Another Ironbear masterpiece of commentry that needs to be moved out front here.
There is no going back. We live in post-America now, and have for quite some time. We can’t go back to the America of the Founding any more than we can go back to the bright, shiny, thriving, hopeful and optimistic America of the ’50s. There is no time machine that will take us there.
Conservative thinkers like Smith, Codevilla, and the rest err in thinking that there is somehow some way to dismantle and excise the degeneracy of Progressivism while keeping the worthwhile parts of what Codevilla calls “Republican America”.
There is not.
Post-America is not going to somehow revitalize and go back to being America. We’re in the degenerate phase of a decadent civilization, and, to date, to the best of my knowledge, there has never been a degenerate civilization that has reversed course and revitalized into a thriving, growing, and vital civilization.
Breakup and partition is inevitable at this point. Empires always fall apart.
What grows out of that is no more going to resemble the America of George Washington than the Western Civilization that grew out of the breakup of the Roman Empire resembled Classical Rome.
The primary question at this point, and the one that thinkers like Smith and Codevilla refuse to face squarely – because that would require admitting that they’re spinning their wheels – is whether the breakup and collapse will be slow and gradual over centuries like Rome, or fast and bloody like Yugoslavia.
I don’t believe that quick and peaceful like Czechoslovakia or even the Soviet Union is in the cards for us.
The secondary question is: What comes next? What grows out of rubble?
Smith and Codevilla can’t answer that for the same reason I can’t: the caterpillar can’t envision the butterfly.
Yup, that’s about the size of it. I myself am frequently guilty of using phrases like “restoring America” and the like, despite knowing that such a thing not only won’t happen, it in fact CAN’T happen. We’re walking on uncharted and extremely dangerous ground now, and the destination is uncertain at best.