Clash of the Nomenklaturas

Awhile back, the term “Overton Window” was popular in the comments of the blogs I read. There was a lot of moaning about the fact that conservative or traditional ideas had been moved outside the Overton Window; that they were considered unfit for public discourse. Basically: Saying conservative ideas were outside the Overton Window was another way of saying that conservative ideas weren’t politically correct.

I put it to you: Concern for the Overton Window is itself conservatism. A battle over what is politically correct isn’t a battle between liberals and conservatives, but between two groups of conservatives. If you’ll notice, in the Wikipedia article it lists the outmost points from the Overton Window as “radical”; which is a much better descriptor for the opposite of conservative.

The anti-homosexual marriage crowd lost the war over homosexual marriage licenses because they could not bring themselves to talk about homosexuality in its most flaming form: anal sex. Just as the defining characteristic of marriage is a man and a woman who have license to have sexual intercourse with each other, the defining characteristic of homosexuality is anal sex. Anti-homosexual conservatives (those who rejected the topic as illegitimate) lost the battle against agnostic- homosexual conservatives (those who wanted to license the topic away) because they couldn’t be bothered to confront the true nature of the acts under consideration and then ask poignant questions about it, such as: What good is anal sex? Why should we create a civil ceremony centered on anal sex? What are the advantages of anal sex? What are the disadvantages of anal sex?

I don’t know about how you felt reading those questions, but I didn’t care to even write them.

Meanwhile, the pro-life crowd is just steps from crushing Planned Parenthood because–as the old chestnut informs us–truckloads of dead babies are not funny. How did The Center for Medical Progress shake the foundations of PP? By holding dead babies into the frame of the Overton Window; which is unseemly. It was a radical departure from political correctness, and like a Molotov Cocktail through the pane it set the well-established Planned Parenthood ablaze.

Conservatives usually won’t do that for three reasons:

  1. They believe it soils them to even discuss it. Essentially, they desire political correctness even if they don’t like the current view out the Overton Window.
  2. They’ve seen self-identified conservatives take each other down for even small, brief, breaks in political correctness, i.e., not being religiously nice.
  3. They like to feel righteous. In the meantime, accusations of someone else being un-PC are an easy force multiplier to achieve the sensation.

ASDGamer asked why I even bother writing about conservatism.

And my comment is “Who cares?” I don’t consider myself Progressive or Conservative.

One reason is that I believe that a number of our future fellow travelers will come from those who (at least recently) thought of themselves as conservative, or are sympathetic to what they perceive as conservative. Many Christians are found here; even if slovenly. I think it’s a mistake to harden the hearts of those people by name-calling them; especially if it’s done from a place of misunderstanding. That will beget more apathy. Apathy is bad.

Another reason is that these are fluid and nigh-borderless times. It’s hard to know who to fight and who to defend. Our time and energy are too precious for us to spend it impulsively. If we spend them in attempts of anti-liberal tactics then we’ll most likely fail because what we need are anti-conservative tactics. Their traditions are becoming entrenched! It’s not always going to feel good confronting the truth (and then upholding the truth!) after we’ve spent years conforming to lies. Even if they were “merely” lies of omission, then it’s going to take resolve to see clearly and act appropriately. We cannot afford to be reflexive. Our children almost certainly won’t be able to.

Finally, because it’s my blog. I want to write down my thoughts, and this is the place I do that.

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17 thoughts on “Clash of the Nomenklaturas

  1. Sounds like you’ve accepted the Hegelian frame. I see no reason to conserve much these days.

    The Red Pill has changed the way I read my Bible. It’s much earthier than I had previously understood it to be–especially the NT. The OT was always earthy.

  2. @theasdg

    Sounds like you’ve accepted the Hegelian frame.

    I wonder if you are in error of the sloppy thinking that I am pointing out. Because (me not being a student of Hegel) I took a cursory overview of Hegel’s work, and while there is a framework of left/right Hegelianism, I saw no evidence of a conservative frame. I do not take it as a given that right and conservative are exact synonyms. In fact that is part of the sloppiness I criticize.

