Stop Watching FOX and Start Making Flyers!
Four Ways Red Staters Can Prepare for the Coming Pandemic Migration
Although it’s Democrats who are thoroughly obsessed with inauthentic tribal culture (identity politics), Conservatives are the ones who are truly tribal. Being tribal is not a bad thing. It’s what makes the world go round. History teaches that people are naturally inclined to build relationships with other people based on shared ideas and protocols.
The tribalism of American Conservatives is no different, and despite constantly being accused of being ignorant of race theories such as “intersectionality”, and how this, in and of itself, is “racist”, I would argue that of all of our political traditions, Conservatism has never been based on color. How can the most normal things that humans beings have always done to conserve traditions— that is to build and protect their homes and families, worship God, and plan for the future be based on color? That just doesn’t make any sense. G.K. Chesterton referred to tradition as “democracy for the dead”. This is so true because all of us, no matter what we look like, do something every single day that in one way or another pays homage to the right thinking of our ancestors. For me, this is what it means to be conservative and a Conservative. My cultural ancestors came from West Africa, but my political ancestors came from Ancient Greece and Rome.
American Conservatives, especially white ones, have foolishly allowed themselves to be painted into a corner regarding their commitment to tradition. They have allowed a caste based academic system — a system wholly antithetical to many of America’s meritocratic traditions — to define and shape the way that they think about themselves and those that came before them. The American Academic Left (AAL) has successfully turned Conservatives into insular curmudgeons who are perpetually playing national defense on issues of race, Christian worship, and financial prudence. If it weren’t all so pathetic, this comedy of errors would be very stunning and entertaining to watch. Aristophanes would be proud.
The decades long back and forth between the AAL and Conservatives although tiresome and dumb has been tolerable because, at the end of the day, traditionalists could go home — that is they could go back to a community of like-minded people. They could get together with members of their tribe. Dinner at home, a church retreat, or a tailgate party were places to have unguarded conversations and to reminisce. Well, all of that is about to change. That like-minded community, if it hasn’t already begun to shrink, will do so quite drastically and rapidly in the up coming months. Cities and towns all across the Red States need to prepare for this.
Now, I’m not one for making bold predictions about anything when I haven’t seen an obvious pattern. As I age, I have become even more cautious. I now have a “let’s wait and see” attitude about almost everything. It’s natural. That being said, although none of us have experienced anything like this Great Pandemic of 2020, it’s already changing minds about everything. Especially where people want to live. Based on what I read, see, and hear, this is becoming more and more obvious. If American Conservatives plan on saving any vestige of their traditions for future generations, then here are four things that they can do as the lockdown restrictions begin to ease up:
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Stop being so insular. Like traditional Roman Catholics (I’m one), Conservatives are terrible at networking outside of their immediate circles. They can be extremely provincial, almost never letting new-comers who don’t look and sound like them into their inner circles. When they do, particularly those with any sort of social clout, they almost always have what a friend of mine calls “the kiss-the-ring” mentality. This is not the way to Evangelize. Conservatives, whether they know it or not, are supposed to be small “e” evangelizers. They are supposed to share the good news about living financially healthy and morally-centered lives. So stop preaching to your choir. Go to church services, every so often, in another town where you are bound to meet left-leaning people. Volunteer, regularly, with members of your family at a local animal shelter. Offer free classes on something that you do professionally that might help other people; advertise those classes at the university library. Just get out there and meet new people. Eventually, you’ll be able to start having meaningful conversations with some of them.
Audit a Class at Your Local Community College on Critical Theory
I know. This sounds insane. But seriously, especially if you’re white, you need to do this. Do it with a friend or a family member. Be “open to learning”, so that you can understand what the other side is even talking about. Not paying attention to these theories will not make them go away. Read the books from the class and discuss them with friends and family. Learn how to challenge their arguments — but not in the class — even if they tell you that “you’ll never know what it feels like to be a ‘person of color’.” Don’t worry about all of that. Just keep reading and stay strong.
Have Parties and Invite Some of the People You’ve Met
They don’t need to happen often, and they don’t need to be expensive. They just need to be welcoming. Invite your regular friends as well. Ask the most articulate of them to give an informal speech. Conservatives need to learn how to have local pep rallies to show off what it is they want to hold on to.
Sometimes It’s Okay to Preach to the Choir
Retain your numbers! Don’t assume that people in your own town are not falling off the bandwagon. Design and print attractive flyers with concise information about why socialism doesn’t work. Hand them out around town or leave stacks of them around at local businesses. It sounds old-fashioned, and corny. But it works. I’ve done it. If people see enough of them around town, they’ll begin to take notice.
I live in New York City. I want out now. I’d been preparing to move before the pandemic hit, but now, it’s all that I can think about. Because of the lockdown, the city is definitely calmer, cleaner, and quieter. This said, the virus has exposed two unavoidable facts about New York: it is still a terribly filthy and disgusting city where all sorts of people with diverse “hygienic” habits live. (Trust me, you do not want me to go into details.) This helped to spread the disease. Lastly, New York is too expensive and restrictive. It’s no longer a place for citizens, it’s a place for subjects with no real economic freedom. I have a feeling though that many of the people who will decide to leave their virus-ravaged blue cities will not be thinking about the Bill of Rights.