It is time to move on. How many times have we heard this particular phrase, and in what context have we heard it? This old and increasingly hackneyed mantra has been used, and in fact it has been done to death, in the last thirty or so years. “Moving On” was the title of a fairly well received popular song from the very late and unlamented 1970s. To “move on” then became something of a term denoting an individual’s passage of life. One “moved on” through jobs and/or career changes, through circles of friends and acquaintances, through romances and love affairs. When one reflected on the changed circumstances of condition, it was simply to remark that he/she had “moved on”, to wherever “on” happened to be. In 1999 former President Clinton, desperately maneuvering to avoid impeachment, plaintively asked, “Can we move on?” His meaning, of course, was that the American public should ignore perjury, witness tampering, evidence tampering, and gross abuse of power and permit him to stay in office with an unsullied record. Later still, George Soros co-opted the term for his nefarious purposes, and by 2010 the mantra had turned into a cliché, largely devoid of meaning. Now, however, this overly used phrase, “move on” has been hijacked by the political-cultural Left, and it has become a synonym for surrendering to the liberals, and ceding victory to the Left, specifically in the culture wars.
Let me say it again so that there is no mistaking the central point of this column. The term “move on” has become another name for conservative rout, surrender, and defeatism in the face of the relentless liberal assault on life as lived by most normal Americans. A look at a major metropolitan daily newspaper or magazine will prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt, and we will “move on” to this momentarily. One might correctly ask why the Left has hijacked a formerly benign, if somewhat overused term like “move on”? It is universally acknowledged by committed revolutionaries, and prep school debate teams, that controlling semantics leads to controlling the debate itself. The particular side that determines the language dictates the terms of the engagement, and nearly always wins. That is why global warming became “climate change,” abortion became “choice,” and liberal became “progressive” among other famous name changes. When we add to this the unfortunate tendency of most public discourse to descend to slogans and shibboleths, we can see the origins of our current problem.
As for examples of this new normal, one need only consider the current political-cultural climate. Last week a well-known female Washington Post commentator stated that it was time for the Republican Party to “move on” from Donald Trump. Her counsel suggested that the GOP repudiate their nominee and simply resign themselves to losing the next two national elections. This would constitute “moving on.” Another Post commentator suggested that Bernie Sanders should order his people to “move on,” which is understood here as giving up the chase for the Democratic nomination, accepting a pat on the head, and a stick of candy from Hillary Clinton. Finally, many commentators have suggested that North Carolina should “move on” and get with the LGBT agenda regarding public restrooms, although the US Department of Justice turned up the heat.
In more local news it was suggested here in the great Midwest, by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that Ferguson, Missouri should “move on” which can be understood in this context as submitting to Justice Department browbeating and intimidation. In the same issue of the daily newspaper an ad-hoc group calling themselves “Leading Members of the Missouri Business Community” used a variation of the phrase when congratulating themselves and the public for stopping a North Carolina-style restroom law in Missouri. The proposed law would also have granted a religious exemption for those who chose not to endorse gay marriage through commercial transactions. The business folks, terrified of boycotts and bad publicity, opined in the paper, “It is our sincere hope that …we can put this issue behind us.” That may not exactly be “moving on” but it is close enough. Finally on KMOX Radio, the legendary local AM Talk Radio powerhouse, a self-styled conservative show host stated that as far as he could see on the gay marriage issue, “…the rest of the country has moved on now, and it is time for Missouri to move on as well.”
The common denominator in these disparate voices and different issues is quite simple. On the major cultural issues the conservatives have lost again, without knowing what hit them. The political-cultural Left is gleeful, and linguini-spined faux conservatives, resigned to defeats, embrace their beautiful loser image, and urge our side to “move on.” We might well ask them where it is we are supposed to move. Are we expected to move on to our next thrashing at the hands of the media, President Obama, his handpicked successor who he admitted he doesn’t like very much, or the Supreme Court of the United States? We are expected to serenely accept losses and content ourselves with saying: We told you so!
What is wrong with this prescription? Well, for starters it means we will never win anything ever again. In politics it portends a return to the bad old days of the 1960s and 70s, with a liberal Democratic Party, and a me-too Republican team that endorses most Democratic ideas, but warns a little bit about the costs involved. It also guarantees a continued cultural rot, as we sink closer to a modern facsimile of a declining Roman Empire, circa 400 AD. Finally, lest we think that surrender will result in peace, does anyone think that the tolerant liberals, led by the federal government and Madame Hillary will let us off that easily? No, they will keep up the pressure until we all state publicly that we love Big Brother. It is coming and faster than we realize.