Go Local, Christian!

From Gary North’s Why Conservatives Have Lost the Political Battle for America’s Soul

Conservative social thought de-emphasizes politics. This is why conservative social thought never gains much of the hearing in the modern world. The modern world is so obviously political, and the power of central governments is so great over every area of life, that all issues become politicized. The traditional conservative opposition to the very suggestion of political salvation is co-opted by their enemies. Conservatives over and over go out to vote as if their votes will fundamentally change the nature of American society. Ultimately, this cannot be true if conservative social theory is correct. Ultimately, the political institutions represent the people, and the great issues of daily life are not political; they are social, ethical, economic, ecclesiastical, and educational. The great issues of life are not political, yet at the same time the central government is pushing its way into every area of life. It is politicizing that which was not political prior to the Enlightenment.


I always quote the letter written by political activist Paul Weyrich in 1999, in which he specifically said that we have lost the culture war, which ultimately is an ethical war. He did not see how politics could roll back the debauchery that America has become. He did not think that anything that could be done at the federal level through politics could fundamentally reverse what Robert Bork called slouching towards Gomorrah.

The liberal believes in something like political salvation. He believes in political healing of every area of life. He believes that federal power, coupled with federal money, can make society better. Therefore, he is active in politics, he puts faith in politics, and he puts a whole lot of money in politics. He sees political mobilization is the heart of social transformation. He becomes highly skilled at getting votes. He becomes a master at political fund-raising. He has all of the skills that a professional has in any field, and he is up against conservatives whose very philosophy of life militates against political salvation and hard-core political mobilization.

In the political arena, how could a Christian who gives everything to God, compete with a liberal who gives everything to politics?

Christians are innately “politics fourth” people: many things are more important than a particular vote or a particular party, so our political groups are always going to be underpowered compared to a liberal, who has a deep, unshakable faith in political power as his (and everyone elses!) Lord and Saviour.

I refuse to apologies for putting God and Family and Work ahead of Party. But I am under no illusion, that I am going to be a better politician, or gain more political power, than someone who lives and breathes politics, 24 by 7.

So, the conservative movement by its own nature is not an effective political competitor. Because local issues are far more tied to social issues, where conservatives say a country is established, they are better equipped to fight political battles of the local level than liberals are. Liberals look to Washington for salvation; conservatives ought to look to county government as a barrier against the expansion of the federal government into their lives. But they do not know the philosophy of local government which undergirded the foundation of this nation, beginning in the colonial era, and extending even through the period immediately preceding the ratification of the Constitution. That legacy has got to be restored, and conservatives have got to adopt it. If they do not adopt it, we are simply going to get more of the same, until the federal government finally goes belly-up.

Sadly, I think that is what is going to happen. I do not think most conservatives are going to spend the time, money, and effort to build up local resistance governments at the county level to step in when Washington’s checks bounce. They will have to do it after the Great Default.

When the politicians are defunded, and the centralized state is busted good and hard, local politics will be the battleground: a battleground that Christians are better equipped to fight in and win. (And where part-time politicians can have more of a say.)

Which immediately points to Restoring America, One County at a Time.

THIS is where Christians need to start!


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