I’m gonna come out and say it – World War Z was a badass movie. I’m a big fan of the modern zombie genre, and really enjoy the whole concept of some viral infection wiping out the world’s population with mindless, animalistic zombies that have no emotional attachment to the world. Plus, according to WWZ, as a diabetic I will be spared from the onslaught and can finally credentials as a badass myself. Some of you will be saved, others will fall before my AR-15. Suck it.
That said, I really find it a bit odd the way an Independence Day float was presented in Dekalb County this past week. The Dekalb Young Republicans (good group of people, BTW) and the North Dekalb Republican Women (don’t know ’em) prepared a float themed “Lady Liberty Belle and The Liberty Freedom Fighters vs. the Zombies of Tyranny.” The link provided should give you a photo courtesy of Catherine Bernard.
I get attracting people to pay attention using a catchy and unique idea to present the concept of government tyranny. However, I have some problems. Zombies as presented in every movie, from World War Z to 28 Days Later to Resident Evil (which, admittedly, I thought was pretty damn creepy when the first film came out), are mindless, unintellectual creatures. Their only drive is to consume healthy humans and spread the plague. Instinctual. Unthinking. Vicious. Worst, the lack of any survival instinct (on account of already being dead) makes them a terrifying prospect. In tying “government” to mindless animals who want nothing more than to consume and consume without any thought of the consequences. While it’s easy to point to many in elected positions and their staff as examples, we seem to forget that millions of Americans who have the same conservative philosophy as us get lumped into that category and instantly turned off.
The truth is that simply standing up and repeating “Constitution!” over and over doesn’t make you any more of a lover of American liberty than those you criticize. After all, labelling yourself a “Liberty Freedom Fighter” pretty much puts you in the same groups as the late Bin Laden and many a theocratic radical that dub themselves the same. Moreover, it doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility of explaining why the Constitution is so important to American society beyond the “founders were Godly men who loved liberty.” That’s as much a logical fallacy as anything else. Therefore, a zombie calling another zombie “evil” doesn’t really solve the problem. We have to kill the virus, and to do that we need to provide the cure in our personal philosophies.
One particular instance that comes to mind is my own discussion with a “liberty” person I had during the convention season. During a long conversation, we started discussing the concept of what a “big government Republican” was and whether or not she would consider me one because I valued a large, technologically superior military force to any other nation in the world. Maintaining a military is specifically identified as a federal power in Article I, Section 8 and the President is Commander-in-Chief in Article II, Section 2, but it’s certainly something that the “liberty” crowd rallied by Ron Paul on during the presidential primary season. The only answer I could really get out of the conversation was that I’m a big government Republican if I am willing or believe that the military-industrial complex should be enriched at our expense.
Okay? The problem is that it doesn’t really engage the question at hand, and that’s the problem with labelling the “government” as a conglomerate of zombies. It doesn’t answer the question of how to reduce the size and scope of government. Fact is hundreds of thousands of government workers consider themselves conservative. They’d happily contribute to a solution to the burgeoning government if they knew that doing so wouldn’t endanger their families, means of living, and still give them an opportunity to help those they provide assistance to. Simply saying “reduce the size of government” is no way to go about a planning. In fact, it’s not a plan at all. General drawdowns must be implemented in order to not create other problems the folks that smaller government advocates are trying to help will suffer the results of. Simply saying “reduce the government!” is a zombie-esque approach to combatting the problem. Details and consequences matter, and zombies don’t really care about details and consequences.
I give an A for effort and creativity, but F for the effectiveness in communicating the conservative message. At the end of the day, that’s what we need having a lasting impact. The Constitution is not, in and of itself, an immaculate document. It’s the philosophy behind it that’s important, and too many conservatives these days have forgotten that. Remembering it just might be the cure to what ails the zombie plague infesting the conservative movement these days.