A popular argument the left uses to attack conservatives is accusing them of wanting to return the country to the way things were in the 1950s. This is a clever, subtle tactic meant to set up an artificial debate based on the left’s narrow premises. Conservatives are put into one of two boxes if they take the bait and respond. If they agree, then they must be OK with Jim Crow segregation laws that were in effect at the time. If they’re not OK with those laws, then they can’t return to any part of that era; it’s impossible to separate the many conservative values of that era from the racist laws. The left has successfully distorted the meaning of what returning to the 1950s means, so conservatives need to be careful not to fall into this trap.
The reality is no one wants to actually return to the 1950s. The massive advances in technology, especially the emergence of smartphones and the internet, cable TV and Netflix, the end of segregation, medical advances and fast cars are just a few of the reasons no one wants to wind the clock back.
The left also likes to insinuate with this ruse that conservatives want women to be barefoot and pregnant. This is far from the truth. Virtually everyone agrees it’s an improvement that women can now choose almost any career they want. So there’s no going back there, it’s a red herring. The left deliberately confuses this with something completely separate — that children are better off when one parent remains in the home instead of working. It can be the father, something that wasn’t the case in the 1950s.
It’s not true that some of the aspects of the 1950s can’t come back. In fact, the left itself prefers many things from the 1950s over modern day circumstances. There was no religious right to deal with. There weren’t organizations promoting Bible clubs in schools and think tanks focused on intelligent design. The general public knew very little about abortion, embryos and fetuses. There are more than twice as many guns per capita today. Conservatives and libertarians had not joined together yet on the right to create a powerful coalition that helped elect Ronald Reagan.
Conservatives merely would like to see some of the common sense aspects of the 1950s return. They would like an emphasis on family again. There is a direct correlation between higher crime rates and single parents. Today’s Millennials aren’t succeeding in part because their parents neglected them and put their own needs first.
Years of massive illegal immigration in recent years has changed American culture. As the welfare state has grown to accommodate the increasing financial burden, Americans have seen their paychecks shrink and jobs disappear. Terrorist attacks are becoming common in the country and the legal system is changing to accommodate radical Islam’s Shariah law, which goes contrary to the U.S. Constitution.
The emphasis on multiculturalism and diversity has been pushed to disastrous results. The colorblindness achieved by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement during the 1960s has reverted back to race identity politics. No, conservatives don’t want to go back to the segregation of the 1950s, they want to return to the colorblindness of the 1960s.
Under President Donald Trump, there is a real possibility some of these common sense things may return. Barack Obama is no longer around as president to engender artificial divisiveness and hate, tactics he took directly from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in order to force people to the left. When the most powerful man in the world is telling you the right is bigoted, it’s going drive people away from that side.
Perhaps the most ridiculous part of the left’s straw man argument is how they ignore the fact it was Democrats who implemented Jim Crow laws. Why would the right want to “return” to the Democrats’ racist laws? The laws were enacted by white, Democratic-dominated state legislatures in the late 19th century after the Reconstruction period. In 1913, Democratic President Woodrow Wilson instituted segregation in federal workplaces. Democrats went so far as to use insurgent paramilitary groups like the White League and the Red Shirts to intimidate blacks from voting and disrupt Republicans from organizing.
The Democrats are returning to segregation with Black Lives Matter and other radical left-wing ethnic organizations that often exclude other races. Using their own criteria, the Democrats should ask themselves why they’re so eager to return to the 1950s.