How are you doing on your summer reading list? Probably better than I am. One book I read before the summer started was Steve Deace’s Rules for Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again. Because of the amount of free political commentary available on the web, when you buy a book and take the time to read it — it had better be good. Deace doesn’t disappoint with “Rules.”
Steve Deace is 40, married with children, and a Christian. He hosts a radio talk show, is a syndicated columnist, his website can be found here, and he’s a contributor to BarbWire.com. Deace lives and works in the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state of Iowa — which is probably why he’s not flying at a detached 30,000 feet like too many other high flying commentators. He gets the grassroots and sees the challenge. In the introduction he writes:
As a result of surrendering culture to the Left, we no longer have a country that accepts many of our premises. Thus we have to go into—pardon the phrase—evangelism mode.
We’re not a silent majority anymore. We’re a dwindling plurality in clear and present danger of becoming a silenced minority. If you want your neighbors to vote differently, then we have to change their worldview.
Rule, or “Commandment” #3 is “Never Accept the Premise of Your Opponent’s Argument.” Deace writes that “often debates about the future of the country immediately jump to the conclusion of our worldview, when we should be arguing the premise”:
For example, we argue for limited government when the real argument is why someone is for small government or big government. Drawing this distinction is more important than ever before, because there is a debate within conservative circles about whether limited government and freedom can occur in a vacuum apart from addressing the moral issues or the condition of the culture. And the answer to that question is absolutely not.
You cannot have limited/self-government without first having a moral people capable of governing themselves, and you cannot have a moral people without the sort of spiritual awakening in a culture that preceded this republic in the first place.
If more Republican candidates and office holders would take the time to articulate the connection between the economic and social issues, we’d be further down the road of explaining why fiscal conservatism won’t work with Cultural Marxism.
Deace’s short section on the pro-life v. pro-abortion debate is excellent. Here’s a sample:
There is no such thing as “pro-life with exceptions.” If someone is “pro-life with exceptions” they’re really just pro-choice, but just want fewer choices than Planned Parenthood does. For if you really believed we were killing innocent children, you would do everything you could to stop it regardless of the circumstances.
Deace’s age — and sentences like these — convince me that Steve Deace is an excellent ambassador to the many morally clueless “Millenials”:
The entire faulty premise of the homosexual agenda is that what two consenting adults are doing in their bedroom is of no business to anybody else. In reality the motto of this movement is “you will be made to care.” That’s why they make it our business by invading the public policy arena demanding validation for their private bedroom behavior in a manner that compels the rest of us to alter our morality and religious freedom to accommodate them.
His sarcasm is effective also, for example, when he asks, “shouldn’t we always base our concept of right and wrong off what we see on TV, just like our gender-neutral maternal units taught us”?
Deace sees a nation where “Most Americans do not know what they really believe let alone why they believe it”:
Ours is a nation up for grabs, where marriage wins 32 consecutive elections all over the country, but most people no longer view homosexual behavior itself as immoral and can’t get enough of Modern Family. Most Americans describe themselves as Christians, but then sit idly by and do nothing while every vestige of Christianity is snuffed out of our public institutions.
“Maybe it’s just me,” Deace writes, “but I see this as a tremendous opportunity for us”:
The good news is that emerging generation is all but a blank slate, believing in nothing. The bad news is we’re not currently equipped to fill in the blanks for them.
Those who read my column understand why I was saying “Amen!” as I read sections like this:
Since conservatives have spent a generation retreating from the arena of ideas to form holy huddles in our own little enclaves of the already-initiated, we have forsaken an entire generation to be indoctrinated by anti-American/anti-Christian Leftists who clearly know what they’re doing. The emerging generation hasn’t rejected the American way. It hasn’t even considered it.
We’ve stopped competing in the arena of ideas, so we’ve left them with no choice but to accept the synthesized narrative (Hegelian Dialectic) they’ve been sold in government school.
The result is this:
Very few Americans are fully vested in a leftist, secular-progressive worldview. In fact, most Americans aren’t fully vested in anything, and the Left takes advantage of that with its shallow talking points meant to tickle the ears of the masses they dumbed down in the government schools they control.
“The system is counting on our complacency,” Deace writes:
And if we’re being honest we have to admit to ourselves it has every reason to. But we’ve always been the ones in charge. We’ve always out-numbered them. We’ve just been unwilling to act like it.
I bought the Kindle version of the book back in March for $9.99. $9.99! That’s a steal…and you won’t find better summer reading.