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Not to be confused with “Surrealism”, SurrealPolitiks is “Realpolitik in an Unreal World”.
The term Realpolitik is most often used in discussion of foreign policy, but it is equally applicable to domestic affairs. It can carry many connotations, from pragmatic policy decisions, to coercive exercises of raw political power.
A more neutral definition can be found in the Merriam Webster dictionary, which defines the term as “politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives”.
This suits our purposes just fine. American politics have become weighed down in ideology, most notably on the Left, but the Right is by no means immune.
From critical race theory to transgenderism, the political Left in America has become so enamored of their own ideas, and so immune to criticism, that their programs no longer correspond to reality. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “Surreal” as, “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream”. If we interpret this to include nightmares, that is precisely where their programs are taking this country.
The Right (where we fancy ourselves to be), tends to be less ideological insofar as they have no choice but to navigate the real world and all of its perils. They are not immune to criticism, nor do they particularly desire to be. Even the most ideologically religious conservatives, will at least contemplate mathematics as they negotiate a budget, secure in the knowledge that God helps those who help themselves.
Interestingly, this dynamic of one side bounded to reality, and one side dearly departed, does not seem to emerge in strategic matters.
For all their delusional thinking, the Left is remarkably well grounded in strategic terms. When it comes to the maintenance and expansion of their power, they do not make the sort of errors one might expect from a movement at war with the physical universe and human nature. They are ruthless, cunning, and calculating. They never forfeit an ounce of power for the sake of principle. They make unholy alliances like you buy a snack from a street vendor. They revise their espoused positions, in real time, according to whatever their keen instincts tell them suits the pursuit of power. While their ideology may seem surreal, they are masters of Realpolitik.
The Right has, unfortunately, become enamored of an idea often articulated as “losing with dignity”. They put principles over power. They forfeit elections based on minor ethical flaws in the past behavior of a candidate. They engage in catastrophic internecine conflicts between factions. They internalize the criticism of the opposition. They rigidly adhere to positions for the sake of “consistency”.
In the process, principle and consistency and ethics are forfeited to the opposition Party, in equal or greater measure to power.
The Right needs to learn Realpolitik.
And soon, they will.