At War for the Soul of America

By Jonathan Madison
Jonathan Madison
Jonathan Madison
Jonathan Madison worked as professional policy staff for the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services. He regularly provides opinion on Fox Business Mornings With Maria and has appeared on the following networks and television shows: Saturday Night Live, KRON 4 News, NBC Bay Area News, and KTVU Channel 2 News. As chairman of the Alameda County Bar Association Real Estate Section, Jonathan leads a team of real estate attorneys in educating the County of Alameda in simple and complex legal matters. Beyond this, he leads a prison ministry at the San Francisco County Jail. He is lead attorney at The Madison Firm and can be reached via email at Jonathan@themadisonfirm.com.
July 19, 2023Updated: July 19, 2023

Roughly 2,000 years ago, King Solomon wrote a moving letter addressed to the Jewish people of his generation. His wisdom in that letter has transcended every generation to ours, now captured in the 21st book of the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes.

“To everything there is a season . . .” writes King Solomon.

“[A] time for every purpose under Heaven:

. . . A time to keep silent,

And a time to speak;

. . . A time to tear down;

A time to plant . . .

. . . A time of war,

And a time of peace.”

King Solomon makes clear that this wisdom applies far and wide to virtually every season and cycle of our lives, both individually and collectively. From life itself to societies at large. From small-scale economies to worldwide economic powerhouses. From the smallest grassroots movements to the world’s most influential political parties and ideologies.

Of the 14 Ecclesiastical stanzas detailing various seasons, the stanzas above are more pertinent now to American conservatives than ever before.

For decades now, it seems conservatives have become increasingly silent amidst the left wing’s elephant cries for a new social and political transformation of our beloved nation.

Louder and louder, the Left cries for a strong embrace of “wokeism”: a cultural war waged on conservative America in an effort to reconstruct our nation’s foundations and to silence anyone who opposes the movement’s standards.

They call for us to unite in defunding the only institutions standing between us and crime—our local police departments. They urge us to create success for our culture by way of individual entitlements, guarantees, and handouts. In many respects, we are asked to reject the former necessity of hard work, ambition, and sacrifice.

In short, the left-wing agenda calls for us to leave behind values that embody the beating heart of our great nation, American values that I credit with providing each of us an opportunity to achieve resolution in our human struggle.

To be fair, it is not that conservatives have been silent for the past three decades, but rather that the Left has broken the sound barrier of cultural politics, from inundating propaganda about free health care and education for all to the concept of housing as a human right—all without cost to anyone else in society. Employing its mainstream news media megaphone, the Left has managed to reach the moral ears of many, while quietly dismantling moral foundations and institutions that are the bedrock of our democracy.

As some conservatives have spoken out against the far Left’s war on our culture, others have fallen silent and cynical. I do not blame them. Over the past decade, conservatives have been the target of political debasement, criticism, and cancelation from left-wing culture.

We witnessed it in 2017 when speech forums for Ben Shapiro were canceled at U.C. Berkeley, resulting in rioting and nearly fatal injuries to conservative participants. More recently, in April 2023, we saw cancel culture’s violent manifestation when former college swimmer and conservative thought leader Riley Gaines was physically attacked by trans-rights activists.

The Left has also shunned many for not using Leftist vernacular or for failing to adhere to politically correct standards of speech. World-renowned comedian Dave Chappelle has been the subject of more recent criticism after he made intemperate remarks about the transgender community. For a time, it seemed Chappelle was all but canceled for making such jokes. A subtle reality check that, beyond conservative thought leaders, the left-wing culture war for control has managed to bleed into mainstream entertainment.

By now, most of us have been subject to the controlled speech movement. For example, we can no longer refer to those in the business of illegal drugs as “drug dealers.” We must refer to them as “drug workers.” You cannot refer to those who monetize sex as “prostitutes.” You must refer to them as “sex workers.” Whatever you do, do not say “Merry Christmas.” It is far less offensive if you say “Happy Holidays.”

