With a hat tip to our friend Jeffery Hodges, here’s an excellent survey of the moribund and incoherent state of American conservatism. It is not a cheery picture.


  1. Kevin Kim says

    Wasn’t sure where to insert this comment, but… Malcolm, have you seen this preview? I thought it might be right up your alley.

    Posted December 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Looks very interesting!

    Posted December 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm – I don’t see the piece as quite as much of a downer as you and other commentators. Based on a “cyclical theory” of history, if this is the bottom for American conservatism it isn’t really all that low.

    I do think the author underestimates the depth and explicitness of the racial lines that could form in the medium term.

    Of course the Republican establishment knows how dangerous and destructive it would be to have an American party system defined and divided along racial lines, even if not explicitly or overtly so. However, if the Party grows more desperate to gather voters in hard times, its younger political entrepreneurs might calculate that a racial path for the Party might well be the best path to advance their own ambitions, and themselves.

    He uses artful misdirection here. A really bad economy could produce results that have nothing to do with personal ambition, but rather a fight for survival that will result in the things that no one will now say being said, loudly.

    Posted December 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Agreed all round.

    But it’s hard to see how all of that — a conservative movement in tripartite disarray, whose only hope (and even that only in the short- to medium-term) is to employ a race-based strategy that attaches itself to a dwindling demographic faction soon to be reduced to a detested minority in its own homeland, while the nation spends and borrows itself into penurious and irreversible mediocrity for the sake of slopping the pigs at the public trough — isn’t a ‘downer’.

    Posted December 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  5. When you put it that way–yes, it sounds like a downer.

    But I am of the “If things can’t go on, they won’t” school when it comes to national regimes. Instead of a long slow decline for the US, I see a short, sharp, shock followed by fundamental transformation. Whether the transformation is to something “better” than we have now is the interesting question, no?

    Posted December 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Yes, that is the interesting question.

    But a “short, sharp, shock”? That sounds more like a chiropractic adjustment, followed by relief of chronic pain, than the (possibly violent) disintegration of an enormous and powerful nation.

    I agree with you though, that we’re headed for something like that. I’ve been saying for some time now that I do not think that the United States will exist in its present form for very much longer. Ten or fifteen years, perhaps.

    Posted December 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  7. Heh–the “short, sharp, shock” was a half-remembered Gilbert and Sullivan reference. I did not recall until just now that it explicitly referred to beheading.

    Posted December 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  8. “This 60-something white conservative wishes to thank America’s youth for sacrificing their financial futures and standard of living so that boomers, such as I, can look forward to a long and comfy retirement, which I could easily have afforded on my own. Now I have the youth as my guarantors and providers of a little something extra.

    As reported by the national exit poll conducted by Edison Research, Americans aged 18 to 29 voted 60% to 36% for Barack Obama. Prior to Obama’s re-election, I believed that it was morally wrong for my generation to pass a crushing national debt on to the next one.

    The debt will top $20 trillion before Obama moves out of the White House, and it will include spiraling retirement-related costs that the administration has shown zero interest in bringing under control, largely driven by baby boomers piling into the Social Security and Medicare systems.

    With the president’s electoral crushing of Mitt Romney, my overriding sense of morality and guilt have vanished.

    Thank you, kids!”

    Borrowed (and slightly modified) from:

    America — such a country!

    Posted December 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *