That self-avowed “conservative” Republicans pounced upon Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling no less tenaciously than did those on the left got me to wondering: Why should anyone, of any race, religion, or political orientation, vote for them?
Lest my intentions be misunderstood, it should be noted that not only am I a conservative, a Christian, and a traditional Republican voter. I am all this and a philosophy professor to boot. My point is that years spent in the belly of the leftist dominated beast of academia has not weakened—and has only strengthened—my conviction in the rational and moral superiority of conservatism over its competitors (my doctoral dissertation, defended at a militantly leftist institution, was a defense of the classical conservative tradition).
Still, readers of this column must see this that there is nothing particularly conservative about much of today’s conservative movement. There’s even less conservatism to be found within the Republican Party.
If ever we needed proof of this, the hysteria with which “conservatives” raced to participate in the “Finger-Wagging Olympics,” as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar put it, supplies this proof in spades.
Traditionally, conservatives have favored what today is referred to as “limited government”—i.e. a decentralization of authority and a wide dispersal of power. They have also endorsed the idea that, ultimately, the moral life fleshes itself out within the “little platoons”—the local communities—that shape the identity and sense of purpose of the individual. Leftists, in glaring contrast, are seized with visions of utopia that are both cause and effect of their obsession with the creation of Omnipotent and Omniscient Government.
The point: “Racism,” or the campaign to end “racism,” to a far greater extent than any other pretext, has catapulted the left-wing vision to its present position of cultural dominance.
First, in the name of fighting “racism,” the American government has been “fundamentally transformed” (to use Barack Obama’s lingo) from the “limited,” self-divided set of institutions intended by our Founders into the largely monolithic Leviathan that currently exists today. States’ rights, equality under the law, and individual liberty—the pillars of America’s Constitutional Republic—have been radically subverted for the sake of “Equality,” say, or “Social Justice”: i.e. for the purpose of combating “racism.”
Cliven Bundy has been in a fight with the federal government over land that his family had been using for a century. Sean Hannity is among those who upheld the man as something of an emblem of the patriotic spirit that motivated the founding generation in its fight against oppressive government. But as soon as Bundy was (unjustly) depicted as a “racist,” Hannity and other “conservatives” in the media and Congress who had just hours before lionized him dropped Bundy like a hot potato. Worse, so as not to be outdone, Hannity stopped just short of calling Bundy evil, expressing more contempt for Bundy’s David than even Hannity has ever expressed for the Goliath of the federal government.
And all because Bundy wasn’t so articulate in echoing the standard GOP line that the Democratic Party, with its promotion of all things Big Government, has psychologically bound blacks to a new “plantation.”
All too predictably, for his efforts, Hannity, like every other Republican who screamed from the rooftops, was mocked even more loudly by the usual suspects on the left.
But the Donald Sterling brouhaha, possibly more so than any other event, gave the idolaters of Total Government everything for which they could’ve asked:
With Sterling, the line between the private and the public, thought and deed, is eradicated and the citizen, thus, is left utterly defenseless against the onslaught of All Mighty Government.
Yet “conservatives” and Republicans, if they are bothered by this at all—which, in most instances, it doesn’t appear that they are—aren’t nearly as bothered by it as they are the “racism” of Sterling.
Secondly, in legitimizing the left’s insinuation that “racism” is the most deadly of sins, the one unforgivable transgression that must be destroyed “by whichever means necessary,” the right advances the cause of Unlimited Government, it is true. However, in doing so, it also abets the left in obliterating the local and the particular, “the little platoons” of which Edmund Burke wrote and by which moral character is formed.
Traditional morality—the only bulwark against tyrannical government—is made to give way to a faux morality rooted in Politically Correct policy prescriptions of the day.
The left is fatal to liberty. This we know. But if the left succeeds, as it is now succeeding, the right will be to blame.
So, the question remains: As long as “conservatives” insist upon facilitating the left’s agenda, why should real conservatives and other patriots support them?