How it’s done. And how it isn’t.
The obsession with principle has always been the central defect of what the kids now call “Boomer Conservatism.” The BoomerCons accept, without argument, the principles and moral framework of the Left and then they try to out-righteous the other side in a pointless game of virtue signalling. It is the basis of the DR3 meme. Even if you are able to “prove” that the “Democrats are the real racists,” all you have done is prove they are right and that racism is the worst thing ever. Even if you win, you end up losing.
And yes, I know, not all Boomers think like this and many younger people fall into the same trap. Lots of young people like the Rolling Stones and The Who, but it is still Boomer music. The cultural upheavals going on today are due to the cultural upheavals that went on yesterday, when the Boomers tossed over the culture they inherited and created the prevailing orthodoxy of today. All of us now live in Boomer Land, which means we live in the moral structure created by the Boomer generation.
Now, the folks with the tricorn hats and “heritage not hate” signs can be forgiven for not seeing the folly of their tactics. They came of age when the general consensus said that the goal is a color blind society. If the bad honkies would just open up their hearts to the black man, all the race stuff would melt away. It was all nonsense, but a whole generation was raised on it and now they struggle to let it go. For most Boomers, egalitarianism is their heritage, so it is understandable that they cling to it.
Of course, the libertarian boomers have turned their love of principle into a ready excuse for not getting into a serious fight with the Left. You see it in this post on the American Conservative.
This month, three conservative protesters rushed onto a New York City theatre stage—and briefly into the national spotlight—enraged by the mock-execution of a character dressed to look like Trump. As a New Yorker fond of civilization I was alarmed at this barbaric behavior because this is how cultures unravel.
Well, that’s how culture wars work. Each side tries to impose their cultural preferences on the other. If you are in opposition to the prevailing culture then what you seek, by definition, is an unraveling of the culture. That’s how you win. Otherwise, you confine yourself to tactics that will never work. For guys like Todd Seavey, principle is a coffin they think will give them comfort as the Left lowers them into the grave.
The only way a counter culture gets any traction is if it is indifferent, or even hostile, to the prevailing morality. There are two types of principles a people live by. There are those that precede their demise and those they create after they triumph. The people desperately clinging to their principles, lecturing those willing to do what it takes to win, will be buried with those principles. The winners, meanwhile, will be busy crafting a new morality. That’s the lesson of history. The people with a future get to write the past.
Great line, that last one. As for the rest, I think our real problem isn’t so much principle as it is the fact that we are simply no longer a nation. We no longer have either a shared culture or a common ideology; we’re now bound not by a common high regard for the ideals espoused by the Founders, but by nothing more powerful or abiding than simple inertia.
But I’ll also say this: after years of watching the Vichy GOPe throw fight after fight whilst talking a tough game both before and after, I don’t think the problem is so much with conservative principles as it is with a phony commitment to them being used as a subterfuge by a passel of rent-seeking drones content to accept perpetual second-class status in return for a permanent seat at the DC trough. That’s one of the big reasons why I believed early on in his run that a non-professional-politician like Trump was exactly what we needed—was, in fact, our only hope for even a partial restoration of the freer, stronger America I grew up in.
The Prissy Conservative handwringing over how JUST HORRIBLY AWFULLY AWFUL the disruption of the Left’s nasty, seditious little play was ought to say everything anyone will ever need to know about the likelihood of old-guard conservatives ever successfully conserving anything. From where I sat it looked like a victory, if only a small one, and I was damned heartened to see it. If it was the Left disrupting such an event, you can be sure that not only would the thing have been shut down completely, but there would have been some skulls cracked along the way too. Then the media would have buried the story right away, and the PC Poindexters supposedly on our side would have themselves a good cry over how unfair the double standard is, that they’d never do it if the party affiliations were reversed.
And then we’d all limp on off to the next dispiriting defeat, dribbling a steady stream of deserters who found themselves sick and tired of the futility—refusing to spend their effort on a cause none of its ersatz defenders really think worth mussing their hair or alienating their “friends and colleagues across the aisle” over.
Well, screw all that. If some Progtard skulls have to be well and truly cracked to get them off our necks at last, well, best to get a-crackin’; it may already be too late to do much real good. If that makes the Polite Right cry and National Review print a black cover on their next issue mourning the Death Of Civility, hey, I hate it for ’em, I truly do. The Polite Right had their chance to lead; they chose to follow instead. Now all that’s left to them is to get the hell out of the way.