PJ Media video commentator and director Bill Whittle closed Sunday morning’s session at the fourth annual Western Conservative Summit, urging attendees not to let progressives “get away with it anymore” by falsely claiming moral superiority.
For Whittle, “all of the ‘gotcha’ questions, all this stuff, is predicated on them [progressives] having moral superiority.”
“But it’s actually deeper than that, because it’s unearned moral superiority,” Whittle declared.
“They haven’t earned their moral superiority … These are not good people,” Whittle said. “They fight dirty.”
Part of Whittle’s plan for reclaiming the moral high ground–flipping the traditional progressive narratives on issues like affirmative action. He described an encounter with a student at Oberlin College in Ohio. When confronted about his lack of support for progressive policy, he challenged the student’s racial notions that informed his support for the policy. The exchange left the student speechless, Whittle said.
Such “devastating counterattacks” are necessary, Whittle said. “We can’t just sit here and take this anymore.”
Whittle stressed the absolute importance of the impact of pop culture on the outlook of successive generations of Americans, and how that influence translates into changing voting habits and a different perception of the United States. For older folks in the crowd recognized the “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” of the comic book superhero Superman TV series. For boomers, familiar with the theme song of “Gilligan’s Island,” the effect, other than humor, was neutral. But for the youngest participants who have seen the popular “Family Guy” series, Whittle described the anti-Christian, anti-family, and anti-American messages of the Seth MacFarlane as unavoidable.
The pop culture message that “conservatives are uncool, conservatives are evil” is the product of forty years of progressive messaging, Whittle said.
He listed three pervasive ways progressives have conjured and constructed this image of conservatives. They begin, Whittle said, by imparting the notion that wealth is unearned, and that taxation and redistribution is not theft, because “he [conservative] took more than his fair share.”
They continue by proclaiming everyone as special, which Whittle says is nonsense. “If everybody’s special, then nobody’s special,” Whittle said. Achievement and hard work mean nothing in this scenario, Whittle said.
The final part in this chapter of the progressive playbook, Whittle said, is by making government appear to be everyone’s friend. “Let us help you,” said Whittle. Promises of government handouts–free housing, health care, food–prove enticing. What progressives want in return, Whittle argued, is loyalty and political support.
In Whittle’s estimation, “Barack Obama is not the problem, Barack Obama is the symptom of the problem.” His administration is the product of decades of successful progressive messaging, according to Whittle.
Ultimately, Whittle argued that fighting back and capturing the hearts and minds of young people would result from adjusting the conservative fundamentals of freedom, private property, and virtue in a way that made sense to the next generation.
Asking a simple question or two can get young people to see freedom in new ways. He offered two questions. “Raise your hand if you’re the kind of person that likes to be left alone,” Whittle asked. “Now raise your hand if you’re the kind of person that likes to tell other people what to do,” Whittle continued. Students prefer to be left alone, and that’s freedom, Whittle said. They don’t like telling other people what to do, but until now have likely not viewed government telling people what food to buy or what car to drive as fundamentally the same as telling people what to do.
He also said that self-proclaimed socialist and progressive students balk at personal redistribution, refusing to give up their phones in exchange for money that could be handed out in Cleveland, Whittle said, recounting his appearance at Oberlin. They love private property, said Whittle, because “they’re not socialists, that’s why.” Instead, this belief in private property showed that the students were “rock-ribbed conservatives” who just did not know it yet.
Third, Whittle suggested virtue being recast as simply, “don’t be a jerk.”
“If you’re not a jerk, we can leave you alone,” Whittle said.
Ultimately, Whittle pointed to the GOP and conservatives as being responsible for pushing back on the cultural front.
“If this party can’t sell freedom, private property, and virtue, we don’t deserve to be in this business,” Whittle said.
Allowing progressives to label conservatives as misogynist and racist, among other charges, is simply an attempt to get conservatives to shut up, according to Whittle.
“Don’t let them get away with it anymore,” Whittle pleaded.