At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture


Why “the Conservative Movement” is Doomed

posted by Jack Kerwick

The so-called “conservative movement” is all but doomed.

For my gloomy prognostication I offer two sufficiently simple reasons.

First, the movement is dominated by self-serving publicity pimps and their whores who neither know nor care to know a damn thing about genuine conservatism.

Second, the grass roots of the movement, though free of their leaders’ character flaws, are no different than the latter as far as their ignorance of and indifference to the conservative tradition is concerned. 

The mainstream right in this country has been consistently tacking to the left from at least the time of the “Reagan revolution.”  The conservative movement, thus, is but a lighter version of leftism, a slightly less progressive form of progressivism.

Even during Ronald Reagan’s two terms, a time when conservatism was supposed to have been making this explosive comeback, it was the federal government that was exploding.  We hear much from the mainstream right about Reagan’s tax cuts. We hear not a peep about his multiple tax hikes. Reagan eliminated not a single government agency or department, and he granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

How, I would like to know, did Reagan advance the conservative cause vis-à-vis “the social issues”—abortion, “gay rights,” abortion, affirmative action, and illegal immigration? 

Besides, even if Reagan was the great conservative giant that the mainstream right makes him out to be, he was in the last resort but a politician, and a politician in the federal government at that. 

A true conservative knows better than to endorse messianic politics.  But this is exactly what movement conservatives do when they worship Reagan—or when they revere any politicians as great leaders.

The left sets the terms of the debate and the mainstream right subscribes to them lock, stock, and barrel.  In doing so, the left allows those on the right who are willing to toe its line to be heard. This explains why mainstream rightists employ much of the same lingo as leftists. 

For example, to justify George W. Bush’s “Freedom Agenda”—his neo-imperial crusades in theMiddle East—Fox News personalities and “conservative” talk radio hosts sound no different than their leftist counterparts sound in arguing for various domestic entitlements.  The language of “human rights,” “women rights,” “tolerance,” and “equality” abounds.

With few exceptions—the Pauls, father and son, say, and maybe some others—the vast majority of mainstream conservative politicians in Washington D.C. are no more interested in repealing Gargantuan Government than are their Democratic rivals.  Rather, what they are interested in is taking control of this government to use for their own purposes.

In other words, they are interested in power.

But it isn’t just mainstream conservative politicians who are intent upon seeing to it that the show continues on.  Mainstream conservative journalists and pundits are equally invested in fooling the rank and file of the movement into believing that they are really interested in advancing truth and liberty.

The movement has no hope because while it claims to oppose the left, it relies upon the same universe of lies upon which the latter is built.

For example, there is an underlying racial dimension to virtually every issue that we face—how could things be otherwise when both mainstream conservatives and leftists continually tell us that slavery is America’s “original sin?”  Yet no mainstream conservative publication will dare publish a piece that aspires to address racial issues frankly. 

The problem is even worse than this, unfortunately.  The editors of these publications are obsessed with gaining recognition for themselves.  So, they publish writers depending on whether they meet a few criteria. 

First, writers should have some name recognition themselves.  If your name is Buchanan or Coulter or Limbaugh, you’re in.

Second, like moths, they must be ever on the move, addressing only those topics that engage readers’ interest at the moment.  The timeless, or even attempts to tie the timeless in with the topical, are discouraged. In other words, events, and maybe people, are paramount.  Ideas, though, are generally not welcome.  

Third, whatever writers say about current events, they must make sure that they remain within the bounds of acceptable—i.e. Politically Correct—discourse: the more conventional and, hence, humdrum, the better, and the safer, both editor and writer will be.

Last but certainly not least: writers must write as if they are addressing eight graders.

Anyone who doubts me on this need only look at any number of mainstream publications—from World Net Daily to American Thinker, from Townhall to National Review—to see that, with some notable exceptions, their commentators suffer from a conspicuous lack of daring and imagination.

The mainstream conservative movement, as I say, is doomed.

 



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