    The Red Pill has changed the way I read my Bible. It’s much earthier than I had previously understood it to be–especially the NT.

    It was my pleasure.

  3. I think it’s a mistake to harden the hearts of those people by name-calling them; especially if it’s done from a place of misunderstanding. That will beget more apathy. Apathy is bad.

    Apathy on those who are part of those remnants of conservatism. And more elitism on the part of those who must, oh they just gotta, have some nuance that sets them apart from the pedestrian ideologies of the single family structure dwellers and SUV owners. The nuance must be unknowable and exist only to the extent that they can seem to be part of a new group, but a group they wont let anyone else join. They keep the price of joining set at demonstrating the ability to understand the new nuanced ideology. Naturally no one will ever grasp it and their station is then affixed above the rest.

  4. @Empath

    And more elitism on the part of those who must, oh they just gotta, have some nuance that sets them apart […] They keep the price of joining set at demonstrating the ability to understand the new nuanced ideology. Naturally no one will ever grasp it and their station is then affixed above the rest.

    Theirs goes one higher…

    But don’t miss my other point that we fight from the outside; in the world but not of it. Was there ever a Moral Majority? Though I was young during that era, my and my peers’ parents were not. I do not believe it existed.

  5. Nope…there wasn’t. I cringe when i listen to TV preachers and leaders of big ministries saying that there is a tidal wave of revival coming and our country will suddenly be purified. Where do that get that info, in the sense they are saying and meaning it? This feeds what you are describing.

  6. @Empath…

    They get it through what they term “progressive Revelation”…and the fact that its an easy go to battle call.

    “Get ready”, they proclaim.

    “I’ve been ready and nothing has happened. I’m already in my pajamas now and about to go to bed. See you tomorrow, preacher”

  7. How many conservative Christians who oppose gay marriage supported the Westburo Baptist Church? Oh, Fred Phelps was an asshole, a hateful asshole. Perhaps God destroyed Sodom because He does not accept homosexuals. Are there any conservative Christians that would say that publicly? Since the people of God are likened to a human body and a human body will die without an annus, maybe an asshole is what we need. 1Cor.22ff

  8. @Bobbye

    Funny. A few weeks ago I had similar thoughts on the Westboro Baptist people. Why were so many who call themselves Christian conservatives so fast to jump on their case, and with such verve and vitriol? What purpose did it serve except to signal their own superiority?

  9. @Cane Caldo says:
    August 18, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    “Why were so many who call themselves Christian conservatives so fast to jump on their case, and with such verve and vitriol? What purpose did it serve except to signal their own superiority?”

    I can’t speak for others, but I took it VERY personally when they tried to disrupt Soldiers’ funerals and memorial services at Fort Riley, which is just 45 minutes West of the WBC on I-70. Fortunately, the Patriot Guard Riders are far more numerous than the WBC jackasses.

    Back on topic: maybe we need a sanctified version of “Rules for Radicals”.

  10. @ Cane Caldo says:
    August 19, 2015 at 10:51 am

    “That’s what the Epistles are.”

    Pardon my blindness, but how so? I can see how Christ’s rhetorical manhandling of the Pharisees provides us with a template, but I’m missing your point about the Epistles.

  11. @Oscar: The Scriptures are Truth, from God” point of view. This Truth is always radical and has been since the Creation. Unbelievers are not unbelievers because they do not believe in God. They are unbelievers because they do not believe that God is the rewarder of those who seek Him and do His Will.

  12. @Oscar

    Apologies, my answer was glib because I’m limited to a mobile device. Also a bit lazy.

    The Epistles are the letters to the churches; basically everything after Acts and before Revelations. Within those letters are the tactics and strategies we need. There could definitely be some work done to help us understand them better and to apply them, but I doubt there’s anything lacking from them.

    @Jeremy

    Welcome.

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