Is America undergoing a great awakening in light of the deluge of sex scandals that are now coming to light? Are we seeing a revival of that old-time religion of chastity, purity, and self-control? One would think so as liberals, who once laughed at sexual improprieties, clapped as sinners danced in the streets, and pointed fingers at accusers on national television, are now offering mea culpas and purging all ranks with the fervor of medieval inquisitors.
It certainly looks like a change for good. But don’t be fooled. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Whether it’s stripping Matt Lauer of his former glory or firing up the torches in the Roy Moore election, the goal of the Left is not purity, but power. This fact does not negate the reality of transgressions or the possibilities of criminality in individual cases, but anyone who values both goodness and freedom in this country needs to be wise as serpents. We’re not seeing a revival of virtue in America. We’re seeing a resistance to it.
For true national repentance, there needs to be recognition of objective standards that allow for any of these judgments to be made in the first place. There’s not. We’re not seeing careful consideration of how we got to this point — the abandonment of God as the source of all moral authority or, at the very least, a common recognition of natural law and traditional social norms.
Instead, we are seeing navel-gazing about how to rethink sex, what to do about the brutality of masculinity, and how to delegitimize conservatives who have been accused of abandoning character for political expediency.
Leftists aren’t embracing morality; they’re looking for a way to reclaim the moral authority they lost after past decades of materialism, creeping totalitarianism, and moral bankruptcy. Like fools drunk from their own power, they slipped out of their self-appointed divine seat as arbiters of morals and truth, and they’re now reclaiming it by whatever means necessary. They’re not humbling themselves before the true Moral Authority. They’re replacing it with their own.
We live in a secularized society riddled with subjectivism, and in that world, moral authority has nothing to do with common virtue and everything to do with legitimacy and worldly authority. The individual or the group with the most power defines what is moral and acceptable for their own purposes, and they delegitimize anyone who opposes them through vicious labeling.
Those labels are many and varied, including “enemies of the people,” “sexists,” “racists,” “bigots,” or a popular one with the Moore election, “pedophiles” — referring not to Moore, but to anyone who dares to vote for him no matter how thoughtful the reason. They use whatever is the most effective label to wrest authority from the opposition and transfer it to those lusting for power.
This is the climate every conservative needs to realize he or she is living in and respond accordingly. You should not fall for the notion that you have to align with the new Puritans of the Left and distance yourself from anyone stained with a stigmatized label out of fear that your character, not just your reputation, will be forever soiled.
Don’t think for a minute that your own moral authority will be lost because of your “unseemly” political associations, which are really — at the root — bigger than the label placed on a man; they’re an effort to reestablish good governance in our society based on virtue, truth, and freedom. If you do fall for the power of the label, you’re falling into a trap set by a culture in which the social and political movements are not toward goodness but toward division and chaos.
We are not living in a time of spiritual or moral awakenings. We are living in a time of cultural and political war. Morality is a weapon in the struggle, used by the Left to attack or defend. If it works for them to puff up their own legitimacy and “reputation” as do-gooders and cultural saints, then they’ll use it. If it works to beat up on their opponents who are making political decisions no different than voters have made throughout the course of American history on both sides of the aisle, then they’ll don the armor of morality and take aim.
I’ve seen writers, politicians, pundits, and everyday voters on the Right quake with fear at the thought of supporting the “vulgar” Donald Trump or even voting for Roy Moore despite their concerns about his character, particularly if they don’t believe the accusers, yet they think his dating habits from 40 years ago were questionable.
I’ve seen many on the Right applaud and smile with glee as another sexual predator is exposed in business or politics, before they even know the details. I’ve seen them tremble at the thought of questioning the women and their motives for fear of being labeled an uncompassionate louse or a sexist.
These people aren’t noble or wise. They’re not acting on principles or in faith, but out of fear. What I see mostly are people not concerned about morality, God’s purposes in this world, how a questionable man will truly govern when in office, or even truth itself. I see people concerned about their own reputations, wrongly thinking that whatever anyone says about them is true about their character.
If someone says they’re immoral for voting a certain way, then, by God, they must be immoral. Their character tainted. Such a thought horrifies those worried about maintaining their “reputations” in the eyes of the world.
They don’t want their moral authority taken from them by “bad” associations. They want to be legitimized in a culture that seems to be on the upswing of virtue. They remember when they didn’t have moral authority, and they don’t want to lose it, so they cling to it, shaking off even their most valuable allies to keep it.
What fools these people are. What cowards. Any moral authority they think they’re gaining by distancing themselves from “bad” sorts of people, from touchy questions regarding sexual harassment and “toxic masculinity,” or anyone who is taking an “immoral” political position they find offensive, is already called into question in this cultural war.
They could be Jesus Christ himself, and the Left would still seek to label them and delegitimize them. This is because the Left doesn’t care about morality. It wants power, and the best way to gain that power is to cripple its political and cultural opponents.
This is how the Left gained power in the first place. When conservatives were being “upstanding” and fighting for family values, seeking purity in the political realm, advocating for virtuous candidates even if their ideology lacked principles of freedom, they had no legitimacy in the eyes of the secular culture. Over time, they were stripped of their moral authority as they were politically and socially stigmatized despite their good intentions and “stellar” reputations.
It has only been since many on the Right fought back and said “Enough!” that the tide began to shift. Conservatives maintained their commitment to virtue, but they wised up and challenged the political correctness, corruption, and moral bankruptcy of the Left. They also stopped allowing the Left to manipulate them with labels and stigma.
They realized — to a degree — how the Left deftly delegitimized them in the wrestling match for moral authority. So, instead of running in fear every time a politician was accused of sexism or some unseemly behavior, they stood strong, realizing that at the root was manipulation and game playing.
The Left is not on a quest for virtue in these political conflicts; there’s only a hunger for authority in the Marxist “struggle,” pitting one group against another to weaken the opposition. Giving into the manipulations won’t save your reputation or secure your own moral authority; it will undermine it in the long run, just as it had in the past.
Opposing these political manipulations and standing up to the moral pretenders doesn’t mean conservatives are throwing away their own commitment to virtue for pragmatism. They’re still committed to morality, but they have learned that morality means nothing if you have lost all your moral authority to the moral pretenders who are skilled at delegitimizing in the name of principles.
The worst thing any conservative can do today, in any situation that is politically motivated on any level, is to think the issues before them are just about maintaining one’s own reputation or simply standing for “principles” without an eye to the battle. If you’re willing to abandon those who are in the political and cultural foxhole with you because you’re afraid to lose your personal moral authority (or the moral authority of a political party) due to labels manufactured by the Left, you’ve already lost your moral authority.
You don’t keep it or gain it by running from those who truly believe in principles but are fighting the Left’s manipulations on the political and cultural battlefield. You don’t gain it by standing on the sidelines shooting your own in the back. And you certainly don’t gain it by joining the enemy that has lured you into their ranks with sweet words of purity, principle, and promises of respect.
You gain it by standing unified with those who are engaged in the cultural and political battle against a social movement — an ideology — that uses morality as a weapon to destroy the very moral principles you stand for and the peace only God’s moral authority can establish. You gain it by wearing the objective righteousness of God, which no man and no association can rip from you. You gain it by wielding the weapon of truth against a culture based on lies.
You expose the Left’s true intentions, their political agendas, their manipulations, and their thirst for power at all costs, refusing to allow them to gain a foothold. By exposing evil, morality wins. It doesn’t win when you allow evil to continue to parade as good. And it doesn’t win when you forsake those who are in the battle with you because you’re more concerned about your own reputation than winning the war against evil.