There were definitely some laughs to be had at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s expense following her foreign policy interview with Margaret Hoover a couple of weeks ago, but her interview with Trevor Noah concerning the hows and whys of realizing a more expansive and expensive government is another matter entirely.
If we simply queue up the laugh track this time, we do so at our own peril. That is because in the case of the latter, she is offering up an aggressive religious vision for the future. One that has a tragic yet remarkably effective track record of bamboozling generation after generation into servitude.
Mediocrity and theft posing as “fairness.” Tribalism and tyranny posing as “values.” While entirely misguided and destructive, it is a vision nonetheless. Without a vision the people perish, and with much of the American church and the current embodiment of conservatism failing to compete in the vision-casting arena, cultures tend to choose the wrong vision over no vision at all.
Modern conservatism is now under the yoke of a GOP majority at every level of the federal government and across many state capitals as well, yet it still excels at failing to curb budgets, bureaucracies and utter B.S. in addition to a mostly indifferent at best, passive and enabling at worst stance towards the Left’s push for moral anarchy.
Meanwhile, progressive iconoclasts appear all too willing to lose some of those seats. As long as the cost is the reimagining of what’s normative until its power of intimidation reaches zeitgeist proportions. The creepy and the dumb that would have been dismissed with severe prejudice not too many years ago – such as going to jail for using plastic straws and CDC warnings against reusing condoms – is now increasingly just the way things are.
It’s a pretty consistent message across different sports that a fundamental trait of a good athlete is to have “light feet,” or to “always keep your feet moving.” Progressivism may leave ghastly, toxic footsteps in its wake, but no one can argue that its feet are always moving. It is for doers, even when it is attached to a political minority like right now. And at its most religious level of expression, as it was with Ocasio-Cortez and her Daily Show love affair with stealing other people’s money, that is when progressivism is at its most dangerous.
It will eventually convince you to hand over that money not because of the strength of its reasoning, but because of the zealotry with which it is advertised and (perhaps more importantly) the lack of passion and conviction from its opponents.
Too much of our movement is caught in a kind of no man’s land when it comes to drawing clear lines and acting accordingly. That’s because clear lines are the product of a clear worldview, not gossipy rhetoric and click-bait. The long game, which drives our Leftist opponents, eludes us. We play to win the next election. They play to win the next generation.
And it simply can’t be overstated how ill-prepared we are to turn this state of affairs around even if we wanted to. Our situation is beyond the ability of reason alone to solve, and that is by design. Progressives are always big on promoting adherence to rules they have no plan on following themselves. So we give up the divine in favor of a cheap imitation of reason in an attempt to earn a woke merit badge that never comes. Because we can never be woke enough for a movement that has no plans for compromise, only conquering.
The only way forward with a chance for success and an absolute guarantee of honesty in its pursuit is to be dogged about three fundamental questions: Why the world is the way it is, why we are the way we are, and what is the remedy? Ocasio-Cortez can have fundamentally flawed answers to those questions, and as a socialist she does. But if her and her fellow revolutionaries keep addressing them while conservatives increasingly yawn at such existential things, the future is determined whether we know it or not. For the only thing that defeats a bad theology is a good theology. But we’re more concerned with the Chevron Doctrine than theology these days.
We seem to think the best defense against the future Ocasio-Cortez represents is to point out her numbers don’t add up, and we can’t afford such collectivist Utopian schemes. And we say this at the same time another era of the Republican politicians carrying our banner generate record debt while maintaining the massive welfare state that is the forerunner of Ocasio-Cortez. Seems ironic to argue Ocasio-Cortez’s numbers don’t add up, while the Republicans we’re told we have to vote for to stop the likes of her shamelessly deficit spend.
It’s hard to defeat an argument you’re helping the other side win.
Steve Deace is broadcast nationally every day on BlazeTV. He is the author of the book “Truth Bombs: Confronting the Lies Conservatives Believe (To Our Own Demise).”