I won’t be writing any of these articles.
I wrote a series of “The Case for Trump” articles in the 2016 election. I don’t think those takes stood the test of time. We can now look back on Trump’s first term with the benefit of hindsight. We know the outcome. It is history. In less than two weeks, those four years are going to be behind us.
Spencer Quinn at Counter-Currents and Dr. Kevin MacDonald at The Occidental Observer are making the last minute case for reelecting Trump to a second term. I’ve already said all that I have to say about the subject. If you are interested in seeing the other side of the argument though, check out what they have to say. It is going to be over soon and Trump will either be reelected or he won’t. We’re going to have to live with the result and accept the outcome. The matter will be settled until 2024.
I will say this though.
In doing the research for my book, I have been struck by the ineffectiveness of conservative liberalism and the Republican Party in resisting cultural change. It is even worse than I thought. In the 1920s, the Republican Party dominated the White House and both chambers of Congress, but this was a decade of vast and sweeping cultural change in spite of having conservatives in the saddle in Washington. Then as now, the Republican Party was in thrall to tycoons like Andrew Mellon. The people who decisively changed the trajectory of American culture in the 1920s were deeply alienated from the politics of their times to the point where many of them left the United States and moved to Europe to escape while those who stayed behind like H.L. Mencken thrived on ridiculing the shitshow in Washington.
During the Great Depression and World War II, FDR and the Democrats dominated Washington and conservative liberalism was blamed for causing the worst economic catastrophe in American history and sunk into a political abyss under the hegemony of the New Deal coalition. The Republican Party only briefly controlled Congress during 1947-1949 and 1953-1955. They controlled only the Senate under Reagan from 1981-1987. The Republican Party only finally regained control of Congress in my lifetime in the Republican Revolution of 1994. They lost control of Congress to the Democrats in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president. Since the 1920s, the Republican Party has only had unified controlled of the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court under George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Otherwise, Democrats have been the dominant governing majority party for most of the last century.
The Republican Party is comfortable in its traditional role of being the junior partner of the American establishment. They would much rather lose elections for their voters than change their unpopular economic agenda. Theodore Roosevelt briefly tried to change the Republican Party’s obsequious relationship with big business, but conservative liberals reverted to form under his successor William Howard Taft, which split the GOP between its progressive and conservative wings and led to the election of Woodrow Wilson. In the 1920s, the Republican Party finally shook off the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt and reverted to conservative liberalism. After the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and the start of the Great Depression, conservative liberals under Herbert Hoover doggedly stuck to their free market principles and refused to concede that government had any role in providing natural disaster and economic relief to the poor as the unemployed were forced to live in slums which came to be called Hoovervilles. Alf Landon carried the banner of conservative liberalism and lost in a landslide to FDR in the 1936 election.
Conservative liberals never made peace with the New Deal. Instead, they made peace with modernism, cosmopolitanism and antiracism. In fact, the Republican Party embraced civil rights reform, antiracism and cosmopolitanism before the Democrats who were split over the issue between their Southern and Eastern wings. In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee for president and lost the election to FDR. He wrote a book called One World which basically outlined postwar America. Wendell Wilkie and Thomas Dewey ran against FDR on civil rights and lost in the 1940 and 1944 elections. Throughout the four terms of FDR’s presidency, conservative liberals stuck to their free market principles.
In the postwar era, William F. Buckley founded National Review in 1955, not to challenge the postwar consensus on culture – liberalism, modernism, cosmopolitanism and antiracism – but to revive the anti-state, small government, pro-business, libertarian and free-market orientation of “classical liberalism,” which had long been the traditional stance of the Republican Party prior to the Great Depression. While the conservative liberal movement has changed over the last 70 years as it has accepted countless defeats on racial and cultural issues, it has never changed its position on free market economics to appeal to a broader electorate even when it was clearly in its interest to do so.
Mainstream conservatism has always pretended to be interested in fighting a “culture war” in order to harvest votes by exploiting the grievances of populists and social conservatives. It has never shown any appetite in power to address these issues. Even with control of the Supreme Court, it has upheld abortion, sodomy, affirmative action, gay marriage, civil rights, transgenderism, etc. No, what has truly and consistently motivated conservative liberals over the course of a 120 year period since the assassination of President McKinley in 1901 is wielding power to advance their anti-state, small government, pro-business, libertarian, free market ideology. Predictably, this is all they ever do when they actually have power even under Trump aside from catering to the whims of their pro-Israel donors.
In spite of all the talk of a “National Populist” revolution and a “realignment” and the Republican Party becoming a “working class party,” nothing has changed. Conservative liberalism can put on a fake populist veneer, but the Republican Party is still the party of donors who are pro-business and who want free market economics, which is a point that has been driven home in recent weeks by the failure to do anything about Big Tech censorship even when censorship is costing the GOP the 2020 election. This is a party which is happy to embrace “identity politics” to appeal to and motivate every group in existence but the White voters who are its own base because it upholds consensus antiracism.
History shows that conservative liberalism has never cared about the cultural grievances of its own voters and the Trump era was no departure from this. The only thing it has ever cared about is free market economics. It is more than happy to accommodate any cultural change while remaining essentially libertarian. It only pantomimes resistance. America could become a godless cultural sewer overrun by aliens, but it would still only care about tax cuts, deregulation and the stock market.
The Left deeply cares about advancing its cultural vision. The Right deeply cares about advancing its economic vision. As a result, rightwing cultural warriors are consistently defeated because they empower people who do not share their priorities. Trump in the White House, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and control of Congress for two years did nothing to change this. The tax cuts and criminal justice reform were passed by the Congress which refused to fund Trump’s border wall.
We’ve been barking up the wrong tree. If we want to change our culture, we need to change the values and beliefs of White Americans. We have to speak to an alienated generation, critique the current system and give them a positive new vision of society. Essentially, we have to tear down what the Modernists and their successors have done just as they tore down and replaced the Victorians before them. We are Late Moderns. It is our task to think our way out of Modernism and chart a new course.