Sophomore Garrison Grisedale argued that Conservatives ought to fight back against the hypocrisy of Hollywood and battle the Left in a culture war in an article titled “Trump shows conservatives how to fight and win a culture war.” President Trump ought to serve as a model, according to Grisedale.
Grisedale wrote that Trump demonstrates a way to fight back and win. He defines winning as accomplishing “the delegitimization of today’s elites.”
I have objections to the “warfare” terminology that only leads to greater animosity between Americans on the Right and the Left, but putting that aside, Grisedale does not explain what the goal of Conservatives and Trump should be in this so-called war, aside from delegitimizing elites. He connected this with the Weinstein scandal, in which Trump played no part, and Trump’s angry tweets at athletes.
The only actual victory he pointed out was the election itself, but clearly this is different from winning the culture war if it’s still being fought. Perhaps another victory was when Pence walked out of a football game, something which Grisedale admits was “criticized as a political stunt,” though it did frame Pence as a fighter.
So what should Conservatives be doing? Like many on both sides of the aisle, Grisedale ignores the possibility that our goal should actually be to convince those who disagree with us. Angry rants on Twitter may earn us retweets from the choir we’re preaching to, but what good is that? And walking out of a football game when everyone knew players were going to kneel beforehand — did anyone who sympathizes with the players actually think that made Pence’s position worth reconsidering? (Don’t get me wrong; if you don’t like players kneeling, I think you should stop watching games. This move was much more dramatic, not to mention expensive.)
Trump is not a good leader for Conservatives if we want to persuade those on the other side. Such a persuasiveness requires a calmness, self-control, and respect for others that Trump does not have.
Grisedale mentioned the recent Weinstein incident. Hollywood may be hypocritical if it can defend Weinstein and condemn Trump for his famous comments which, while they don’t make him a rapist, showed a disgusting attitude towards women’s bodies. When Conservatives look at the Left in Hollywood who defended Weinstein, we see hypocrites. When the Left looks at the Right claiming to care about women and defending Trump, they see the same thing. You may argue that isn’t fair, but it doesn’t matter. You won’t convince them.
I understand the relief that Conservatives feel at having a president who is just as frustrated at the Left as we are. But he should not be the leader we want to look to when it comes to changing hearts and minds.
Chandler Lasch is a senior studying history.