The Fight for Our Lives

Imagine an NBA basketball court emblazoned with the slogan “Unborn Lives Matter.”

Imagine the NFL sponsoring “Our First Freedom Month,” celebrating religious liberty (or even just imagine players standing for the national anthem).

Imagine state legislatures restoring all the statues and monuments vandalized in 2020—including statues of Christopher Columbus, who was easily the most frequently targeted. (It’s not just Confederates or the Founders the leftists hate, it is the colonial, white, Christian settlement of the Americas.)

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Imagine, if you can, any politician reinstalling a statue of Robert E. Lee with these words: “I am very happy to take part in this unveiling of the statue of General Robert E. Lee. All over the United States we recognize him as a great leader of men, as a great general. But, also, all over the United States I believe that we recognize him as something much more important than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that at a ceremony unveiling a Lee statue in Dallas in 1936. The statue has since been sold and exiled from the city—a better fate than has befallen many Confederate monuments. Franklin Roosevelt’s sentiments were not controversial at the time. Indeed, they were echoed when Baltimore Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro Jr. (father of Nancy Pelosi) dedicated statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in 1948, crediting their “generalship” as setting a standard that helped the United States win two world wars. “Today with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions.”

Turning to Stonewall Jackson, the mayor added, “In these days of uncertainty and turmoil, Americans must emulate Jackson’s example and stand like a stone wall against aggression in any form that would seek to destroy the liberty of the world.” Amen to that.

But if the Democrats have now abandoned such views, and they have, and instead now actively work to undercut Christian values, to undo a patriotic understanding of American history, and to advance statism over liberty, then I think it’s fair to call them the Evil Party.

Republicans, however, remain the Stupid Party, because they have done next to nothing to fight this leftist “narrative.” Instead, they either adopt it—“Yes, America was racist; but look, the racists were all Democrats!”—or dismiss it as unimportant, or run in fear of it, because, as the received opinion of the educated classes, it holds the moral high ground and rules out dissenters as racists, sexists, and Neanderthals.  (Trump is the exception that proves the rule—one of the few Republicans actually and effectively to oppose “critical race theory,” the “1619 Project,” the renaming of military bases, and the toppling of statues—at least those on federal property—and to even work to create more patriotic monuments.)

Understand this well: this country’s political divisions will never be healed until the iconoclasts, the book-burners, and the leftist race-baiters are defeated, and those monuments go back on their pedestals.

If you cannot imagine that, then imagine where we end up if we keep following a narrative that tells American history as a story of racist exploitation, genocide, and slavery; that sees “American gentlemen” like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson as servants of a proto-Nazi regime; that rejects Father Junipero Serra as a Christianist oppressor (whose beliefs, ultimately, must be banned—to advance ever more assertive and imaginative perversities).

It is a mistake to think, “Oh, the pendulum will just swing back.” That is to forget the role of human agency. A hand can grab a pendulum and hold it. There is no swinging back if opponents of the prevailing view are “on the wrong side of history” and opposed to “science.” Such “history” and “science” are, of course, determined by the narrative rather than by facts or data, which, as we’ve been told by the leftist themselves, are white racist concepts. As per that now notorious Smithsonian chart: “Objective, rational, linear thinking” and “quantitative analysis” are part of “whiteness” or the “white dominant culture,” which also, needless to say, includes a preference for “rugged individualism,” “the nuclear family,” and Christianity— all things we can happily dispense with in our woke, racially and sexually diverse, unfree and conformist future.

The pendulum will not swing back to the center—let alone to the right—unless it is wrenched from the hands of the left, whose every instinct is totalitarian. Winning elections is crucial—and not just congressional and presidential elections. This year’s lockdowns showed, as nothing else could, how Democrat governors and mayors relish the role of gauleiter. They must be defeated at the ballot box.

But more than that, as conservatives and Christians we need to assert ourselves against woke corporations and institutions from schools to sports. That is going to be the work of a generation at least—but have we prepared such a generation?

If we haven’t, we’re in deeper trouble that most people are willing to admit. Not only will the pendulum not swing back, but our overseers will send us—Catholic men and women—to the pit where they intend to bury not just our ideas, our beliefs, and our freedoms, but us.

[Photo credit: Ryan M. Kelly/AFP via Getty Images]


  • H. W. Crocker III

    H. W Crocker III is a popular historian and novelist. His classic history of the Catholic Church Triumph, updated and expanded, has just been reissued in hardcover.

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