Winning the long game

Published October 25, 2023


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, October 25th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Up next: WORLD Opinions commentator Brad Littlejohn on playing the long game in the culture wars.

BRAD LITTLEJOHN, COMMENTATOR: Why is it that conservatives always seem to lose cultural battles? Even the generational triumph of Dobbs seems to have been followed by a slew of setbacks at the state level.

We could point to the power of left-leaning educational and media institutions, which can leave conservatives feeling like David facing Goliath. But perhaps there is another fundamental factor at work: Conservatives don’t make good activists.

In a recent National Review profile of pro-life activist Lila Rose, the author observed, “Typically, activism is the Left’s domain. It requires certain qualities that are often lacking in conservatives: monomania; the desire for radical change … and, perhaps above all, a willingness to get into the trenches and stay there for as long as it takes.” The author is not wrong.

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Brad Littlejohn, Ph.D., is a Fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping public leaders understand the intellectual and historical foundations of our current breakdown of public trust, social cohesion, and sound governance. His research investigates shifting understandings of the nature of freedom and authority, and how a more full-orbed conception of freedom, rooted in the Christian tradition, can inform policy that respects both the dignity of the individual and the urgency of the common good. He also serves as President of the Davenant Institute.

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