In light of the turbulent political winds, many conservatives have grown unhopeful about the future of our nation. As such, many have cast their sails to the narrow focus of supporting their families, tending to the seeds of the next generation: our children.

Seemingly, conservatives over the past three decades have increasingly embraced King Solomon’s Ecclesiastic axiom “a time to keep silent.”

But today marks a new day—a time for conservatives everywhere, of every age, creed, and socioeconomic status—to speak. Far too long have we allowed the Left to dominate the rhythm of our culture without a megaphone of our own. Now is the time to speak up for the values that are the bedrock of our beloved nation.

When we truly embrace this, we will find that we are in great company. Conservative voices around the world are beginning to drown out the drumbeat of the left-wing agenda. From conservative voices like Candace Owens to common blue-collar conservatives like George Wu (who fought against laws that prioritized free tenancies at the expense of small property owners), a new wind is finding its place behind the sails of conservatives.

As we embrace our time to speak, we must also embrace the difficult task of tearing down the “cultural norms” put in place by the Left. As a farmer uproots the weeds that choke good seed from soil, so must we as conservatives tear down the lies of “wokeism.”

Together, we must uproot the agenda of cancel culture. Reject the perilous movement to defund our police force. Debunk the myth that individual entitlements are the path to success. Remove the “woke mouthpiece” from the lips of every American, allowing us to embrace once again the liberties that come with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Nonetheless, it is not enough to tear down the movement that has corrupted our culture. Any farmer knows that, as weeds are uprooted, new seeds must be sown for the future harvest. For conservatives, we must sow new seeds for our generation and the next to take the reins of our nation’s future.

For the future harvest of success, we must now sow the seeds of hard work, ambition, and sacrifice—the blood and bone and sinew upon which our democracy rests.

To harvest a future of moral values, we must plant the seeds of mediating institutions, strong families, well-built communities, churches, and a culture that values ethics over greed.

To harvest a bright economic future for our nation, we must sow seeds of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. More importantly, we must re-instill the belief that, with the right work ethic and faith in one’s ability to achieve success, anything is possible for the American family. Together, we can rebuild America’s foundations from the bottom up.

Finally, we must recognize that we are in a war. A culture war taking place right here in America. A war for the very soul of our nation.

Try as we might to ignore it, we continue to sense the culture war’s reach impending upon each of us. Living in an age in which former President Donald Trump can be charged for treason (a charge punishable by death or imprisonment) at the beginning of the 2024 campaign season, we cannot deny that war is upon us.

It is a time in which government shutdowns that threaten our financial status as a nation have become so commonplace that we no longer gasp at the prospect of a shutdown. We understand that our elected leaders lead a broken and divided government. We prioritize debates about appropriate terminologies and classifications, rather than debates about saving lives.

Understanding that a cultural war is upon us, we as conservatives must take up our armor of truth, and fight. For our children, we must fight to preserve school choice for the best education possible. For our families, we must fight to reinstate law and order in our communities. For our communities at large, we must fight against the culture of sanctioning crime in Left-governed inner cities. For our small businesses, we must fight to lighten the tax burden and re-embrace President Ronald Reagan’s belief that “small businesses are the economic engine” driving our country. For our nation, we must fight for its very soul.

We cannot wait for the next hero politician to buoy our spirits. This time, we must take it upon ourselves to be the heroes we seek to follow. We must write letters to the editors of our local papers, volunteer at election polls, walk precincts and knock on doors for candidates who represent our best interests, fundraise, run for local office, or simply cast a ballot. We each have an imperative role to play.

One thing is certain. We can no longer hide in the shadows of complacency while “wokeist” movements threaten to tear down the values we hold dear. We must reemerge from those dark shadows, guided by bright lanterns of faith, hope, and a fervent belief in the resilience of the American spirit.

Together, we will embrace the time and purpose that is upon us:

The time to speak truth to power;

The time to uproot lies choking our culture;

The time to sow new seeds of values that will sustain our nation for generations;

The time to wage war against any threat to the foundations upon which our democracy rests.

I hope to see you on the battlefield.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.