Ever since I became a political commentator, I’ve been preaching about how the right getting involved in the culture is a top priority.

I’ve made the argument that the right has focused so much on politics that we essentially abandoned the far larger, and far more important battlefield of western culture. Once a person has moved into the realm of politics, their mind has already been made up on any given issue thanks to their time spent in the cultural realm. We can throw as many facts and figures as we want at them, but it won’t matter. Their hearts were already seized.

This is why, in an age where we have access to the accumulation of the world’s knowledge and historical accounts, so many people are enthusiastic about things like socialism. We can point to the fact that it has never worked all day, but they were sold on it way before they began to even discuss it thanks to friendly brushes with it in movies, television, books, and more.

This is why I’ve repeatedly hammered home the need for participation in the arts. I want to have a presence on that battlefield, and not one that equates to lazy — or as is more often the case, cringy — on the nose propaganda.

What’s more, in order to make sure I wasn’t just being an armchair activist, I began going out and getting involved in the culture. I do a number of things today that I thoroughly enjoy. While I would like to tell you what these things are, I’m actually scared to.

And this is what I wanted to discuss with you today. My status as a conservative-libertarian puts me in a position to be run out of the things I love to do, or professions in the arts I would love to take on. I fear it happening to me because it’s happened before.

I’ve told this story a few times, but I was hit by cancel culture before it had a name. As some of my faithful readers have likely gleaned over the past few years of my writing at RedState, I’m an avid gamer. Combine that with my love of writing my opinions and viewpoints, it was only natural that I’d have some opinions to write about video games.

Long story short, I had become friends with a gaming website’s managing editor who had agreed to give me a column. I had been a political writer for some time, and now, I was finally taking my first steps into being a video game critique and opinion writer, which had been a fantasy of mine since I was a child.

When it was announced that I was going to be a columnist there, all hell broke loose.

Leftists began combing through my social media history with a fine-tooth comb. Since I was openly conservative, I wasn’t shy about saying things that the politically correct would pearl-clutch over. Eventually, they found something they could cancel me over.

It was a simple tweet that said that transgender people could be transgender if they wanted to, but they shouldn’t force everyone else to pretend along with them. In a sane world, this should be a reasonable tweet, but we don’t live in one. The left lost their minds and began labeling me as a “transphobe.”

The mob came at me, the managing editor, and the company that owned the site relentlessly, telling them that they need to cut ties with me immediately or else. People who worked at the site quit in protest. Message boards on NeoGAF and Reddit dedicated entire pages to making everyone know who I was and what my sins were.

Before long, the parent company told the managing editor that I was too controversial and pushed me out. My dream died before I had even got a chance to write my first column.

If you’ve never experienced cancel culture, it can be soul-crushing. It makes you feel very alone and walle-in. It unfairly paints you as someone you’re not and makes cosmic justice — I mean true justice, not that bastardization the left likes to think it is today — seem like a myth.

Sadly, today, cancel culture is still just as bad if not worse, and I’m struggling against it.

A couple of nights ago, I was browsing on of my favorite subreddits when I noticed the article at the very top featured some bad news about the place I had always dreamed of getting a job at. I’ve been taking classes for this specific artistic profession in order to make that happen, and without trying to sound like I’m bragging, I don’t just have a passion for this kind of work, I have a knack for it. My trainer moved me in to advanced courses after only a couple of classes.

The article featured some troubling news about the inner workings of this place, including a heavy leaning toward “woke” culture, some religious bigotry, and heavy obedience to social trends. I showed my fiance, who said: “you’ll have to go under a pseudonym.”

I already knew I had to if I was going to break into that kind of thing because it wasn’t that long ago that I was offered to be in a commercial by a friend of mine who ran the local comedy theater. I reminded him what my profession was and he essentially said the same thing.

“You might need to go under a different name.”

I hate that this is even a thing I have to do. I hate that I can’t do the things I truly love because if it gets out that I hold conservative views, the powers that be in any given profession can crush my efforts with a wave of their hand.

You hear repeatedly how conservatives are the bigots of our society. That we’re racist, homophobic, sexist, etc, etc. Yet, if you dive even deeper than surface level, you’ll find the exact opposite, and a myriad of nuances that help you understand the positions people take to boot.

We’re not racist, we’re just not shy on being real about the problems within places like inner-city black communities, or the realities of border security. We’re not homophobic, we just don’t want to be forced to perform different actions or services if they violate our religious beliefs or run contrary to common sense and science. We’re not sexist, mainstream feminists are just radicals who take things way too far.

In fact, once you begin to understand a conservative libertarian’s positions, you begin to see that the real bigotry, racism, and more sits on the left. The anti-free speech, anti-religious, uncompromising nature of the left is pretty plain to see once you’ve seen it. It’s like the arrow in the Fed-Ex logo. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.

Proof that the left is a bigoted bunch who are exclusionary to the point of fascism is the fact that I’ve had doors slammed in my face when it comes to professions in the arts, or that I have to go incognito under a cloak of secrecy when I’m plotting my way into an industry.

Rest assured, I’m not giving up, but it’s sad that it’s going to be much more difficult for me than it is for others because I believe in gun rights and don’t believe hate speech exists. I’m going to have to try that much harder because I don’t think people should have to bake the damn cake or I should believe proof before I believe claims; that I value facts over feelings.

None of this has anything to do with my chosen profession, but in our day and age, where the cultural battlefield is owned by the left, me passing beyond its battle lines is like allowing a bomb into enemy territory. If I were to go off and begin changing minds and hearts, it would spell trouble for their entire ideology. It’s an explosion that would have a chain reaction that could affect the way people think.

People like Kanye West and Chris Pratt have already detonated inside music and movies respectively. They’re solid evidence that being Christian and conservative isn’t the sin it’s been portrayed to be. If ever I should get the ball rolling in the profession I’d love and I detonated, it would cause serious damage to yet another part of their cultural stronghold.

It’s why they’ve fought tooth and nail to keep me out, but it’s at least one reason why I’m still working my way in.

It’s not just about the spread of conservative-libertarian ideals, it’s about bringing some semblance of peace back to western culture. Back to a place where your political identity doesn’t define you as a person. Where disagreement doesn’t have to equal hate.

That first starts with grabbing that flag and running like Mel Gibson in The Patriot back toward the enemy. I don’t want to be the only one doing this either. It’ll take more than me.

Grab a flag.