Why I Created This Substack
Andrew Breitbart was absolutely right when he said that “politics is downstream from culture.” However, Breitbart didn’t go nearly far enough. In one sense or another, almost everything that matters is downstream from culture. That’s because a non-functional culture produces non-functional people. The sort of people who create disastrous, broken lives for themselves and then demand that the rest of the world change to accommodate their bad decisions. Go look at #BlackLivesMatter, ANTIFA, Incels, transsexuals, drag queens, furries, welfare addicts, modern feminists, Nazis, and any number of other groups and you’ll see people who are losers that want to rewrite the rules of the game to make themselves winners. It would be easy to blame society for their problems, but that’s not quite accurate. They largely created their own problems and society is at fault to the extent that it cruelly caters to their delusions instead of pointing them in the right direction.
Democrats view broken people as potential sources of votes and feelings of superiority (those poor losers need me), so they often actively encourage dysfunctional behavior, but Republicans play our role as well. We act as if culture isn’t important in the first place. As if people that aren’t good are going to support the Constitution, or groups of selfish losers with victimhood complexes are going to support small government and fiscal conservatism. Even when we do talk about culture, we are often so desperate to avoid a fight that we stick to a handful of egregious issues (abortion, CRT, etc.) activists demand we address while ignoring so many of the other crucial issues that have to be addressed to move our culture in the right direction.
In the interim, as all this has been going on, have you noticed all the ads for things like gold, guns, and survival seeds have gone mainstream? I still think back fondly to the time when most people thought of preppers as faintly loony and ridiculous as opposed to wondering if we should be learning from them. In fact, I still remember being invited to do a speech several years ago and taking questions from the audience afterward. One of the people asked when it would be time for patriots to get their guns and take back the country. I just chalked it up to him being an excitable fellow, but now? It’s a common sentiment. One of my neighbors was talking about Civil War not so long ago. The guy who services my HVAC said he was worried about a revolution breaking out. I talked to an old friend in the political business and he told me he thought the country would look like a prison-based race war in a decade or two.
It's an increasingly mainstream sentiment now and we can point to lots of reasons for it, but they all circle back to our broken culture. We don’t trust each other anymore. We are immersed in stories designed to produce outrage while we watch people say the meanest things to each other on social media every day. Manners are dead. Take this for example:
I don’t know Christine Sydelko or have any insight into her character or the type of person she may be. However, the statement she made could fairly be categorized as monstrous or evil. Yet, she said it and it has more than 4,000 likes. Are these people all evil? Are they just thoughtless? Are they all just saying anything to get attention? Whatever the case may be, this is the kind of thing social media and the mainstream media bombard you with day long, over and over again. What do you think it does to people’s opinions of their fellow Americans when that’s the case?
At one point in time, the whole world would have benefitted from sharing America’s culture. The respect for the law, the Protestant work ethic, the commitment to Constitutional principles, and the decency of the people were all worth emulating. It doesn’t mean the culture was perfect or that we haven’t advanced in some ways, but it feels like our whole culture has fallen off a cliff since then.
If we are going to save this country from a revolution, a second Civil War, or some other kind of big break-up, a lot more of us need to be talking about this and trying to figure out a way forward. Politics isn’t the answer, and neither is economics. It’s culture and guess what? It’s almost impossible to address this issue in a meaningful way through conventional means. Social media websites are censoring conservatives and convincing people to self-censor rather than risk being blocked or penalized. That wouldn’t matter, except as a practical matter, almost everything that isn’t tailored to draw an audience on social media dies without anyone reading it. Meanwhile, people on both sides of the aisle have gotten more tribal, more hooked on outrage, and less able to follow longer, more detailed explanations. We’re moving into a world where bumper stickers, memes, tweets, and insults mean more than logic, wisdom, and understanding what you’re talking about. We have moved all the way from “character doesn’t matter” to “manners don’t matter” to “applaud anything that can hold your attention.”
How do you change that? It starts with people standing up, speaking out, and fighting back to save our culture. The corporations that run most of the big conservative media websites don’t care about that because it doesn’t add to the bottom line. Think tanks in the conservative movement generally don’t tackle a lot of these issues and pretty clearly, our politicians aren’t going to change the culture. If anything, the culture is much more likely to change them than the reverse.
So, if it’s going to change, it’s going to take people like me writing articles about it, connecting with like-minded conservatives, and all of us pulling together as a group to try to figure out how to fix this mess our country has gotten itself into. That’s why my ultimate goal with this isn’t just to write articles, it’s to build a community full of people that understand the threat to the country and want to discuss the issues to figure out the best way for us to change things instead of getting stuck trading insults with recreational outrage loving morons on Twitter. I could very easily build a profitable conservative news website and traffic in outrage. I’ve done it before and I am confident I could do it again, but at this point, I have realized that the outrage merchants are part of the problem, not part of the solution. I’d rather walk the much more difficult path of building up a community via a subscription-based newsletter where we can grapple with the issues that are going to decide whether we save our country than to make a little more money before the country sinks beneath the waves. I am not going to pretend that is an easy task because we are in a nation on a glide path to destruction. All it would take for America to go bankrupt and fall to pieces is for people like us to do nothing. I also can’t tell you that I have all the answers or that I’m going to succeed, but I am going to try. I want you to try with me.
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That shouldn’t be a big ask, but in a world full of free content, I know it is for some people. I wouldn’t even ask for that, but it all comes down to is two things. I need enough people that are willing to financially support this concept to make it worth it for me to pump out multiple long articles per week and I need some evidence that there are enough people out there that consider this a serious enough issue to do something small to help. If at the end of the day, there aren’t even enough people that care about what happens to this country to pay $7 for a newsletter, there sure aren’t going to be enough to save it. The reality is that we don’t need one newsletter like this, we need 100, but that’s not going to happen until there’s proof people can reach an audience and make a living doing it.
Some people may think I’m naive, but I believe that if enough of us combine our efforts this way, we might be able to make a real difference and make sure that our children and our children’s children have a chance to grow up in a great nation that’s worth preserving. We’ll see if other people agree with that thinking soon enough.