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OPINION

No More Mr. Nice Con

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The hideous notion that conservatives should always be nice is rearing its ugly and misshapen head again, and we need to crush its skull with a Louisville Slugger. Recently, Matt Walsh went off on some womanface imposter who looks like a wimpy boy pretending to be a fugly girl, and some alleged conservatives clutched the same pearls he/she likes to wear. Why, Matt was mean. Mean! And Senator Tim Scott seems poised to enter the presidential race on a platform of being nice. He is a nice guy too, and that’s fine, except like many conservatives he misunderstands the purposes of being nice. Being nice is not an end unto itself.

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Neither being nice or being mean is the objective. The objective is defeating these communist demons and reestablishing a free, strong, and prosperous America. Niceness and meanness are mere tactics. But by focusing on the tactic, the weak and the feckless can avoid facing up to the hard work of attaining the objective. If your metric is how nice or mean you are, you never have to explain why you don’t ever seem to attain the objective. America got worse from 2001 to 2008, but W was a gentleman, so it was fine. This is pretty much the entire GOP modus operandi up until 2016, when the base chose mean and victory over nice and defeat.

“A thousand points of light.” “Kinder, gentler.” “Compassionate conservatism.” Ugh. This is the point of failure. How nice we are or how mean we are is not the issue. The issue is how effective we are. These spineless losers managed America’s decline for decades while retreating to the purported moral high ground of niceness. Those of us unconcerned with the Margaret Dumonts and their “Oh well, I never-ing” are left to clean up the mess. But it’s always like that. Some of us have to do the dirty work to make the world safe for the sissies, and then the sissies moan about how uncouth we are.

I can live with that.

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And here’s the thing – many of the people who tell you not to be mean have been plenty hard in other aspects of their life. George H.W. Bush was a Navy flyer and dropped bombs on people. His son indirectly dropped bombs on lots of people, with varying degrees of justification. Monocle-wearing rich guy Mitt Romney never flinched as thousands of our jobs got shipped overseas. And when it came to Trump, or those of us who supported Trump, their niceness fetish went out the window. They choose to be “nice” in order to avoid arguments within the establishment – being “nice” is a way to avoid uncomfortable conflict among the ruling class. There are genuinely nice but misguided people out there, like Tim Scott, but for folks like the establishment swells, “nice” is all a pose and a lie.

Now, the fact that we should not default to “niceness” – which for the establishment reads as “weakness” and “submission” – does not mean that niceness, real niceness, cannot or should not be part of our toolbox. I like hammers, but sometimes you need a screwdriver. Niceness is a tool, a tactic, and where it is effective to be nice, be nice. Hug some puppies, kiss some babies, talk about reaching across the aisle knowing the jerk behind you will look like a schmuck for ripping up your speech. If being nice advances the ball, fine, but remember that you get no points for being nice – you get points for getting into the endzone.

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And do not fear to be mean where that works, and it often does. Of course, there are various shades of “meanness.” True meanness is pure cruelty, viciousness designed not to achieve our objective but simply to inflict pain for the sheer joy of it. That’s rarely useful for achieving the objective though – it’s selfish because it exists only to please the inflictor. What they call “meanness” is really directness and clarity about how dumb or lame the subject is. It is truth, often presented in an amusing and evocative way, and they do not like it one bit because it works. They call it “meanness” in order to stop you from doing it, and they want to stop you from doing it because it is often an effective tactic, where “niceness” often is not.

It is not mean to point out that someone who sucks sucks. It might not be pretty, but it is true.

Meanness, properly understood, is also vital to our side’s morale. It is hard to explain to many of these invertebrates how important it is to demonstrate a willingness to fight back just as hard against the people being mean to us. Look, if some commie dork calls us “racist” – and they do it all the time – there’s no satisfactory rationale for not clobbering him. Yes, I know Jesus said forgive, but he also picked up a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple. 

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And then we need to be clear about the moral calculation. We are up against bad people who wish to disenfranchise us as a minimum, and who often wish to enslave or even murder us. They support perverts who want to have sex with the kids who somehow escaped being killed in the womb. They want your money, guns, and freedom. They would happily march you off to the gulags if they could – Yah, Second Amendment! – and a lot of the nice guys who wag their fingers at us now would be standing there happily waving good-bye.

Meanness is a rational and reasonable result of righteous anger, and we should be angry. We should be furious. What they call “meanness” is simply the telling of the unvarnished truth about the evil perpetuated upon us. What is irrational is niceness in response to these outrages, though in reality the default to nice is simply an attempt to avoid the conflict that victory requires. Our objective is nothing less than our own freedom, and if it takes making the enemy sad to win it, cool. 

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People's Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.

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