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Why ‘Aw, Shucks Conservatism’ Utterly Disqualifies Any GOP Politician


In a recent article critiquing the political right from a fair outsider’s perspective, Abigail Shrier discusses what she calls “Aw Shucks Conservatism.” Shrier writes this disposition’s core mistake

is that it treats Leftist ideologues like quirky out-of-town guests arriving for brunch. It assumes we all want the same things and are equally devoted to the perpetuation of bedrock American commitments: free speech, free exercise of faith, equal protection, rule of law.

But the Woke are not zany guests. They are home-invasion robbers. The structure they intend to leave behind will contain but a handful of the cultural artifacts they encountered. Bringing down statues of Abe Lincoln, books by Dr. Seuss and schools named for the country’s founders? That’s just their casing the joint. The large-scale heist hasn’t even started.

To some, this might sound like hyperbole. It is in fact a nearly identical description to that the New Left themselves use to describe their goals. One example of many is “antiracist” grifter Ibram X. Kendi’s proposed “Department of Antiracism” and accompanying constitutional amendment that would subject every U.S. law, including the Constitution, to utterly unaccountable far-left bureaucrats. Here’s another.

“Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law,” explains a 2012 college-level textbook on the ideology from New York University Press.

That textbook includes a foreword by key critical race architect Angela Harris, who also admits, “Critical race theory takes the position that racism pervades our institutions, our beliefs and our everyday practices.”

Every day, more people discover the New Left’s goal is to end the historic American birthright to government-secured natural rights. That is part of the reason the critical race theory debate has gone viral and put the left on defense.

They will admit they believe this stuff, but scaring too many people with the truth is counterproductive. They’d prefer to teach it to children while the parents still trust them enough to keep their kids in their schools. One key question for our nation’s future, as well as those who hope to lead it, is whether trusting your children to institutions that countenance critical race theory makes any sense at all.  Many of those institutions  — such as universities — are overseen by Republicans who refuse to lift a finger to demand accountability for billions of public dollars.

Unlike such so-called representatives, Shrier has awakened to the true nature of the political left, in large part by personal experience. So have people like Brett Kavanaugh, and many who watched his confirmation horror show. But many Americans still have not had close enough experiences with the radical left to have gained this deep understanding that their goal is the end of the American way of life.

That includes far too many Republican Party officeholders. Those are the kind of people who proudly make infrastructure deals with the Biden administration for the hollow sake of “bipartisanship” and then get rolled without exacting a price for it (“My starting offer on infrastructure is now the devolution of OSHA to the states, the privatization and localization of the TSA, the end of mask mandates in airports, block grants for states to control highway funds, and the non-negotiable inclusion of serious energy infrastructure like nuclear power plants.”) Shrier gives the example of Sen. James Lankford’s inability to critique the Biden administration replacing the word “mother” with “birthing person,” which enables abominations like this.

Republicans do this because too many still do not understand — or refuse to understand — the nature of the opposition. They are culture war Neville Chamberlains, feeding Americans to the Minotaur one generation at a time while believing it’s a bargain, because, after all, the Minotaur isn’t eating everyone, and they’ll certainly die before it’s their turn to meet him.

A display of this kind of mental and moral cowardice is utterly disqualifying from anyone who wants to hold office as a Republican going forward. That’s because only fools make deals with barbarians expecting them to keep it. People who can’t tell a citizen from a barbarian aren’t fit to lead.

A key component of this cowardice is the refusal to fight for sexual sanity, Shrier’s top issue right now. No society can exist without protecting families. Republicans have whiffed on this at least since Roe v. Wade. Republican headliners like Mike Pence and Kristi Noem, for example, love to go around talking about how much they love God and liberty, but when things came down to the wire under their governorships, both quickly let the barbarians advance.

Recall that Pence was a key initial cause of the rise in cancel culture when he became the test case for the LGBT left’s new strategy of attacking through the marketplace. In 2015, the left went nuts on Indiana over its attempt to protect Christians from harassment based on their beliefs, and Pence folded so fast the tactic immediately moved to the center of the left’s arsenal.

Noem pulled a similar trick earlier this year on a bill to protect girls from being forced to compete against males in school sports, and she’s still going around sucking her thumb about it, making her decision worse by piling on lies and accusations in an attempt to cover up her capitulation.

Her cover-up attempt is a top reason Noem should be a total non-starter nationally. Same for Pence. They have proven they cannot be trusted under fire to defend the American way of life. That’s the whole game right there, folks — not corporate tax rates and child credits.

The consensus politics era is over, at least for now. Consensus and good-faith negotiation require shared assumptions. The lack of shared assumptions is exactly what the culture war is about. And the culture war is not a sideshow, it is about the very definition of reality, the entire basis upon which we can have any discussions or make any political decisions whatsoever.

If you say a man is a man and I say a man is a woman, we can’t get anywhere until that is sorted out. Likewise, the insistence that the United States is fundamentally good — not perfect, but good — is wholly incompatible with the new left’s insistence that it is fundamentally evil. You can’t live in a house with a person who wants to burn it down.

There is a philosophical component to this, but it is also attitudinal. This culture war is both mental and emotional. It’s about logic and about love: Loving your country, as well as knowing exactly why. And people can know why in their bones without being able to articulate it, just like a man who loves his wife may not know what to say when she asks him why. To him, it is obvious, and needs no explanation. It is a fact too deep for words.

The tens of millions of additional voters who came out for Donald Trump in 2020 were mostly people like this. In the face of unprecedented smears and electoral chaos, they came out for a guy who for once seemed to be trying to play for keeps instead of telling his voters to get excited about the scraps. The slogan “But he fights!” means, “He fights like he loves her” — her being America. Would anyone really say that of any current Republican officeholders?

Of course it matters to get the issues right. There’s no sense in shooting fiercely in the wrong direction, something Trump did often. But he hit targets a lot more than pretty much anyone else. It’s been six years, and it’s still true. That’s a serious indictment.

Now is the time for champions to arise, to stop feeding the beasts, and start fighting them. Ask yourself, “What would it mean for me to do that where I am?” And then start doing it. Because nobody else is going to do it for us. And the field is obviously wide open.