In the past few months, we have witnessed a resurgence of so-called "culture war" conservatives. They have fiercely pushed Republican elected officials to pass and sign bills protecting women in sports from competition with biological men. Conservative voters are also eager to fight against corporations that try to force the hand of Republicans in social issues, especially Big Tech, and want to help conservative college students and staff discriminated against by leftists in academia.
Conservatives are right that the left is transforming the culture. Yet the solution to this problem can be foud not only - and sometimes not at all - in governmental action, but in our own efforts.
From pre-school through college, left-wing professors and teachers are attempting to indoctrinate American youth. Even in the military, cadets are taught critical race theory, which tells them that past injustices against people of one race must be corrected with new injustices against those of another race. And everywhere, corporations seem to enact economic decisions either to placate liberal consumer activists or because social justice warriors lead their corporate boards.
To respond to these crisises, some politicians think that we must use the power of state and federal governments to stop the left.
Government action may help conservatives win the culture war in some battles, such as by granting school choice so that parents aren’t beholden to the teachers’ unions or by taking away federal funding from institutions that teach critical race theory and use race as a factor in admissions. Of course, government can also be used to help preventunfair restriction of student speech.
These are all great suggestions but unfortunately, they won’t fix the root problem.
Then there are ideas that won’t help conservatives at all, even in the unlikely case they’re implemented, nor do they address the cause of the issues they're attempting to solve.
These proposals include ones from Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who wants to break up large corporations that peddle with the left-wing agenda. Others, including Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, have introduced a bill to stop admitting all immigrants—including all legal immigrants—who they blame for the cultural transformation of America.
Instead, the root problem conservatives should focus on is public opinion.
It should be socially unacceptable for a teacher to promote a racist ideology or for a major company to frequently release political statements.
We can only achieve those goals by persuading our fellow citizens to agree with our opinions.
Not only is the government not the solution to most culture war issues, but it is the source of the problem.
It’s widely known that some federal government agencies lean left, that’s one reason former President Trump had difficulty in pushing his agenda. A Federal Election Commission Analysis showed that political contributions by federal employees of several agencies overwhelmingly go to Democrats.
It’s naive to think that federal and state employees responsible for the rise of critical race theory or biological women competing with biological men in sports will let Republicans change things.
On the contrary, if Republicans give more power to the government in education, business, or other areas, Democrats are sure to use it against us.
It’s even more naive to think that government action will end the power of big tech or reduce the prevalence of cancel culture.
Sen. Hawley may get away with breaking up Facebook, Amazon, and Google but the only thing we’ll get is two, three, or four just as left-wing versions of these companies that will coordinate to crush conservatives like they already do.
But conservatives should not be discouraged by the inadequacy of government in responding to cultural issues because we can win these battles without it.
How many young conservatives do you know who want to go into academia? And how many conservative professors fight back against leftist administrators?
We may be at a disadvantage, but our individual choices can go a long way in turning things around. We must not be afraid of small fights or different career paths if we hope to have an impact on our culture.
How many conservatives do you know who want to pursue a civil service career? Not in law enforcement or the military, per se, but in the federal and state government agencies where critical cultural policies are implemented.
Every additional conservative who works for the federal government is one more ally, one more reasonable voice that can stop lunacy from being implemented.
And how many conservatives do you know who have resorted to social media as their only method of communication with their community?
By reaching out to others in person, being a good neighbor, and making new friends with people who think differently from us, we can shape the character of our communities and show liberals that we are good people, just like them, and foster the tolerance that Americans crave.
It is time for conservatives to stop being hopeless about the liberal stronghold on culture, and to stop believing that politicians will break that stronghold for us.
It is time to start winning the culture war ourselves.
Daniel Di Martino is a Ph.D. in Economics candidate at Columbia University, a Young Voices Senior Contributor, and a Venezuelan freedom activist. You can follow him on Twitter here.
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