Republicans who try to adapt to liberal values are pursuing a dead end. Liberal values only serve liberals, especially in the teeth of a liberal media. They cannot be used to serve or promote someone who is not. And consciously adopting those values and highlighting that adoption is a dead end. It’s worth doing if it’s the right thing, but the other side will just sneer and mock because values to them are not tests of character, but weapons, a means of producing programmed responses.
Liberal values are not a creed, but an attitude. They are a manner and a hipness. They are a matter of having read the right books and gone to the right schools. They are not about what you do, but how you go about doing it. They are a show of conspicuous morality made cool by the glare of the flash. And the moment you think you know what their codes of behavior are, they will change them to be even more progressive, because the one thing that old elites stick to is finding ways to keep the nouveau riche out.
Liberalism is not so much about knowing, as it is about not knowing. It is about the knowingness of pretending to know more than you do. It is about the empty gesture, the loud protest and the snide remark. It is knowing that you are better than everyone else because of your humility. It is about committing to something so big that nothing else matters and so nothing else does.
You cannot beat a liberal with a liberal, just as you can’t try to outcool the sneering standing outside a 7-11 waiting for someone to come by so he can sneer at him. Trying it, wastes time and cedes valuable values territory to people who have none of their own. And like arguing with an idiot, trying to win a values contest with someone who has no values, only ends up making the man with values seem like a fool.
Originally published at Sultan Knish.