Conservatives must realize that in terms of creed and culture, we are past the point of no return. It’s time for an offensive strategy.
That subhed slams a drum I’ve been banging on myself for years now. Onwards.
From my vantage, it seems as if we are already living in a hollowed-out shell of a once-great nation where there is diminishing allowance for dissent—and, therefore, diminishing possibilities for recourse. Conservatives have not met the challenge. Whether to Huntington’s standards or to Kesler’s, they have decidedly failed in the “republican task.”
If, in the early 2000s, Americans were concerned for the viability of a society wherein broken families and communities were becoming the norm, we seem to accept one now where brokenness is the norm—and our elites, at least, have just stopped pretending to care. We now reside in a kind of bizarro-land, or, as some in my generation have termed it, “clown world.”
“Clown world” is one of the of the most striking memes to emerge in the realm of online political commentary lately. Like any spicy meme, it has been copied and edited by countless different groups, including some vile ones. But its reach is the product of a simple, philosophically devastating message. “Clown world” is used to describe instances of abasement that at any other point in history, to any person of dignity, would be regarded as incomprehensibly evil or stupid—so outrageous that they must be a joke. State-enforcedsexual transition hormones for children! Drag queen story hour! Voting rights for terrorists! This is Aristophanes with a shot of Nietzsche.
The next line is so damned sweet it makes my few remaining teeth ache.
The resistance to insist on the American way, for no other reason than it is ours and that this is reason enough, has resulted in the Right’s effectual acceptance of the Left’s constantly moving goalposts of woke sensibility.
MMMMMMMMyeah; cleanup in Aisle Mypants, please. Onwards ag’in.
In other words, conservatism gave up on culture. So afraid was the Right of charges of identity-based discrimination that they gradually ceded the whole symbolic, moral, and linguistic ground to the Left, relegating themselves to the “objective” realms of economy and war.
But conservative pundits continued to emphasize disembodied principles. They delayed action. They forwent dignity for the libertine. And as nascent clown world found no substantial pushback from their supposed enemies, it metastasized into a public dogma—an evisceration and replacement of both American culture and creed.
No more. The (“small”-r) republican task should no longer be played as a game of liberal one-upmanship with progressives. What we now face is a culture and a creed subverted beyond recognition. Treating any of its distorted major features as something to be conserved would be like applying makeup to a rotting corpse.
I’d love to excerpt a lot more of this, but I’ll back off now and insist—nay, demand—that you go read all of it. Trust me, you’ll like it. Excellent work, Ms Yang.
Update! Codevilla ponders whether there can even BE a conservative resistance in the first place.
#TheResistance began as an attempt by Clinton and her staffers to explain why their unexpected electoral defeat had to be illegitimate. It burgeoned quickly into rejection of rule by voters because so many on the Left and in the ruling class rallied to it, having already decided that ordinary Americans have no right to stand in their way.
Clinton’s characterization of Trump voters as “deplorables” and “irredeemables” and Barack Obama’s description of rural Republican voters as “clingers” to Bibles, guns, and racism, has long been ruling-class conventional wisdom. This attitude is what crossed the threshold of revolution.
Because the Resistance succeeded so well in limiting the impact of the 2016 election, it solidified the Left and the ruling class’s sense of common identity and entitlement. Henceforth, the bureaucracies, the educational establishment, the judges, the corporate establishment and the media will continue to impose themselves, regardless of conservative election victories or laws, never mind the Constitution. This attitude is not the result of a policy decision, but the expression of an evolving identity.
That last line is the truly important bit: it confirms that those who still hold out hope of the Left “coming to their senses” or backing off in any way, shape, or form from their seditious lunacy are kidding themselves. For Proggy, “the political is personal”; politics has been elevated to unchallenged dominance over every least aspect of Progressivist lives, and they will never countenance any less of a commitment from the rest of us. Which brings up another burning question:
Easy: the gulags, the Killing Fields, the Holodomor, Siberia, Auschwitz. The same thing that always happens, in other words.
Much like Hillary Clinton feeling the need to reintroduce herself to voters multiple times, Bernie Sanders has decided to tell us again exactly what democratic socialism is. Maybe the need for so much explaining indicates that voters know what DemSoc is and want no part of it.
Naahh; only the sane, well-informed ones, that’s all.
The big question that never gets addressed regarding these and other “explanations” of socialism is: Why do the self-identified “democratic socialists” feel it’s OK to force those who’d rather be free into their collective?
Because they’re smarterer than we are, being “experts” who are way more qualified than we’ll ever be to make the correct choices. They’ll decide what “correct” is; your input will be neither sought nor permitted, thanksverymuch.
The system Sanders wants to force on this country of ostensibly free people requires more coercion than that which we are already under. Without force, both real and threatened, socialist systems cannot work. They require governments to take from some and give to others. Its subjects are obligated to participate.
Feature. Not bug.
If Americans learn nothing else about socialism, they should at least know this. “The goal of socialists,” writes William L. Anderson, “is socialism — not prosperity.” In other words, the objective is to use promises of abundance and a better life to do nothing more than amass raw political power.
Precisely so. Now, with the desperate necessity of mounting an effective resistance to such horrors thus established, back to Codevilla we go.
The conservative resistance would have to be organized, openly as a revolution, by national-level political leaders, whose credible voices could not be silenced. This resistance would have two assets: state-local government backed by the people, and economic boycotts.
But rallying the deplorables would have to overcome the natural conservative reluctance to acknowledge that the Republic of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the republic of “all men are created equal,” is beyond our capacity now to restore. It must be understood that it needs instead to be reasserted anew.
The ruling class, unwilling to loosen its grip on America, will appeal to “the rule of law,” use its control of the bureaucracy to cut funds, its control of the media to intimidate, and might even send some federal agents to give substance to that intimidation. They might point guns. But knowing what they are up against, they dare not shoot.
America has already come apart. The conservative resistance can conserve only one of those parts.
Fine and dandy; only one part was ever worth conserving anyway. The other one can rot, its denizens and promoters to be remanded—by force, surrounded by walls and armed guards a la Escape From New York, if necessary—into their crumbling urban Thunderdomes so as to savor the fruits of their ideological “victory” to the absolute fullest.
Or we could just, y’know, shoot them all and be done with it.