Conservatism isn’t dead yet

Yet, in red and blue states, parents warn their children not to blame their teacher for a bad grade, coaches counsel players not to blame the referee for a loss, and employees know that a bad boss is no excuse for shoddy work. There’s a reason Americans continue to flock to rags-to-riches stories and the ideal of the American dream in popular culture. Personal responsibility and effort aren’t substitutes for rigorous enforcement of antidiscrimination statutes, but the claim that economic outcomes are socially predetermined contradicts most people’s real-world experience and can sometimes become self-fulfilling.

Liberals embrace multiculturalism, claiming all cultures are at least morally and practically equivalent, while they also denigrate Western culture as intrinsically tied to a history of slavery and colonialism. College campuses are filled with students and professors arguing that America is the greatest threat to world peace and development. Yet despite the West’s imperfections, modern liberal democracy still offers the best governing system on earth to promote freedom and human dignity. Few women would willingly trade its equality for the female genital mutilations, child marriage, sex-selective abortions and other gender-based injustices found in other societies. Even a Churchillian acknowledgment from the left that American culture is the least-bad choice would be progress.

Liberals have championed the sexual revolution to overturn traditional mores around ethics and marriage, and to promote freedom from restraint as the ultimate sexual—though not economic—good. Pursuing pleasure and abandoning restraint make for popular bumper stickers, song lyrics and movie plots. Yet the benefits of monogamy and fidelity, for both adults and the children they bring into the world, have been demonstrated repeatedly.

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