“For one thing, it tells us that being conservative, or of the Right, is no inoculation against the desire for novelty. The conservative project, with its permanent things and ancient truths and unalterable facts of life and whatnot, can be a little boring. Sometimes, more than a little boring. Conservatives have always been, and will always be, at a disadvantage against the utopians of the Left and the utopians of the Right in that conservatives believe that it very often is the case that there is nothing to be done, or not much to be done, that most problems are to be managed rather than solved, that we should aim at mitigation rather than transformation, that we are better positioned to assuage than to conquer, that things are what they are and must be dealt which on that basis. …
To be relieved from the boredom and the heaviness of that project, some elements of the Right from time to time throw themselves into novelties and excitements: blood-and-soil, throne-and-altar European conservatism, which has almost nothing to do with what we call conservatism in the United States other than, on occasion, a common enemy; populism and populist heretic-hunting; authoritarianism and illiberalism, which can be wonderfully exciting, especially when they indulge or invite the violation of longstanding liberal-democratic norms or manners; millenarian hysteria and its attendant sense of emergency, which confers a license for all sorts of boorish and vicious behavior (“that earnest and insistently polite quality of his . . . I find unsuitable to the depth of the present crisis,” Sohrab Ahmari writes of David French); new “movements” and factions, which open up opportunities for leadership and status within new organizations and groupings; etc. …”
No, it is simple math.
Not permanent things and ancient truths like the free-market or Judeo-Christianity.
If you are an authoritarian and a social conservative, who do you want as your political allies? What is the correct political strategy to advance your relative position?
4 percent of Americans are Right-Libertarians
23 percent of Americans are Right-Authoritarians
44 percent of Americans are Left-Libertarians
29 percent of Americans are Left-Authoritarians
So, if you are social conservative, you can choose between the mainstream conservative strategy or Door #1 which unites Right-Libertarians and Right-Authoritarians who are together 27 percent of the electorate, or the national populist strategy which is Door #2 and unites Right-Authoritarians and Left-Authoritarians who are together 52 percent of the electorate.
It all boils down to this simple question: do you have more in common with the Southern or Midwestern populist who shares your social conservative values or the Texas anarchist who rejects them? Should the rightwing coalition be based on the social issues or economics?
What does lolbertarianism bring to the table? What do neocons bring to the table? Both of these things repulse more people than they attract. The cuckservative strategy is to trick all of those people who are voting for the GOP on the basis of the social issues into supporting the unpopular neocon foreign policy and lolbertarian economic platform, but if you simply jettisoned those people and brought the policies in line to the interests and values of the base then the problem would be solved.
“Back in 2015, RightWingNews reviewed the financial filings of 21 prominent conservative PACs and found the ten 10 groups at the bottom of their list spent $54.3 million only paid out $3.6 million to help get Republicans elected.
Back in 2016, campaign finance lawyer Paul H. Jossey detailed how some of the PACs operated and lamented, “the Tea Party movement is pretty much dead now, but it didn’t die a natural death. It was murdered — and it was an inside job. In a half decade, the spontaneous uprising that shook official Washington degenerated into a form of pyramid scheme that transferred tens of millions of dollars from rural, poorer Southerners and Midwesterners to bicoastal political operatives.”
In 2016, Roger Stone founded the Committee to Restore America’s Greatness. It raised $587,000 and spent $16,000 on independent expenditures supporting Trump.
In 2016, Great America PAC raised $28.6 million from donors. They donated $30,125 to federal candidates. In 2018, Great America PAC raised $8.3 million from donors. They donated $31,840 to federal candidates.
In 2017, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said that despite the actions of a PAC that claimed to be raising money for a Clarke bid for U.S. Senate, he was not running. That PAC raised $2 million. …
And some folks want us to believe that the problem with the conservative movement is David French?
Why is the conservative movement not as effective as its supporters want it to be? Because day after day, year after year, little old ladies get called on the phone or emailed or sent letters in the mail telling them that the future of the country is at stake and that if they don’t make a donation to groups that might as well be named Make Telemarketers Wealthy Again right now, the country will go to hell in a handbasket. Those little old ladies get out their checkbooks and give what they can spare, convinced that they’re making a difference and helping make the world a better place. What they’re doing is ensuring that the guys running these PACs can enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle. Meanwhile, conservative candidates lose, kicking the dirt after primary day or the general election, convinced that if they had just had another $100,000 for get-out-the-vote operations, they might have come out on top. …”
I found that very interesting.
I would like to thank Jim Geraghty for sharing it. The Tea Party and MIGA were killed by grifters. I’ve been saying for years that these PACs are milking the evangelicals.
