I’m seeing a lot of this recently. Frankly it’s rather disgusting.
The nasty mouth-breathers Buckley expelled from conservatism have returned. The proximate cause of this efflorescence of the pre-Buckley right is Donald Trump’s campaign for president. Trump has dog-whistled at racists so much for so long that they feel resurgent. They call themselves the “alt-right,” a grab-bag category that includes nativists, eugenicists, bigots, anti-Semites, misogynists, reactionaries, aristocrats, monarchists, isolationists—basically anyone who hates today’s America and the modern world and the men and women, of any race or religion, who flourish in it.
For a while the alt-right was confined to the comment sections on websites, then it moved to Twitter, then it created websites of its own, and now, most disturbingly, its ideas, such as they are, are being published and defended and celebrated on sites associated with the conservative movement and Republican politics.
So, on March 29, Breitbart.com published “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right,” a long taxonomy in which authors Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos argue, “There are many things that separate the alternative right from old-school racist skinheads (to whom they are often idiotically compared), but one thing stands out above all else: intelligence.” Hate to break it to you, guys, but a smart skinhead is still a skinhead.
“In response to concerns from white voters that they’re going to go extinct,” the authors continue, “the response of the Establishment—the conservative Establishment—has been to openly welcome that extinction.” Ah, yes—because you know Mitt Romney spends his days thinking about how to punish the white man. What was that about the alternative right being “intelligent” again?
That fact that with the huge problems that the country is having both economically and culturally right now, the establishment conservative movement can only think to attack people on it’s own side is appalling. Especially when, instead of a reasoned argument the establishment chooses to use the tactics of the enemy.
Of course there are reasons for the way they are behaving. If another group of conservative arose and was SUCCESSFUL, where would they be?
It looks like Buckley Conservatives have learned from their betters on the Left. This article appeared on the collaborationist website The Federalist, yesterday. Today, National Review has a different version of essentially the same article. Ian Tuttle feels no shame in plagiarizing the Federalist piece, suggesting this is a coordinated effort. Then again, there are only so many ways to hoot the word “racist” in a column so plagiarism is probably not the right word here.
Tuttle can be forgiven for not understanding the material, but still trying to please his bosses. He is a child trying to start a career as a chattering skull. Children do what they are told. The old fat guy from the Federalist is just a nobody so this is a way to make some money. We can expect more from the Buckley Right, as it finds itself decreasingly relevant and increasingly under assault.
Ideological movements enter into decline at the same point they turn inward and focus on a narrowing set of doctrines that define the cause. That’s the point they lose faith in the future, their future. They turn their tools to the task of maintaining the status quo, often at the expense of the movement and the benefit of the leaders. Today, Buckley Conservatism is mostly a Reagan Mystery Cult with a gift shop for their books, magazines and television programs.
There is some continuation here with the tradition of Buckley, as far as the war on the people to their Right. That has always been an essential element of Buckley Conservatism. Like Progressives, they hate the people to their Right and curry favor with those on their Left. By casting the people on their Right as unacceptable, so the theory goes, they position themselves as the sensible alternative to the Far Right and the Far Left. Buckley cut his teeth purging Burchers and Randians.
The whole point of Buckley Conservatism was to fight the Soviets so this strategy of self-legitimization made some sense. The Left was hoping to emulate the Bolsheviks, not counter them. In order to prevent that from happening, the Right had to be a legitimate counter argument. So, Bill Buckley was willing to throw anyone over the rail if it made him and his cause look good. A lot of people went over the rail as a result.
The Cold War is over. What’s left of Buckley Conservatism is the weird half of Frank Meyer Fusionism and the purging. Over the last 25 years the list of people purged reads like a who’s who of important writers of the American Right. What’s left of Buckley Conservatism, as an intellectual movement, is the sophomoric libertarian nonsense and angry tantrums about the traditionalists of the Old Right, who refuse to play along anymore.
The Buckleyites still run the Reagan Mystery Cult and the adjoining gift shoppe, the latter being the critical piece. Jonah Goldberg lives in a million dollar home in the Washington suburbs. To maintain that lifestyle means keeping the gift shoppe open. Even if he wanted to entertain alternative opinions, he has a mortgage to pay and a college fund to finance. He lacks the talent of a Mark Steyn and the courage of Ann Coulter so he cannot go it alone. He has to remain a clerk in the gift shoppe, writing copy about the wonderfulness of Buckley Conservatism.
The problem for Buckley Conservatives is they have nothing to offer. People see 25 years of failure and naturally begin to look elsewhere for answers. The alt-right has loads of problems and parts of it are a bit like heroin, offering momentary relief at the expense of long term happiness. To the person suffering in the present, however, the momentary high from joining a white identity group, for example, feels like salvation.
The problem for the Buckleyites and the GOPe is that they have wasted all the opportunities that the voters and the American people have given them for the last thirty odd years. Not have they not succeeded in the their stated goals, it’s become obvious that don’t want to succeed. The country club, Washington based crowd is perfectly happy taking money from rich donors and pontificating about Constitutional law and talking about all the downsides of big government. But it’s all been talk, in their little journals that almost nobody reads. They are satisfied and happy with that as the rest of the country goes to hell.
The problem is that the country IS going to hell. And a lot of people are being destroyed by the policies of the left and left high and dry.
Inside the Beltway, the analysts are awakening to the possibility that faith in old-time democracy may be dying in America too. Eli Saslow of the Washington Post begins by way of focusing on a funeral in Oklahoma. “Anna Marrie Jones: Born 1961 — Died 2016.”
Fifty-four years old. Raised on three rural acres. High school educated. A mother of three. Loyal employee of Kmart, Walls Bargain Center and Dollar Store. …White women between 25 and 55 have been dying at accelerating rates over the past decade, a spike in mortality not seen since the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. According to recent studies of death certificates, the trend is worse for women in the center of the United States, worse still in rural areas, and worst of all for those in the lower middle class. Drug and alcohol overdose rates for working-age white women have quadrupled. Suicides are up by as much as 50 percent.
What killed Jones was cirrhosis of the liver brought on by heavy drinking. The exact culprit was vodka, whatever brand was on sale, poured into a pint glass eight ounces at a time. But, as Anna’s family gathered at the gravesite for a final memorial, they wondered instead about the root causes, which were harder to diagnose and more difficult to solve.”
So root causes killed her, but which caused it this time? Global Warming, the lack of a woman in the White House? Was it guilt at not being welcoming enough to immigrants or depression caused by dropping the atomic bomb in 1945? None of the official ‘root causes’ seem to fit the bill, raising the disturbing possibility that something else is the culprit.
Whatever caused Anna Marrie Jones’ death is killing white males too. Gina Kolata of the New York Times noted last November that “something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.”
That finding was reported Monday by two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton, who last month won the 2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, and Anne Case. Analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from other sources, they concluded that rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids. …“Wow,” said Samuel Preston, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on mortality trends and the health of populations, who was not involved in the research. “This is a vivid indication that something is awry in these American households.”
No s**t Sherlock. “Watson. You know my methods. Apply them!” It almost sounds — if one didn’t know better — like millions of Americans were dying of a broken heart, mourning the loss of something precious to them: self-respect, jobs, beliefs, a way of life. Nothing that isn’t daily condemned or denounced on America’s most prestigious campuses. Yet people are literally dying from the loss of these worthless, politically incorrect things. The most singular thing about this epidemic is pundits are only now noticing.
The fact is that outside the Washington bubble, things aren’t going so hot for the rest of us. While Mr. Goldberg is worrying about hs million dollar house most of the rest of us are worried that we might not have any place to live in the new dysfunctional economy.
There’s only so much “transformation” that a society can take before things start to break, badly. And American culture and the economy are breaking up. And there seems to be nobody trying to stop it. The power vacuum is evident to anybody who looks. Enter the “Alt Right.”
I waited for SOMEBODY in the establishment to start talking about the real problems that have been caused by the policies of the Administration since the campaign began. I’ve been waiting for at least SOME in the conservative movement to behave like adults. It hasn’t happened. So the people the GOP wanted have failed.
Apparently the old right still doesn’t get it. Instead of an entire issue of National Review on the real issues that the nation is having, they publish an entire issue of Trump bashing. Why couldn’t they do stuff like this.
The establishment needs to understand that for millions of us this isn’t some social status game. We, the people have tried, over and over to make the point that what’s happening is intolerable. For that we’ve stomped on, smeared and laughed at. The Tea Party has been turned into an irrelevant force as far as the establishment is concerned, but the Tea Party’s concerns have not gone away and still haven’t been addressed.
Look, far too many of us have been looking forward and not seeing much hope. We’ve been dumped from our careers and lives and been left out in the cold by a system that doesn’t seem to care for anything but itself.
As far as being called names, well most of us have been taking that from the swells for a long time. After a while, it doesn’t matter very much. If the old right wants to call us names like this; “Trump has dog-whistled at racists so much for so long that they feel resurgent. They call themselves the “alt-right,” a grab-bag category that includes nativists, eugenicists, bigots, anti-Semites, misogynists, reactionaries, aristocrats, monarchists, isolationists—basically anyone who hates today’s America and the modern world and the men and women, of any race or religion, who flourish in it.” they need to stand in line. Because at this point the alt right and the rest of us have been essentially disenfranchised and smeared by the left since forever and we’re not going to take it anymore from anybody.
The old right has allowed crap like this video go unanswered and been losers for a long time now.
The fact is that the people who came up with this and the rather more infamous “Daisy” video have been doing the same sort of crap for so long that most of us with any views in opposition to the narrative of the left are used to being tarred and feathered with things that we are not. The fact that the Conservative and GOP establishment resort to the same kinds of tactics is just appalling, though perhaps not to surprising considering where the establishment comes from. Once a product of the Ivy Covered Snob Factories, always a product of the Ivy Covered Snob Factories.
Here’s Jerry Pournelle.
Those conservative writers and thinkers who have for nine months warned the base that Mr. Trump is not a conservative should consider the idea that a large portion of the Republican base no longer sees itself as conservative, at least as that term has been defined the past 15 years by Washington writers and thinkers.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/simple-patriotism-trumps-ideology-1461886199
That’s how Peggy Noonan concludes today’s column in the Wall Street Journal. I don’t expect that column has won her any friends on the Journal’s editorial board, but she’s been around a long time; not as long as me, but at least long enough to remember Nelson Rockefeller gleefully tearing up a Reagan supporter’s placard in the 1976 Republican National Convention, when Reagan opposed the Republican sitting President, Gerry Ford, for the nomination. Ford won the nomination, and Reagan supported him in the general election, and urged all his supporters to do so. Jimmy Carter won the Presidency. The high point of Carter’s Presidency came after he had lost the 1980 election to Reagan, when Iran finally released the American hostages taken when they stormed Carter’s American Embassy and led them away blindfolded.
It’s unlikely they would have ever come home had Carter won re-election. After the US November election, the Muslim Revolutionary Guard hastened to get them out of their country before Carter left office, and Reagan became Commander in Chief; probably the most intelligent thing they ever did.
In the body of her essay, Miss Noonan observes:
“In my continuing quest to define aspects of Mr. Trump’s rise, to my own satisfaction, I offer what was said this week in a talk with a small group of political activists, all of whom back him. One was about to begin approaching various powerful and influential Republicans who did not support him, and make the case. I told her I’d been thinking that maybe Mr. Trump’s appeal is simple: What Trump supporters believe, what they perceive as they watch him, is that he is on America’s side.
“And that comes as a great relief to them, because they believe that for 16 years Presidents Bush and Obama were largely about ideologies. They seemed not so much on America’s side as on the side of abstract notions about justice and the needs of the world. Mr. Obama’s ideological notions are leftist, and indeed he is a hero of the international left. He is about international climate-change agreements, and leftist views of gender, race and income equality. Mr. Bush’s White House was driven by a different ideology—neoconservatism, democratizing, nation building, defeating evil in the world, privatizing Social Security.
“But it was all ideology.”
“But it was all ideology.” In that single short sentence is the entire problem. The problem was and is that the American people don’t need or want ideology. They need and want a reduction in the size and scope of the government that is slowly killing them. That’s a task the Buckleyites are unable or unwilling to take on. They’ve talked a good game in their magazines and think tanks, at the fancy cocktail parties that they write about. Endless discussions on how this program is a disaster or that law was a terrible mistake, but we still have those terrible programs and bad laws. With the American people left holding the empty bag.
The problem is that since the optimistic 1960’s when all the current Progressive stuff started, it’s gotten progressively worse and seeming almost nothing has happened to stop the rot and corruption. It’s as if, for the last fifty years, the Joe the plumbers and his friend have had no voice in what’s happening and have had to watch as bit by bit their livelihoods and lives were destroyed.
The Old Conservatives have proven how good they are at excluding anybody that they have any disagreements with right from the beginning of the Buckley days when they were more concerned with how the Liberals thought of them than they were with building bridges with people who had more or less the same agenda. It’s become apparent that from the Birchers through the Tea Party to now Trump that the Conservative movement will not hesitate to bring out the knives and backstab. Anything to avoid actually dealing with real problems like Soviet infiltration or economic ruin.
That worked in the 1960’s when the pressures on society were not as destructive. At least until the late 1960’s when the Soviet infiltration that the Movement Conservative preferred to ignore and radicals that the KGB and the welfare leaders created went on their rampages. Still none of the ruin actually CHANGED the direction of the country as the spiral of mush consumed ever more of the country. Where have the movement Conservatives been as all the rot went on?
I’ve been waiting for my entire life for some Conservative to actually stand out and make the case that needs to be made. Since Ronald Reagan, I’ve been eternally disappointed. Instead all I’ve seen is one compromise of my liberties after another.
Well I think that too much of us have reached the point that we can’t take it anymore. Especially people my age. We’ve been told all along to behave and what has behaving got us. Lost jobs, ruined lives, and crushing debt as the fat cats get all the gravy. Frankly we can’t take it anymore and that’s why the new right and yes, Trump have emerged. If the “Old Right” wants to know what happened, all they have to do is look at their lack of any accomplishments and ask themselves why they deserve any consideration at all.
The old Right and the GOPe need to consider what it took to have millions of voters vote for a scam like this over what they have to offer. They need to consider just how LITTLE credibility they have with the American people that the American people will choose an amiable scammer over the people that the GOPe put forward to be the next POTUS. Otherwise the GOPe is heading right to the ash heap of history.
Update: A topical post from the Z man.
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