The fight totalitarians can never win.
Trolling the Libs to Save the Nation
Republicans by nature aren’t activists, but they are funny.
A few years ago, when “the great sort” was just taking off, before California lost several of its congressional representatives, I told my Republican and conservative friends that leaving would only postpone the inevitable. Once the bulk of the Republican base left, the Democrats would consolidate their fortunes and begin exporting their ideology across the nation. And, with Governor Newsom’s recent speech at the Texas Tribune festival—urging Texas Democrats to aim at reducing the Republicans to “third party status” as they had in California—one has to wonder if “the great export” has not already begun.
I now write, instead of cautioning people leaving the state, insisting on a new, radical Republican effort to save our state. We must aim at sapping the Democratic machine’s funding in the most conservative and most successful sort of way—trolling.
The problem with Republican activism
The Left has always excelled at public activism and organizing. At the national level, they coalesce around core social issues; at the street level they’re not afraid to attack civilians, destroy property, and burn down local business. And when they’re arrested, their base shamelessly raises bail money for their heroic brothers and sisters.
Republicans, on the other hand, rarely flock together. They’re independent, lonely island-states of self-regard and familial moral investment, with little resolve to amalgamate into a public menace. We have our fences and we have our lawyers, and a few of us have our guns. For what? To protect our family and property.
And this is the problem with Republican activism. What sort of crisis would inspire enough Republicans to combine into a political force? To paraphrase the famous, leftist organizer Saul Alinsky, what cause could inspire and what method would be fun for the Republican base?
The activism we need
A man recently received more than $20,000 from the state of New York. He exploited a loophole in New York’s gun buy-back program by 3D-printing 110 plastic pieces that qualify, under the state’s own rules, as gun-modification components. Sure, he had to haggle with the attorney general’s office; sure, he spent an entire day negotiating policies they had already put forth, but, nonetheless, the reward was sweet and savory—he walked away with 41 gift cards, valued at $500 each.
This could provoke a reevaluation of the country’s political divide. Historically, the Left proposes some policy that the Right hates. The Left rides the policy to victory while the Right licks its wounds. Why not, instead of opposing Democrat policies, exploit them for fun and profit?
Let’s up our game. Currently, California is offering paid travel for women seeking abortions. Why not have conservative, pregnant mothers sign up for paid travel to an abortion clinic, check in to the hotel, enjoy a little vacation, and then have a change of mind? What will California do? Require you to upfront the costs of the abortion before paying for it? That seems classist. Require you to sign a document promising not to have second thoughts? That seems to violate women’s choice. Provide more restrictive access to free rides to an abortion clinic? That’s a win.
As long as the government is planning to forgive student loans, why not encourage conservative students to borrow an additional $10,000 or $20,000 for “living expenses”? There’s probably a better use for it than just a direct deposit into a woke university’s bank account. Maybe based students could pool their loans and sponsor a campus visit by Charles Murray or Andy Ngo. Or organize a day of target practice at the local range. What are they going to do about it, make student loans more difficult to obtain? Win. Make you write down all your costs and prove that you require the funding you’ve requested? Another win.
Something to consider
Republican activism doesn’t sustain itself. We don’t move as a political unit, we do not fight in the public square. Parents do a heck of a job fighting at school board meetings, but this proves that conservatives will fight for their families and they will fight for their property. There is rarely an idea or a policy that will inspire a conservative to fight in the streets.
Governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott had the right idea in sending migrants to Democrat-run states and cities that pretend to love them, only to expose their hypocrisy. The press and local politicians are outraged about what they call a “stunt,” but they are only angry because it worked. Republicans need to embrace the spirit of play and undercut Democrat pretensions to sanctity. Laughter is the best revenge.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.