Against conservative cultural defeatism

We face a challenge, not a crisis, and there is no need to turn our back on our nation’s founding principles to overcome it.

One of the strange realities of the current fight over the direction of the conservative movement — double down on classical liberalism or reject many of its tenets in favor of a version of Christian statism? — is that it is taking place in the presence of an unjustified sense of despair and defeat. There is a wholly incorrect sense that the previous approach to the hot-button cultural issues of our day, centered around appeals to constitutional rights conducted (mostly) with civility and dignity, has failed. The argument is, in short: We lose, so we must change.

This is false. And one need only look at the news of the last month to see that it’s false. Even as entire quarters of the intellectual Right throw their hands up in cultural despair, an immense, contiguous American geographic region is passing the most significant wave of pro-life legislation since Roe. And this legislation follows a previous wave of pro-life laws, passed during the Obama administration, that resulted in more abortion regulation than at any other time since Roe.