Culture Wars/Current Controversies
The Terrifying Future of the American Right
Uber-neocon David Brooks is hardly an objective source, but this sounds not so much “terrifying” as much as “the biggest joke ever.” This approach didn’t work 40 years ago and it’s not going to work now.
This stuff is just a reworking of the religious right’s “God has been kicked out of the classroom” and “F**s want to recruit your kids” line from the 70s and 80s, with the usual dose of Israel-Firstism, plus a dab of “black conservatism,” and several shyster Congressmen forcing themselves to give lip service to economic populism in the most insincere and half-assed way possible, out of recognization that class antagonisms are now too intense to simply ignore, and that big capital is not their friend.
This will probably fly about as well as the Hindenberg.
Yet, one thing these folks are getting right is their emphasis on state politics. I don’t see this as something that is capable of winning elections on a presidential level, though it might work in some Congressional districts, and at the state level in deep-red states. For Republicans, the key to winning presidential elections in the future will be to win the “anti-woke center” (e.g. #walkaway and IDW types) rather than the right-wing per se. But this “national conservatism” approach could potentially take advantage of the “Big Sort” and establish its own lifestyle enclaves.
By David Brooks, The Atlantic
What I saw at the National Conservatism Conference.
Rachel Bovard is one of the thousands of smart young Americans who flock to Washington each year to make a difference. She’s worked in the House and Senate for Republicans Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, and Mike Lee, was listed among the “Most Influential Women in Washington Under 35” by National Journal, did a stint at the Heritage Foundation, and is now policy director of the Conservative Partnership Institute, whose mission is to train, equip, and unify the conservative movement. She’s bright, cheerful, and funny, and has a side hustle as a sommelier. And, like most young people, she has absorbed the dominant ideas of her peer group.
One of the ideas she’s absorbed is that the conservatives who came before her were insufferably naive. They thought liberals and conservatives both want what’s best for America, disagreeing only on how to get there. But that’s not true, she believes. “Woke elites—increasingly the mainstream left of this country—do not want what we want,” she told the National Conservatism Conference, which was held earlier this month in a bland hotel alongside theme parks in Orlando. “What they want is to destroy us,” she said. “Not only will they use every power at their disposal to achieve their goal,” but they’ve already been doing it for years “by dominating every cultural, intellectual, and political institution.”