Buckley summed up a basic truth about the conservative instinct. Over and over, we find ourselves fighting what is essentially a defensive battle against the forces of organized radicalism who insist that "social justice" requires that we grant their latest demand.
We know, however, that their latest demand is never their last demand. Grant the radicals everything they demand today, and tomorrow they will return with new demands that they insist are urgently necessary to satisfy the requirements of social justice.
When they refer to themselves as "progressives," radicals express their own basic truth: Their method of operation is always to move steadily forward, seeking a progressive series of victories, each new gain exploited to lay the groundwork for the next advance, as the opposition progressively yields terrain. Such is the remorseless aggression of radicalism that conservatives forever find themselves contemplating the latest "progressive" demand and asking, "Is this a hill worth dying on?"
My own instinct is always to answer, "Hell, yes." Nothing succeeds like success and nothing fails like failure. Ergo, to defeat the radicals in their latest crusade (whatever the crusade may be) is to demoralize and weaken their side, and to embolden and encourage our side. Even to fight and lose is better than conceding without a fight because, after all, give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile.I have to agree with him. I've lived through this time period, from the days of traditional marriage (my husband, and his entire family, was aghast that I didn't plan to change my name to his (later, after the kids, I finally surrendered to convention - it was far easier, and no loss to me). In my lifetime, marriage transformed from the normal and supported (when a pair of just-past teens conceived, they were persuaded to move up the wedding date by not only their parents, but all of society), to something that is widely seen as "optional" and NOT necessary or even desired.
Understand, it's NOT about the wedding. It's about the lifelong commitment that marriage traditionally represents.
Lifelong? Get real! NOBODY does that "until death do you part" thing anymore.
Oh, yes we do.
My husband and I - 38 years.
My parents - 46 years.
His parents - 30 years, interrupted by his father's death.
My grandparents - 65 years (approximately, can't remember the exact number, but more than 65).
Many of my closest friends from our Catholic Young Adults (CYA) group can boast similar lengthy marriages, about 8 couples.
Is it hard? Sometimes. But, I'll let you in on a secret, it's a lot easier than the alternatives of co-habitating or divorce. Those wreck many lives, not just the couples involved, but their parents, their children, and their friendships. Not to mention the many marriages of their friends that fall victim to the domino effect (read the link to see how divorce can be "catching").