The Real Fat Cats
Conservatives are often derided as the party of the rich. Behind every conservative issue, we are told, is a billionaire seeking to put the rest of the country “back in chains.” Meanwhile, left-wing organizations speak for the downtrodden, the new dealers, the ones who could never get ahead in life. Thus, we have Al Gore campaigning to represent “the people vs. the powerful.” And so it goes campaign after campaign, the Left continuing to revel in its sense of secular righteousness.
Yet, this mentality has never been harder to justify in America than it is today. Each election cycle, the left advances the corporate interests of the richest human beings who have ever lived. Their politics extoll a vision of human life that promotes a consumer culture over the common good, family life, and real human happiness.
Some recent political history makes this clear. The conventional narrative of our pundit class for the ascent of LGBT and “Women’s health” issues, for instance, is that righteousness triumphed over narrow-minded bigotry. Nobody mentions, however, that social conservatives could only afford to bring butter knives to the duel. Social conservatives spent in a decade what two left-wing organizations spent in a year on the issues. First Things pointed this out clearly in a recent piece.
Our research shows that between 2007 and 2014, conservative organizations dedicated to changing public policy on life, marriage, and religious liberty spent just under $75 million in direct political spending. By contrast, the leading gay-rights political organization, Human Rights Campaign, recently pledged to spend $26 million in 2018 on direct political action. Emily’s List, one of the largest pro-abortion PACs, spent $36 million in 2016 and is likely to spend as much or more in the upcoming electoral cycle. In other words, only two organizations on the left will spend in one year almost as much on direct political action as all socially conservative organizations combined spent between 2007 and 2014.
It was massive resources, campaigning, and paid activism, not the unstoppable arc of social justice, that destroyed the traditional concepts of family and sex in American life. The elites of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft—Mr. Bezos, Mr. Zuckerburg, Mr. Gates, and Mr. Buffett (So many pasty misters!)—gave millions to advance a progressive agenda to the tune of Woodstock. All the while, progressive Jesus, Barack Obama, took in more money from Wall Street than any presidential candidate in United States History, in turn advancing the most progressive agenda the country has ever seen.
Nearly every member of our elite class has partaken in a well-endowed war against the traditional family and all those who promote it. And it’s not even because traditionalism and secularism are competing moral questions. Rather, they have always been in service to different ends entirely.
Our elites know that de-traditionalized men and women are more likely to have a high paying career, go on a payment plan for the newest iPhone, and wear the latest outfits featured in Vogue. The traditional mom, clipping coupons with her toddler at Walmart, or the dad who hasn’t bought a new suit since the 90’s, cannot partake in the same luxuries. Traditional lifestyles are bad for business, and our elites know this better than anyone.
More sinister, however, is what Charles Murray documents in his book, Coming Apart. As “woke” as our rulers may seem, they do not drink their own snake poison. In their private lives, elites divorce less, have high fertility, and practice traditional dynamics in the home, including regular church attendance. They easily manage to parse out the good life from the consumer life, yet lack the courage to show it at the expense of the culture they now lead.
Millions will be spent until every liberal dynamic is firmly planted in the American home. And although this revolution in human affairs may appear to be clean as a Mac screen, it continues to be bloodier than anything seen before. Look no further than the murder mills of Planned Parenthood, sustained by the Fortune 500 companies who endow them.
The left’s hostility to traditionalism will continue until our conceptions of the good life are just odd quirks that pop up in your Instagram feed. That is, unless we fight back with the ballot box, in the pews, and in the classroom, while also doing the little things, like putting our phones down for family dinner. Even yet, such practices can erode our corporate empire, which is, after all, just built on the sands of secularism and hollow conformity.