“Perhaps you’re thinking, “Oh, every PAC does this.” Nope. In that RightWingNews study, Club for Growth Action PAC had 88 percent actually went into independent expenditures and direct contributions. Republican Main Street Partnership had 78 percent, and American Crossroads was at 72 percent. That allegedly corrupt “establishment” is way more efficient at using donors’ money than all of these self-proclaimed grassroots conservative groups. Over on the liberal or Democratic side, ActBlue charges a 3.95 percent processing fee when passing along donations to campaigns. …”
Yeah, the problem with Club for Growth isn’t that it is an ineffective scam though. The problem with it is that it is effective in implementing economic policies that are harming the White working class.
“I wonder if Jack Philips believes that it is the case that the “the movement we are up against” has as its “ultimate aim” “to secure for the individual will the widest possible berth to define what is true and good.” I suspect that he does not think that is the case, at all. I would bet that Mark Janus has not experienced excessive indulgence of the individual will from his critics. The Left surely has not gone out of its way to accommodate the autonomy of the Little Sisters of the Poor or the people who own Hobby Lobby. Etc.”
If that is the argument we are having, then we are having an argument about a fiction.”
44 percent of Americans are Left-Libertarians
4 percent of Americans are Right-Libertarians.
I saw this on display at the water park this weekend whether it was the interracial couples or the obese blue-haired lesbians or the 400 pound fat guy on his scooter straight out of WALL-E or all the women who are in terrible physical shape who have defaced their bodies with hideous tattoos to express their individuality. 92 percent of lolbertarians in America are on the Left.
“The central issue is this: conservatives have lost the commanding heights of culture. The media, our education systems, and even the arts used to espouse values that reinforced (or at least didn’t completely attack) America’s founding principles. Then for the last 70 years, we’ve slowly conceded.
So what do we do? I agree with Ahmari that we need to fight back. This isn’t the time for shrinking violets. The nation desperately needs to return to a pursuit of The Good, The True, and The Beautiful. But the critical question remains: how? …”
How can you fight back without first recognizing and acknowledging the central problem? In the mid-20th century, America’s traditional WASP elite crumbled and was replaced by a new elite that was thrust into the commanding heights of cultural and economic power by the “meritocratic” system. As it happens, this elite is also disproportionately Jewish and dramatically changed our culture.
“If you printed out and stacked up every piece written about the dispute between First Things contributor Sohrab Ahmari and National Review writer David French, it wouldn’t quite go up 68,000 miles—that would be the $22 trillion national debt, stacked by ones—but it would be towering nonetheless.
Since libertarianism is often an indicted co-conspirator during the nationalist right’s never-ending season of irritable manifestos, we felt it appropriate to dedicate most of this week’s Editors’ Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman and Matt Welch, to the conservative crack-up and related subplots. (And yes, that includes, hilariously, Game of Thrones.) There are David Brooks sightings, disputes over Trumpism’s policy content, and usage-disquisitions on classical liberal and libertinism.”
This podcast is probably worth checking out.
The lolbertarian interest is obviously in maintaining the status quo. American politics has been steadily becoming more lolbertarian over the past forty years – socially liberal and economically liberal – even though lolbertarianism itself is a marginalized political tendency.
“The tension between Christian morality and individual liberty is one many conservatives and libertarians are intimately familiar with, and for good reason. At times, American Christianity has been a force for individual liberty—in the context of the abolition movement—but it has also been a force against individual liberty, like in the push for prohibition. Still, the nation has always had a core majority population that was familiar with Christianity, attended church regularly, and saw value in living, at least publicly if not privately, according to the widely known tenets of their faith. …
But who will enforce this re-ordered public square, and what does it look like? The theocratic undertones are clear and troubling here. We face a new, different reality than the high religiosity America of before, and in that context, those of us who favor liberty should explicitly reject any attempt to re-order our public square toward the Highest Good, especially when those determining the Highest Good cannot always (perhaps ever) be trusted with such power.”
I’m of the view that Christianity is still popular in Middle America and lolbertarianism is unpopular and deeply resented, especially the woke capitalism variety of it and the kind that advances through the federal courts without a popular mandate, and that it is for the best to chunk the lolbertarians and neocons overboard in favor a national populist coalition.
The only way conservatism can survive is if it it drops the neoliberal economics and I don’t expect them to ever do it. We saw this all through 2015/16. They doubled down on neoliberalism. Then they tripled down after Trump won.
With 2020 approaching, the GOP congress just threw down the gauntlet again just moments ago by voting to “cut the budget” for their tax cuts. They tried to pass the outdated “pennies plan” which has zero support anywhere. Does this look like a party ready to compromise on neoliberalism?
The Right has traditionally been a booster of the billionaires, hence, the libertarian court economics. If the Right wants grass roots popularity, it must jettison free markets and go totally high regulation in the public interest, like before Reagan.