All across our nation, in one week which began with gunfire in South Carolina and ended with Gay Pride celebrations from San Francisco to the White House, the Confederate Flags are falling and the rainbow ones are rising.
The Republican Party, the American conservatives, and established church doctrine in our nation all took a brutal beating at the same time, and indeed, it might be said that after a quarter century of fighting, now with gay marriage legal in all fifty states, Obamacare being upheld a second time as constitutional, and the Confederate Flag and indeed the Confederacy itself now no longer being looked upon at least with indulgence as the “Lost Cause” but rather the “Bad Cause” ultra-conservative America has lost their war with the liberals.
The responses from conservatives across the nation vary widely. Some have thrown up the white flag and laid down their arms. Others have ran and hidden in their closets, heads between their legs. And still others, reminiscent of soldiers who believe their cause is just and refuse to surrender their ground, have stuck to their guns, even though they know it will end in their own oblivion.
The reasons the conservatives lost are many and varied, and for many decades historians will debate about why it happened. But I believe it was a fatal of flaw, not of strategy, but in the lack of having one. For years conservatives were the majority in this country, and like most majorities, they were complacent.
Unlike the Gay Pride groups and the far left liberals, conservatives had no plan other than to keep on believing what they believed. The liberals however, had a plan on how to make what they believed into law.
At first it was almost laughable, a little army of leftists against the big and bad conservatives, the GOP, the churches, even mainstream authors, magazines, and pundits. But it was a fight of numbers vs. people who had a plan. And the ones with the numbers, reminiscent of when the Babylonians fought Alexander the Great and were outflanked and routed.
It’s been coming for a long the time, and anybody who could cast their eyes to the horizon could have seen the clouds gathering above the Right side of America, and the rainbows rising in the sky. But there was denial among the conservatives, and then there was despair, and now they are surrendering.
Across our country, in just a few years, and quicker than perhaps anyone could have predicted, the national pendulum has swung out of the right’s grasp and at least tentatively, if not yet firmly, into the hands of the left.
For conservatives, they have few options now, but they do have some. The Iron Chancellor, the one who once nearly united all of Germany under his power once said that a generation that takes a blow is followed by a generation that gives one. One of the conservative options is to start again from the beginning, until they can again land a blow.
While the far right establishment has been thrown back on its heels, and while they have lost this war, they can always starts another, or if they don’t, someone on the left almost certainly will, and the conservatives will be sure to respond
And also, don’t expect the pockets of resistance to go quietly. The Ted Cruzes and Franklin Grahms aren’t dead, and they won’t stop kicking for a quite a while. While the new generation of conservatives will most likely be wary of fighting battles their fathers lost, they will have other things to do. And when they mount their battlements to fight, they had better be sure they have a better strategy and better arguments than the last generation, or their cities will fall as well.
For a while yet, we might not feel the full magnitude of the earthquake that just shook all of us. Indeed, a conservative might actually win the White House in 2016. That might sound preposterous to some, seeing as how the conservatives can't win on Twitter or in the Supreme Court these days, but there is still a Christian South, smaller than it used to be, but still there. And there are still conservatives strewn all throughout the nation, and they are mad, they are really mad.
One is reminded of President LBJ’s words right after his party, with much hard work and years of fighting, passed the Civil Rights Act. He said that the Democrats may have won, but they had cost themselves the South, and by extension almost virtually denied themselves the White House, for a generation. Obama, the Supreme Court, and the fall of the Southern Flag, may have just conspired to cost them it for still another one.
But that’s all speculation, and still in the future. For now, the referee has counted to ten; the time has run out on the clock. And the conservatives have lost.
Andrew C. Abbott