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Slaying the Hydra: Can Virtue Heal the American Right? by Rachel Lu.

We’ve come to that agonizing point in our political process when each political party must choose its champion. Republicans are trying to decide in whose hands to place their party’s fate. Perhaps the uninspired but reassuringly American Scott Walker? The inexperienced but well-spoken Marco Rubio? Rand Paul, a man of intelligence and conviction who nonetheless selected drone strikes as the issue most worthy of a filibuster? Or should we throw everything to the wind and pick a buffoon with a giant wallet for his soap box?

The stakes are high. America sits in the shadow of a militant secular culture that seems determined to subdue everything in its path. Liberal Democrats have lashed themselves firmly to the mast of that dominant culture, and by doing so have won a political edge. Our mainstream cultural institutions eagerly promote their values and often their candidates as well. Meanwhile, on the conservative side, we obsess about messaging, demographics, and electoral ground games, and while those do merit attention, the hard decisions will ultimately revolve around one central problem. Conservatism has become countercultural, and it’s hard to win elections from a countercultural platform.

At the heart of this debate lies a brutally simple dilemma: we can either move ourselves in the direction of the mainstream culture, or we can continue trying to persuade the culture to move back toward us.

As usual, the right choice is also the harder one. Our liberty will never really be safe among a citizenry that disregards virtue. If conservatism throws away its other commitments in order to compete for progressive hearts, it may as well just not exist. However far our compatriots stray from natural law, we must continue to call them back to prudent ways of living, reminding them of the manifold benefits of discipline, self-sacrifice, and virtue. Unfortunately, many of our allies have grown apathetic or even hostile to this fundamental work.


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