The quote in the title of the piece comes from the great G.K. Chesterton, who said “He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.” As Leftists of our generation fall into line with the beliefs of Tech Barons, much of Washington, multinational corporations, and practically every other system of legitimate power, I find the quote more and more relevant by the day.
Practically every Leftist one talks to can be almost guaranteed, as a foregone conclusion, to parrot the accepted lines on issues of homosexuality, transgenderism, racial relations, immigration, “Drumpft,” the electoral college, feminism, and every other issue of the day. The Leftist feels justified in their beliefs for the very reason of their supposedly nonconforming (read, “edgy”) nature; in expressing these beliefs, they create an imaginary enemy which largely does not exist in reality.
In his fantastic and prophetic “Suicide of the West,” James Burnham details this neurotic tendency of western liberals. He details how in the 50s, with the practical non-existence of any genuinely anti-liberal voices, “[t]he liberals required an enemy on the Right. All real ones of importance were beaten down or in quiescence, so in their desperation they invented McCarthy and McCarthyism.” Though the example is perhaps dated, (Burnham was writing in the early 60s), the practice of creating right-wing boogeymen where none exists remains very much alive. The mantle once filled by McCarthy has been replaced by a different figure: the white, “cishet,” Christian man, (or increasingly, woman), who is embodied in the Great Satan of Donald Trump. In this way at least, Trump has been a blessing for liberals whose ideology requires an enemy to survive; thus, the so-called “Resistance.”
But it must be asked: Is the Left in such a destitute position as to be the outmatched “Resistance,” or has it in fact become the biggest defender of the status quo? On examination this framing seems ridiculous. Almost every single powerful institution in the modern world, besides the Presidency and Federal Courts, is decidedly within the influence of the Left. Corporations are extremely left wing. Airbnb, Lyft, Sony, DoorDash, et al. gave money or free gifts to rioting left-wing agitators on the basis of the “systemic discrimination” talking point in the wake of George Floyd’s alleged murder by Derek Chauvin, though this claim remains unclear as the former was high on a lethal cocktail of amphetamines and opioids at the time and leaked video shows him clearly resisting arrest. Corporate Tech Giants like Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube regularly suppress voices even suspected of non-PC views. The recent Hunter Biden scandals, despite origination from the New York Post, a credible media outlet founded by Alexander Hamilton himself, demonstrated this censorship bias admirably: any reference or post about the photos or content of the Bidens’ illicit business deals resulted in account deactivation until the photos were removed. The Post’s story itself was blocked for days until it was finally clear that the Tech Barons’ attempts at covering it up had failed. Where they do not overtly censor content from conservatives, they use a system of “shadow banning,” preventing the content of dissident voices from showing up in explore pages or searches, as happened recently even to the non-political, (but also less insane than the Left demands), YouTuber PewDiePie. Likewise, most major media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, etc. have a decidedly left-wing bias; only one of these, Fox News, has a conservative bent whatsoever— and even there, anchors like Chris Wallace are not worthy of the title “conservative” at all. In academics as well, the bent is to the left. Even at our relatively conservative campus, many if not most of the professors lean left. Given this extreme conglomeration of power in the Left’s favor, it is unclear what exactly they are “Resisting.”
Against this deafening roar of left wing power in corporations, tech companies, media, and academics, conservatives barely put up any fight at all. Weak men like Charlie Kirk and Ben Shapiro and think tanks like the Cato Institute, the Atlas Society, YAF— the list goes on— have acceded to the demands of the left on practically every social issue. Kirk’s Turning Point USA, for example, proudly features a gay man and a drag queen (“Lady MAGA”) as icons of modern “conservatism,” accepts the lies of modern feminism, and has practically no reservations to boundless “legal” immigration. Kirk’s organization and others like them are generally so scared of being called “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” “transphobic,” or any other -ist/-phobic that they have accepted every single increasingly demented viewpoint that the Left has demanded and have refused to fight back against any of them.
By practically every metric, conservatives are powerless and without defenders. The election of Donald Trump was nothing more than a Hail Mary from average Americans who felt abandoned and powerless to change their rapidly-deteriorating country. As the country devolved, these common people watched in horror and confusion as bankers, CEOs, Tech Barons, media anchors, and academics yelled at them about their power and oppression. In Donald Trump, the eternal rebel found a voice and a hope. The much vaunted rise of the “far-right” is little more than common people finally trying to fight back against the libertine globalist machine. It is a fight for our lives and a fight that, by most metrics, conservatives will likely lose; it is a desperate “Appeal to Heaven.” With the great power against us, such conservatives as remain are not, as they are portrayed, the entrenched power base which liberals must chip away; rather, they are a hodge-podge group of the truly powerless who, almost alone, must face down a Leviathan.
All this is to say, the role of conservatives and liberals has flipped in the past decades: it is the liberal who seeks to maintain the established status quo; it is the conservative, the eternal rebel, who against all hope is trying to tear it down.