The roads in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are always in need of repair. In fact, anyone living in a city that gets large amounts of snow fall and encounters daily thaws and nightly freezes knows what I’m talking about. The snow falls and afternoon temperatures climb just enough to melt the snow. The water seeps into tiny cracks and crevices in the road surfaces. Then the inevitable happens. Nighttime temperatures drop, freezing the water and expanding the nearly invisible hairline breaks.
The next day, the cracks are a little larger. The process repeats itself until the foundation of the road bed is compromised. By spring, the cracks have become automobile-consuming pot holes.
Similar to the way potholes develop, the shift from constitutionalism to political autonomy occurred below the surface. The road beds disintegrated g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y over time with no one seeing it happen until the damage was done.
New roads have to be rebuilt from the bottom up. Liberals understand the process. A lot of conservatives don’t. They want it all NOW even though it took decades to lose, and they often give up if they don’t get it all back in the next election. The trick is to get it back a little bit at a time and not get discouraged with a defeat here or there.
The early Fabian Socialists loved symbolism and depicted their principles in their infamous Fabian Window that was designed in 1920 by George Bernard Shaw. Theey chose a wolf in sheep’s clothing as one of their symbols so outwardly they would not look like subversives. The Fabian Society logo of the 1950s took a page from Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare to signify the slow but unrelenting progress toward its stated goal of “utopian socialism.”
The Fabian tortoise carries the motto “When I strike, I strike hard.”
Secularism has followed both methods as is evident in the way it has transformed our social, economic, and political systems into something that a Fabian Socialist of yesteryear could only dream of.
Secularists of all types, but best exemplified by Marxists, entered “into every civil, cultural and political activity in every nation, patiently leavening them all as thoroughly as yeast leavens bread.”1 To change the culture, Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) argued, “would require a ‘long march through the institutions’ — the arts, cinema, theater, schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic medium [of the time], radio.”2
Popular culture has been used by secularists as a wedge for decades and is a major factor in American politics. “The Democratic Party resonates on the Internet because it resonates in pop culture. The Democratic Party resonates in pop culture because it has been committed to dominating it for over a generation. Democrats are celebrities, rock stars, magazine covers and stadium concerts. Republicans are a small list of famous people who have to make public excuses for their affiliation” or hide the fact that they hold conservative values.3
We got into the mess as a nation one small decision at a time. We gave in a little here and compromised a little there. Getting our nation back is not going to come all at once. It’s going to take time. We have to be as steady as the hare. Too many conservatives want it all now, and if they don’t get it now, they’re going to take their political ball and go home.
Not only do we have liberals against us, we have a lot of so-called conservative Americans who like parts of the Welfare State. They still believe in public education, the main institution that has turned them into ideological Marxists. Some are weakening on the marriage issue. Bringing them back from the brink is also going to take time.
Let’s remember the Milo Principle as we fight our battles against bigger, stronger, and more organized oppositional forces. Who is Milo? There was a time when wrestling was serious business, deadly serious. Prior to modern Olympic wrestling, combatants often wrestled to the death. Milo of Croton understood the risks and challenges so he devised an ingenious strategy to defeat the opposition.
Born in southern Italy, where Greece had many colonies, Milo won the boys’ wrestling contest in 540 B.C. He was a six time Olympic victor. He had a long and productive career based on the gradualism principle. In order to gain the advantage over his opponents, he knew that he had to gain weight and strength. There were no Gold’s Gyms, mail order physical fitness programs, barbell companies, or steroids. Weight training — progressive resistance exercise — was not even conceptualized at the time. Even so, Milo understood the principle and applied it in a novel way.
Legends say he carried his own bronze statue to its place at Olympia, and once carried a four-year-old bull on his shoulders before slaughtering, roasting, and devouring it in one day. He was said to have achieved the feat of lifting the bull by starting in childhood, lifting and carrying a newborn calf and repeating the feat daily as it grew to maturity. By the time the games were held, he was carrying the bull high on his back the length of the stadium.
The principle is simple. As the calf gained weight, Milo progressively got stronger with each day’s workout. The example of Milo translated into a business venture in the twentieth century with the founding of the Milo Barbell Company in 1902, the first barbell manufacturer in the United States that applied the Milo principle to adjustable weights. The company was eventually purchased by Bob Hoffman in 1935. Hoffman turned the company into the international fitness conglomerate — the York Barbell Company.
The principle of steady and incremental persistence over time is a great lesson for conservatives. We’ve got to be in it for the long haul. “Never give up, never surrender.”
- Malachi Martin, The Keys of This Blood: The Struggle for World Dominion Between Pope John II, Mikhail Gorbachev and the Capitalist West (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), 250. [↩]
- Patrick J. Buchanan, Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization (New York: St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books, 2001), 77. [↩]
- Andrew Breitbart, “No Magic Internet Button for GOP,” The Washington Times (January 18, 2009). [↩]