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Issue Analysis

Limiting Government Through the Culture War

The speeches at FreePAC in Dallas July 26 will have a lasting impact on the movement for limited government. Each was inspirational and important, but one stands out among the others for the insight that political victories are a result of cultural change. 

The only way to limit government is with a limiting culture.

You can watch the rest of the amazing FreePAC speeches from the links below:

The most important speech at FreePac, however, was Matt Kibbe telling the assembled leaders for freedom "Politics is not enough," as Kibbe said."We must take over every aspect of our culture if we're going to take our country back."

Restoring freedom and limiting government can not be accomplished just with political engagement or even by focusing on good policy. We must engage and retake our culture and its institutions. 

The only way to limit government is to restore a culture that insists it be limited. Further, that culture must provide a way to meet the needs of society currently met by big government. 

Churches must insist themselves from their own resources and with their own efforts on providing for the needs of their members, knowing that when government meets those needs, it pushes the wider Church itself to the sidelines, like a sad former star quarterback who insists he can still play. 

We must, in the words of Chris Loesch to me at FreePAC, "Back talented acts, actors and directors, not just conservatives who happen to have acts. Otherwise we're the same as the left." 

Kibbe said, "We have to take over Hollywood. We have to take over the media. We have to take over the culture."


Diverse conservative voices such as Rick Santorum, Andrew Breitbart, Sarah Palin and Matt Kibbe all now are on record saying that the real battleground for conservatives and libertarians is the culture. Each of them said it in a different way and for different reasons, but the nub of it is that our politics reflects the attitude of the people, not the other way around.

We chastise politicians for not standing up for our ideals, yet they are mere reflections of their job descriptions. They are supposed to represent their constitutents, and they cannot be expected to fight the larger culture when doing so.

We need to change our culture if we have a hope of changing our politics. 

That starts when you don't accept a media narrative in a casual conversation. It continues when you interact online. Highlight the stories you want to read more about.

Insist that the people around you -- both online and in daily life -- accept the validity of your viewpoint, and eventually your viewpoint will become accepted.

Charles Wilson

Maybe I'm not very smart.

The name "FreedomWorks" seems a bit contradictory with "Kibbe said, 'We have to take over Hollywood. We have to take over the media. We have to take over the culture.' " Back in grade school, I thought pilgrims and other founders came here in reaction to and leaving from places where others were imposing culture. Culltures may grow or die or evolve based on their success in earning the free choice of free people.

I thought the idea of the USA was multiple cultures existed with society and laws enforcing right to freely explore and follow culture/beliefs/etc. , . . . up until the point that people/culture groups start to reach out and coerce and impede and manipulete others. Then the state steps-in as a referee.

"Take over Hollywood" sounds like "forceful cultural outreach" to me. Joe Stalin and a guy named Adolph-something had some outreach programs that were eventually resisted.

I guess I need to take the classes?

Jennifer Black

You take back hollywood by not making it profitable to make movies about "bad things" make it profitable to make "FAMILY and value oriented" movie....Not by force but by what hit them the hardest....if they can't make millions on a movie that is full of things we don't want in our kids lives then they won't make those movies as often. If you and your friends and neigbors "boycott" those things, they are going to go where "the money is". I have noticed lately that disney and family movies have been making alot more money so those are the films that are coming out

lheal's picture
Loren Heal

Kibbe is not talking about imposing culture with law -- he is in fact pointing out that you can't do that. Culture drives politics, not the other way around. We aren't talking about coercion, but tackling the problem where it begins.