"Set Yourselves Free, Conservatives - Or die waiting for a narrative to save you."
A lengthy excerpt from a very good article. It's worth reading the entire article to understand what this community had done to be free and save themselves. Bold mine.
Donald Trump vs. Conservatism, Inc.
A lot of people—especially in the press—misunderstand support for President Trump as some sort of national fascist movement. The reality is that the GOP jumped the shark with Mitt Romney in 2012, and at that point a lot of conservatives like me gave up on the idea of an elevated “national conversation” that would change hearts and minds en masse. Yes, there is a need for conservative writers with a national audience to rally the troops, and to bat ideas back and forth. There is great need for organizations like the Pacific Legal Foundation to help protect ordinary people from big government encroachment, and for places like the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and the various school choice initiatives that work tirelessly to defend schooling options for people who live in districts with abysmal public schools. But these institutions are the exception to the rule. What is needed at the national level is cultivation; a preparing and defending of the ground such that local platoons of citizens can sow and reap the harvest. To the extent that we have lost this understanding, we have allied with progressivism.
This is understandably hard for career practitioners of Conservatism, Inc. to hear, but it’s the truth. The national conservative movement does very little for the average person while simultaneously laying waste to obscene amounts of our charitable donations and manpower. Wasted resources enervate the cause, but far greater damage is inflicted upon the soul of conservatism by the misdirection Conservatism, Inc. forces by ceaselessly redirecting the everyman’s gaze away from his neighbors toward national troubles and national ruin, national initiatives and national scandal. Reform will not happen nationally. Reading articles and posting on Facebook is not political action. It’s not going to work to have a well-paid team of intellectuals and advocates shout into the ether about this country’s lost promise and eternally-threatened constitutional republic.
We can’t afford to wait for the entire country to get its act together. We have children to raise now. Schools to build now. Communities to strengthen now. We want to live well now.
I think it’s fair to say Trump wasn’t most voters’ first pick, but as the 2016 primaries went on, it became evident to a lot of us that Trump was the best option we had. Not for grand narratives and national unity, but for the disunity, chaos, confusion, and stalemate that he unfailingly brings to the enemies of small government and local institutions. I don’t trust Trump to do anything other than keep the other side busy while I continue to build, and run interference for me with the people who want to make it illegal to be a religious small-government conservative. That’s all. That’s the grand bargain that rose up to replace the Grand Narrative—not just for me, but for millions and millions of citizens.
I suspect this is why the endless, scolding op-eds from Conservatism, Inc. about Trump fall mostly upon deaf ears. Trump voters don’t expect anything grand or noble from him, other than to maybe bring clarity to the situation with the media and the Left. He exposes the other side for what it is. He’s not a builder. But he is useful. Because while he distracts, the real conservative movement is happening quietly, in every town and city and state in the union. The war for self-government is being fought by an army of anonymous citizens who are slowly building back up the essential secondary institutions that centralization has destroyed.
Thankful wife of David for 23 years and momma to Caroline for 13 years - Relaxed Homeschooler - Lover of books - Seeker of wisdom from the Lord - Drinker of too many coconut milk mochas from Starbucks