Dear Conservatives, Stop Taking the Bait!

An open letter to the Conservative Movement,

It pains me to be the bearer of bad news, but you guys are being played. Again and again I see it. You’re just starting to build some momentum to deal with an important issue, when all of a sudden, as if from nowhere, you’re derailed into talking about some marginal issue that most people don’t care about. The momentum evaporates, and the rest of the country is left looking at you with a slightly worried, slightly confused expression, wondering why you keep snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

This is not an accident. In fact, it’s a very deliberate tactic of the left to distract, deride, and delegitimize you. The problem is that you’ve become predictable. The administration knows your berserk button, knows just what strings to pull to make you dance. And dance you do.

For example, let’s look at the response to the Orlando shooting. This should have been a disaster for the left’s messaging. All this time, they’ve been dismissing radical Islam while claiming that conservatives are the greatest threat to gay rights. Omar Mateen punctured that narrative, deflating it completely. Or at least he would have, if conservatives hadn’t allowed themselves to be manipulated by President Obama. But he, more than anybody, knows how to get a reaction when he wants one. All he has to do is give a speech about terrorism, pointedly refusing to utter the words “radical Islam,” and conservatives do the rest for him.

In the aftermath of Orlando, I witnessed article after article slamming Obama for not saying two words people think he should have said. People are dead. Others are dying. Does an absent phrase in one man’s speech really matter at a time like this? While I agree that it’s stupid that Obama refuses to use the term, at this point I think his sole motivation for doing so is to send conservatives into a predictable frenzy, so he can focus on his latest gun control plans while the opposition is distracted. Obama knows that all he has to do is opine about transgender bathrooms or the causes of terrorism, and the resulting firestorm will give him cover to do what he really wants to do.

Stop taking the bait!

While conservatives spend time and energy on minor issues, ObamaCare, the FDA, and our foreign policy are literally killing people. Our domestic economic policies are costing people their livelihood and forcing them to become dependent on the welfare state, sometimes irreversibly. Everywhere we look, the government is robbing people of their lives, and their independence, but no one notices because of two words Obama left out of a speech, two words that, if they were uttered, would make exactly zero difference in the fight against terrorism.

Every time conservatives make national news by screaming about gays or immigrants or the minutia of what a Democrat did or didn’t say, they come across, rightly or wrongly, as intolerant, uninformed wackos. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m not saying it’s fair, but that’s the way it looks to an awful lot of people. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Think instead of how much more effective you could be if, the next time Obama opens his trap about transgender bathrooms, the movement as a whole responded with “that’s nice, but how about you stop holding American citizens indefinitely without a trial? It’s cool that you, the most powerful man in the world, is focused on bathrooms right now, but maybe carve some time out of your schedule to deal with the fact that people are literally dying thanks to your health care reforms.” Why not try to look like the adult in the room, and make the president seem childish and petty, instead of falling into the same old trap again and again?

The conservative movement is a powerful one, capable of achieving great things, but as long as you keep allowing liberals to manipulate you, to control their own narrative while sending you spinning off into the land of controversial marginalia, that potential will always be squandered, and you will always be on the losing end of a defensive war. It’s time for you to regain control of your movement, set aside the distractions, and actually get things done.

With tough love and encouragement,
Your friend,
Logan Albright

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Logan Albright

Logan Albright is the Head Writer and Sound Engineer at Free the People. He is the author of Conform or Be Cast Out: The (Literal) Demonization of Nonconformists and Our Servants, Our Masters: How Control Masquerades as Assistance.

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