It’s that time again. A column proclaiming the death of social conservatism in Canada. Or its radical shift in strategy. Can something be dead and shifting strategy?

How something that has died as often as the social conservative movement has can die again (or rethink its strategy) is something beyond my comprehension.

Putting aside the snark, let’s look at what Jen Gerson is actually saying. She is making the case that many social conservatives are rethinking political strategy and focusing on the culture rather than electoral politics. This is not a bad thing, but neither is political and cultural engagement mutually exclusive. Nor is it actually new. The pro-life and pro-family movements have long been fighting on both fronts, with early activists engaged in public education both in the schools and on the streets. The author seems to be noticing this for the first time and thus its worthy of 1500 words or so in the National Post. None of this is to deny that the social conservative movement (movements might be more accurate) isn’t facing challenges, aren’t upholding generally unpopular principles, and are losing politically. It is true that no party wants to champion their causes; it is true that few elite institutions are on their side. But the movement perseveres, and in a year or so someone else will come along and write about how social conservatism is dying, how it is a spent political force, and how pro-life and pro-family activists are adopting new pet issues and strategies in an attempt to remain relevant. The social conservative movement is dead, long live social conservatism.

(Cross-posted at Sobering Thoughts)