In Politico Magazine, Tucker Carlson admits that Conservatism, Inc. is incapable of “conserving” so much as a tray of ice cubes, even after countless billions of dollars have been squandered on this racket for half a century now:
“Not everyone finds it funny. On my street in Northwest Washington, D.C., there’s never been anyone as unpopular as Trump. The Democrats assume he’s a bigot, pandering to the morons out there in the great dark space between Georgetown and Brentwood. The Republicans (those relatively few who live here) fully agree with that assessment, and they hate him even more. They sense Trump is a threat to them personally, to their legitimacy and their livelihoods. Idi Amin would get a warmer reception in our dog park. …
Consider the conservative nonprofit establishment, which seems to employ most right-of-center adults in Washington. Over the past 40 years, how much donated money have all those think tanks and foundations consumed? Billions, certainly. (Someone better at math and less prone to melancholy should probably figure out the precise number.) Has America become more conservative over that same period? Come on. Most of that cash went to self-perpetuation: Salaries, bonuses, retirement funds, medical, dental, lunches, car services, leases on high-end office space, retreats in Mexico, more fundraising. Unless you were the direct beneficiary of any of that, you’d have to consider it wasted.
Pretty embarrassing. And yet they’re not embarrassed. Many of those same overpaid, underperforming tax-exempt sinecure-holders are now demanding that Trump be stopped. Why? Because, as his critics have noted in a rising chorus of hysteria, Trump represents “an existential threat to conservatism.”
Let that sink in. Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal.”
BTW, if you haven’t already seen this, it explains a lot:
“Since the modern conservative movement emerged at the dawn of the Cold War, its leaders have had to navigate the tensions between populism and a more intellectual conservatism. Naturally, National Review, as a journal of conservative opinion, sought to defend the movement’s intellectual side. But the editors of National review were also pragmatists. The conservative movement was a very small thing in the 1950s. To wield political influence, it would have to fill its ranks with what National Review publisher Bill Rusher called “the simplistic Right,” a group, he argued, that comprised “the great bulk of our readership, of our support, and of the warm bodies available for us to lead in any desired direction.”
There was, then, from the beginning an uneasy coalition between the populists and ideologues in the conservative movement. The editors at National Review made their peace with populism except under two conditions: when they thought populist hardliners threatened conservatism’s credibility or its electoral prospects. …
Ohio GOP Sen. John Ashbrook made the case that Wallace was no conservative; columnist Frank Meyer went further, denying that anyone could be both a populist and a conservative. After all, he wrote, “populism is the radical opposite of conservatism.” …
The current battle between populists and ideologues has real consequences for both the conservative movement and the Republican Party. If it is to be a party at all, the GOP must at some point govern. But populist stars like Trump and Palin have shown little interest in that. Indeed, their lack of interest in governing is the essence of their appeal.”
National Review has columnists like Kat Timpf on staff whose sole function is to stoke populist outrage which can then be “tethered” (to use Rich Lowry’s terminology) to the advancement of “conservatism’s animating causes of liberty, limited government and the Constitution.” In other words, conservatives have to gin up outrage about various issues they don’t really care about in order get what Bill Rusher once called “the warm bodies available for us to lead in any desired direction.”
The “desired direction” which the “true conservatives” wish to lead us has always been the agenda of Big Business and the wealthy, which is to say, the tax cuts, deregulation, global free-trade, weakening the labor unions, gutting social programs, and foreign wars to maintain the US Empire. They have never cared about issues like the Confederate flag, gay marriage, abortion, illegal immigration, affirmative action, political correctness, and so on, which is why they are always counter-signaling against their gauche voters.
In spite of their cynical rhetorical posturing, “true conservatives” don’t care about “liberty” or “limited government” or the “Constitution” either … the Constitution gives Congress, not the WTO, the authority to “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises.” It gives Congress, not the president, the power to declare war. It certainly doesn’t authorize the NSA’s systematic invasion of privacy. The “true conservatives” hated Ron Paul when he ran on defending the Constitution in 2008 and 2012.
“Conservatism” isn’t a principled ideology. It effectively means “whatever makes the donors happy.” The donors want open borders, free trade, and foreign wars, which is what “conservatism” has delivered for half a century. They want to be culturally respectable too, which is why causes like traditional marriage are so easily tossed aside, but the top marginal income tax rate is half of what it was in 1980.
“Deriding Trump is an act of class solidarity, visible evidence of refinement and proof that you live nowhere near a Wal-Mart.”
This is so obviously true it ought not need to be stated. The same people who spend all day on Twitter deriding Trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian” had no problem with W.’s act which was fine so long as they got the tax cuts, open borders, and foreign wars: