third trimester, up to the ninth month abortions but nor do they go for life begins at conception. They want, in the famous words (hypocritical, yes) of Bill Clinton, for abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. The transgender issue that is gripping the nation is even more complicated, and heart wrenching. I’ll get right to the basics: Rule #1, don’t target the individual. Do not make an enemy of the child who seeks a sex change or the parents grappling with this trauma.  When one boils this down to a war of Evil against God and not even subtly equates the 14-year-old child and her parents to the army of Satan, one can feel good about themselves, but we have just lost innumerable Americans to our cause.

Further, it is among the young voters, Generation Z, where we have completely lost a generation of voters to these issues. We have zero traction with many of the millions in this group. We may get them on the economic side, maybe even immigration and national security, but they are completely lost to us on the cultural issues.

The Left understands this all too well and will exploit it for them to reach their goals to gain more power. They don’t give a damn about that child, her parents or the young woman agonizing over the decision to have an abortion and certainly not the baby in the womb. They seek to use them and these issues to demonize the ones standing on moral grounds as evil, moralizing, intolerant and hateful. And they succeed.

This is true of how the Left and the Democrat Party have treated black Americans for over half a century. They could care less about “black lives,” they certainly don’t “matter” to the Left; they are but pawns in a political war to gain power. The impoverished state of millions of black Americans, high rates of crime, the appalling educational system, dysfunctional families, and despair all mean nothing to the Democrats.

Some will disagree, but it is not the Left that created these issues, they are just the ones exploiting them for their own ends to gain more power, complete control, and the destruction of what they claim are all the evils of American and Western society. Our market-based economy, the churches and our faiths, the institutions such as education, the military and yes, finally and most critically, the family are under attack. The Left seeks to destroy these institutions, to control them in order to dismantle Western civilization and its brilliant exemplar, the American system and way of life.

Our culture and all that this encompasses is under incredible strain. Forces in human history, the globalization of our economy, advances in technology, a crisis of faith, overabundance of riches and a lifestyle of prosperity unknown throughout our history and the radical individualization of “Western Man” have all led us toward a coming cataclysmic end that we stand in awe and fear of. What path do we take?

Understanding, compassion, tolerance, and persuasion matter, as hard as it can be to hold on to such values in the face of those who want to tear us apart. The examples of Proverbs and those in the Gospels are what we must try to follow. The ones we seek to reach will only listen if they think we care. And we do care. We care for our fellow citizens much more than the Left, who use all humans as pawns. They will destroy, literally destroy, millions of lives in their pursuit of power and the creation of their heaven on earth.

We made such great advances in the pro-life debate over the last century, not by calling young pregnant women murderers and sinners, but by compassion and understanding, by prayer, counseling, and by offering alternatives such as adoption. The Dobbs decision and the overturning of Roe v. Wade was a monumental victory that has already saved countless lives. Abortion has returned to the states where constitutionally it should be. Leave it.

We can carry that example in all the other cultural battles that we face, or we can play Judge and Jury and storm down from the mountain and call all sinners who will incur the wrath of God. That is great, I get it, but then we must be prepared for our fall, we will lose the daily battle, the tyrants will truly rule, and our great experiment will be over.

Mike Finch is the president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article was originally published at the author’s Substack and reprinted here with permission. 


Michael Finch