The graveyard of history is full of ideas that were right. So it’s not enough to be right. You have to be right and effective. We measure ourselves by our results. “Things would be great if all those people on the other side would just agree with us” is a cop-out, not a strategy. And both sides have used it for too long.
But that shouldn’t be surprising. It’s how politics works. When people are locked into a culture war over what should be normalized vs. what should be stigmatized, what matters is scoring points wherever they can. The logical coherence of the win doesn’t matter, and in fact caring about the reasonableness of your policies is a sure way to lose.
Because while you’re off sagely ratiocinating like you’re Plato finding the perfect law, the other side is either normalizing themselves to escape velocity, or stigmatizing you to extinction. Once either happens, they win and the discussion ends forever.
We’re not here to play the game, we’re here to change the game.
Culture drives politics, not the other way around. Therefore begging partisans to do the right thing is a waste of time.
Historically, it’s rare that opponents of progress change their mind. Progress doesn’t happen by convincing them to switch. Typically, it happens by new facts on the ground simply making the old guard irrelevant. They stay complaining and stay fighting the tide, but ever-more laughably as they fade into the past.
Guns-as-politics is an old-fashioned way of thinking. We believe culture is the highest-leverage point to focus our efforts.