One thing’s for sure: conservatives and traditionalists are lousy at organizing and fighting back in the public square. In fact, too many times they turn on each other, which makes the Enemy cheer us on.
The Left is good at setting aside small differences for the sake of a larger goal – which usually has to do with destroying something good, true and beautiful. They even can work with enemies, as in the case of the inexplicable alliance the Left seems to have with radical Islam (cf. Andrew McCarthy’s book US HERE – UK HERE).
One of the things one learns from a) coming from a state where a caucus system is in place, or b) working within an organization that follows rules of order, is that c) to govern you have to show up and that d) to take control you have to use – or change – the rules.
I read a piece at PJ Media by J. Christian Adams which was disturbing, because it is dead on target. This concerns mostly secular politics, but try to imagine this dynamic with the Church, universal and local.
The Left Transforms America [the Church] by Transforming the Rules
Others have used the term “post-constitutional” to describe the current era in which we live. Most of us remember a time not long ago when the Constitution and the Rule of Law weren’t under open attack by so many institutions.
What do I mean by post-constitutional? There are couple of characteristics.
Law is used by those in power – often bureaucrats – to advance their ideological views through their power. Law is no longer a fixed, largely agreed upon principle. Instead it is becoming something elastic, subjective, defined by the latest best argument cooked up at Harvard Law School or Yale.
In the good old days, law was the great leveler. We could all agree on the basics. Everybody essentially agreed that election law, my field, was designed to ensure the integrity of the process. [Think of A Man For All Seasons and More’s speech to Roper about law and the Devil.]
If we learned that large number of noncitizens, aliens, for example, were registering to vote – something I’ll discuss shortly – then all sides, Democrat, independent and Republican, would look for fixes. Nobody would cook up excuses to defend the practice, excuse the practice or preserve alien voting. It would be confronted and fixed.
But now, law professors and the academy view law as a means to keep and enhance power.
Law schools and law professors sometimes seem busier dismantling the Constitution because of their dislike of it and the people who wrote it, than they are teaching what it actually says. After all, why teach what it actually says when you aim to replace it?
Do I overstate the case? Is this fanciful? Is it a conspiratorial fantasy that enemies of the Constitution are seeking to replace it and Machiavellian bureaucrats and lawyers manipulate the law to achieve partisan ends?
In 2010 when I left the Justice Department, I thought such a claim might have been hard to swallow. But the perpetrators of these views have obliged us by being very explicit in the last few years.
Enemies of the Constitution are now hiding in plain sight. Let me briefly note two examples (there are many, many others).
Who can forget the editorial by Georgetown Law Professor Louis Seidman in the New York Times called “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.” After all, as he put it, “a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries and knew nothing of our present situation and thought it was ok to own slaves disagreed” with what progressives want to do. This is in the New York Times by a Georgetown Law professor.
Then, getting closer to my area of expertise – election law – there was a law review article in the Stanford Law and Policy Review by an election law professor — University of Michigan’s Ellen D. Katz — “Democrats at DOJ: Why Partisan Use of the Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All.”
When I say they hide in plain sight, these are the things I mean. There are many more examples of outright hostility to the Constitution becoming mainstream.
These are threats to our Constitutional order against which, I will submit, our old means of defense are largely ineffective.
We have entered a new battlespace between left and right. No longer do we have gentle disagreements about public policy. Instead, the Left has sought to criminalize many disagreements, has weaponized the law to attack their foes – both personally and substantively – and is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a multi-front war to transform the remaining institutions that they have not already transformed. They seek to silence their opposition. [This is what writers such as Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap doe. Like a member of the New catholic Red Guard, he points and jumps up and down and blows a whistle when he imagines that someone has transgressed against the content of his prized Little Red Book. Thus, he tries to aim those with power at his targets. This is what he did to Prof. Chad Pecknold the other day. This was his tactic in a green-inked hit against Catholic University of America just as the board of CUA was about to meet.]
I am afraid that the scholarly voice is no longer an effective rebuttal – and hence I believe you can explain one reason why President Trump was elected. The American public, who believe in the Constitution, who believe in the Rule of Law, saw it under attack from so many places.
Let me turn to a few examples where this is happening in my own field of expertise: election law.
The transformative Left understands that process drives policy.
[NB – He gets into all important PROCESS.]Process means the rules, the boring things, if you will. Conservatives are focused on ideas, policies, reasoned debate. Naturally so, as they care about the issues. Whereas the left is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to destroy your policies through the transformation of process.
What are example of process issues in election law?
I mean the rules that govern elections. The rules that govern speech. Control over the institutions.
Read the rest there.
Process… process… process.
Keep bashing away and wearing down your opponent through insistence on process. (“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” … “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”) Endless court cases… endless accusations and filings and complaints and indictments…. Fight every law, decision, election, finding and drive it back into the courts. Keep asserting the same referenda over and over and over, until they drive through.
On a positive note: perhaps traditionalists could make use of this dedication in a parish by being always the ones to show up for parish events, being the first to volunteer for something to be handled, making themselves indispensable to the pastor, the choir director, the religious ed coordinator. Show up and transform.
Yeah… that‘s gonna happen. Too often, people show up for “their Mass” and then disappear, having even ignored or undernourished the collection basket.
I think that has to change.
But back to the more secular application of these tactics.
This fellow has made a strong case. It is disturbing.
Si vis pacem para bellum! v. ¡Hagan lío!