It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the bad news around. The snowballing border crisis (a crisis of design), inflation, and the continuing assaults on decency and justice from governmental, educational, and entertainment institutions are serious signs of a country in deep trouble. The great M. Stanton Evans’s Law of Inadequate Paranoia often comes to mind: “No matter how bad you think something is, when you look into it, it is always worse.”
We are still in a cold civil war—and all war is hell. But we can be happy warriors for two reasons. For one, unlike the modern left, the sum total of our lives is not wrapped up in politics. Even amid the cultural, legal, and economic carnage, we can rely on things that are much deeper than the depressing revelations as we scroll through the news. Second, even as bad as some battles are looking, others look very good for us. In fact, we are getting some serious wins that point out where we ought to keep charging.
The most important battle we are winning is in the war on information. We can all lament the fact that the old mainstream media exists solely to protect the current regime and advance its goals. But new data show that a great many Americans have gotten wise and are increasingly rejecting the old journalistic regime. A report this past week shows that CNN has hit their lowest numbers of viewers since 1991 in the 25-54 demographic while MSNBC’s numbers are even lower.
It’s no wonder these supposed news sources are losing their base. Other non-regime sources have reported the lies and omissions of U. S. Government agencies about COVID, the Russian Collusion Hoax, and January 6, 2021. With regard to the last, the New York Post reported this week that former FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antonuo told the House Judiciary Committee that the Bureau had so many paid informants out that day that they lost track of them. Not only that, but additional informants were paid by other agencies. The Post cites former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who claims that the FBI had at least 18 agents, while another 20 from other agencies on the scene.
Many people are no doubt beginning to wonder not only if the events of that fateful day were avoidable, but what role the government and its agents had in them. They are worried about far more than that, too. A new Rasmussen poll shows that 72% of likely U. S. voters “are worried that their country is turning into a police state – a tyrannical government that engages in mass surveillance, censorship, ideological indoctrination, and targeting of political opponents.” That may sound like bad news, but it’s good news that so many people are now awake to the threats.
That the American people are now waking up is having an effect. A number of Democratic politicians starting to change their tunes. Three quick examples. First, Dallas mayor Eric Johnson left the Democratic Party this past week, declaring “American cities need Republicans.” Second, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed SB 57, a bill that would have made “gender affirmation” of children a criterion by which judges should determine which parent gets custody. That is, parents who don’t accept a child’s claim to be “transgender” would be denied custody on that basis if Newsom had signed the bill. Third, several Democratic politicians in blue states have suddenly become immigration hawks—if only for their own cities or states. The most dramatic is the obnoxious New York Governor Kathy Hochul, whose previous lectures to border states have now been succeeded by her own dictates to prospective migrants considering New York: “go somewhere else.”
These are small steps for Democratic-led cities and states. They are slightly larger leaps for the country. Even if one wants to say that these politicians are only doing these things because they “have to,” that is a good thing. It means that they realize that to keep their offices (or, in Gavin Newsom’s case, to gain a much bigger office), they have to tack away from the purely insane. That ain’t nothing.
Nor are recent court victories against anti-gun forces and a university nothing. A federal judge struck down California’s ban on detachable magazines that carry more than ten rounds. A professor at the University of North Texas who had been blacklisted by the university for his defense of his journal dedicated to the Austrian-Jewish music theorist Heinrich Schenker (he was called—you guessed it—a racist) won his suit against the university’s Board of Regents for failing to defend him.
Finally, we had two big victories in the battle against corporate wokeism. Ron DeSantis’s running battle against Disney has finally been settled. The result? Disney CEO Bob Iger has not only pledged $60 billion in development in the state. He has also said he will “quiet the noise” in the culture war Disney has been waging. And finally, 2023 isn’t over, but over 20 Environmental, Social, and Governmental (ESG) funds have closed down already this year—more than in the last three years combined. Since ESG standards are the main way to force progressive nonsense down the throats of companies, this decline is a boon to American business and culture.
All of these victories combined mark a big week of triumphs in a tough time. The American right ought not to give up hope or give up the fight. Battles in the information, political, legal, and corporate worlds are an occasion to remember that serious, sustained fighting can produce results—even in California, New York, and the Formerly Magic Kingdom of Disney. It may not be Morning in America, exactly, but it sure looks like a bit of dawn’s early light, much as those soldiers saw at old Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Our country, like the flag, is battered and a bit tattered. But it still waves. And we, who know how bad the war is, must pledge to fight on to make our country thrive again.
David P. Deavel teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. Follow him on X (Twitter) @davidpdeavel.
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