Are conservatives merely wimps on the path to extinction?

Are conservatives merely wimps on the path to extinction?
© Getty Images

Most on the right will not like hearing this, but liberals, Democrats and those on the far left are fighters. Some are dirty fighters, to be sure, but all are fighters.

They come out of the corner swinging and won’t stop trying to smash in the figurative faces of their opponents until they get the knock-out desired, or are dropped in the process.

Do they connect with some serious low blows from time to time? You bet. But if — as their opponents — you don’t like it, stop whining to the referee. Block the illicit punches and fight back.

ADVERTISEMENT

Life is tough and unfair for a majority of people. Knowing that, no one should be surprised by those seeking to gain any advantage they can.

Conservatives and Republicans who are expecting fairness and Marquess of Queensberry rules in either the political arena or the public square won’t find it.

Is that fair? No. Is that real life? Yes.

So suck it up, buckle your chinstrap, and jump into that arena to defend what you profess to care about.

By and large, conservatives, Republicans and libertarians are among those who are exceptional at supporting our military, the police, firefighters, charity and volunteerism. Where they tend to fall apart is in the defense of the rights and freedoms they scream are being taken from them.

ADVERTISEMENT

For example, most conservatives and Republicans believe that Democrats and liberals have come to unfairly dominate the media, academia, science, medicine and entertainment realms. But that domination didn’t happen in a vacuum. Republicans and conservatives not only were staring right at it as it built up over time, they allowed it to happen.

How? Because for the past five decades or more, conservatives and Republicans have twiddled their thumbs and said, “Tsk, tsk — look what those mean, unethical liberals are doing now. They are taking over all the critically important megaphones that influence our country. Poor us!”

I once sat down with my old boss, former Sen. Bob Dole, to discuss this subject. One issue that we agreed surprised us both, now more than 20 years ago, was how few ultra-wealthy conservatives and Republicans were willing to get into the media business.

We did not want these folks to buy media sites to turn them into right-wing propaganda rags. That would only exacerbate an existing bias problem. Instead, the goal would be to add a few more voices to balance and debate all the liberal ideas. But as it turned out, many wealthy conservatives and Republicans simply didn’t like the “media game” for bottom-line reasons. 

They were not only wimps but, ultimately, set-upon wimps. Because, as they discovered, many of the liberal media outlets went from attacking conservative or Republican political views to going after capitalism and the very businesses owned by those wealthy conservatives and Republicans.

Whoops — how do you like your shrinking  bottom line now?

Over the past decade, the Washington Post and Boston Globe were among newspapers that came up for sale. Wealthy conservatives sat on the sidelines until Amazon owner Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosFive takeaways from Big Tech's blowout earnings Hillicon Valley: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces swift bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports | Senators ask Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom Amazon reports surge in revenue as pandemic sparks online retail boom MORE bought the Post for $250 million and Red Sox owner John Henry bought the Globe for $70 million.

That’s a lot of money to most of us, but it probably wasn’t for these two men — especially to gain ownership of major newspapers that hold enormous sway in their regions. Today they’re among the newspapers that continually pound conservatives, conservative thought and, since he took office, President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE.

You can’t win the fight if you sit in the stands timidly eating peanuts while criticizing or envying those with the courage to step into that arena to battle for their cause.

As Teddy Roosevelt once observed: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood … who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Like him or not, President Trump is always willing to step into the arena and fight. Sometimes he shoots from the hip and misses his target, but at least he is engaging in the fight. When Trump leaves the political stage, so goes a big piece of the backbone of the conservative movement.

So, those conservatives and Republicans who truly believe that liberals and Democrats have gained an unfair advantage in the media, academia, science, medicine and entertainment spheres must stop crying about it and step into the arena to fight for their place.

Otherwise, they risk the chance of “tsk, tsk-ing” their way into oblivion. 

Douglas MacKinnon was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration. He is the author of “The Dawn of a Nazi Moon: Book One.”