“We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no farther!”
Those words were uttered by Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: First Contact, in a scene meant to show that the captain had lost his objectivity. He put his desire for revenge above the well-being of his crew and, ultimately victory, when combating the Borg.
However, the words contained in that line seem to ask a very important question about every battle ever faced in history.
At what point does a side draw a line in the sand and hold, despite all pressure to break? Is it even worth it to stand and fight at all?
The battle for conservatism seems to demand such answers all the time these days. Last week, we lost badly in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case.
Indeed, the defenders of traditional marriage were demeaned in the majority opinion of the Supreme Court. Motives of animus and a desire to demean homosexuals were imputed to those who honor the traditional definition of marriage.
Likewise, we are being pressured by the proponents of “comprehensive” immigration reform to pass the current bill that passed the senate.
So where do we draw the line? At what point do we say “The line must be drawn here?”
There are some conservatives out there saying we should, in essence, give up the fight for traditional marriage. They argue that the fight has, more or less, been lost and we should move on to other, winnable battles. This is a sound approach, no doubt. Yet, I find myself disagreeing with it.
Part of the problem is that the battle of ideas is being lost. Badly.
Each victory by the progressives gives them additional room to twist the agenda and the culture to their advantage. The Supreme Court’s decision will transform society into a more progressive landscape as it completely stops seeing marriage about families and defines it as being purely about emotions (though it has already reached this point, solidifying this state is not wise).
Next the road to other types of “marriage” will be opened, and persecution of non-compliant churches.
The argument in favor of merely accepting the loss seems to contain the implicit assumption that some patchwork of liberal and conservative victories will be possible. I don’t feel that is the case.
Once one part of this war of ideas is surrendered, it will have a rippling, empowering effect on the others for the left. We may have victories (this definitely seems to be the case with abortion), but we will eventually lose the war as a whole and the fight will have been for naught.
These “capitulate on social issues conservatives” also believe that by openly fighting for traditional marriage, we give ammunition to our opponents. This is a weak argument. Everything we say or do or fight for is turned into ammunition for the leftists.
Gay marriage may be better ammunition, but it’s ammunition all the same. And once we cave, we’ll have no ground to stand on ever again on the issue. The left will have succeeded. Marriage will have been redefined as a civil right and it will not turn back.
If we fail to stand for and fight for our beliefs, no matter how unpopular, we lose. The culture is changing and for the worse. Even if American society corrects itself and does not go farther left, it will still be farther left than before, shifting the “middle” and making the fight for conservatism harder.
The left is already seen as the “compassionate, morally right” side. It is only common sense that allows us to hold leftism at bay in issues such as gun control. If we simply allow the paradigm to shift on some issues, without at least remaining vocally opposed, then it will weaken our stance in others.
Fortunately, unlike Picard, our opponents are not the Borg. They are not ravenous, adaptable, hive mind-linked machines (their unintentional efforts to prove otherwise notwithstanding). They are men, like us. We can go toe to toe with them.
It will be hard, it may hurt, we may indeed lose. It seems like losing is inevitable for the moment. But the moment we stop outwardly declaring the truth is the moment the left wins.