It is hard to say what is going on at NatCon II.
I can only find some clips trickling out on Twitter. It is easy to mock David French who has become a punchline on the Right over the last five years, but these people are styling themselves as the alternative to mainstream conservatism. Should we be taking them more seriously?
I noticed that Rich Lowry, the author of The Case for Nationalism, was back to deliver another rousing speech. He is ready to fight on the beaches to defend American heritage. Nothing says you are striking a blow against the old “fusionism” like having John Bolton or the editor of National Review address your conference. Lowry has repeatedly made the case for toppling Confederate monuments. In his book The Case for Nationalism, he literally said that America’s national identity was watching NFL games on a flat screen television on Thanksgiving. Then he indignantly complained last summer on his website that “the assault on America’s national identity” was going too far. At the very height of the assault on American heritage, Lowry warned against “the slippery slope fallacy” in National Review.
““An American cultural nationalism is an inclusive nationalism. As we saw in the early history of the blues, we shouldn’t believe the lie perpetrated by white nationalists that our culture is in any meaningful sense “white” or the countervailing lie perpetrated by black nationalists that blacks are anything other than fully American. The emphasis in the phrase “African American” should decidedly be on American. …
We should have a more capacious and merciful self-understanding. We all are Thomas Jefferson and W. C. Handy, the Pilgrims and Frederick Douglass, British and African, black and white, sitting at a vast Thanksgiving table within sight of an an enormous flat-screen tuned to a Lions or Cowboys game under the watchful gaze of a red, white, and blue–bedecked Eagle, sharing, laughing, squabbling, commiserating, and doing it all loudly in the distinct, instantly recognizable American style that makes its indelible imprint on us all.”
I said it was weak sauce at the time.
Everything that has happened since then has demonstrated that I was right.
“In the wave of cancellations sweeping America, Confederate statues have been particularly hard hit.
They have been graffitied, assaulted, and torn down, while authorities rush to remove them.
For his part, President Donald Trump has been a steadfast defender of the statues and other forms of recognition of the Confederacy. He has come out in favor of preserving the names of military bases named after Confederate generals and pointedly said that we should build on our heritage rather than tear it down.
Conservatives tend to think the same way. They reflexively oppose politically correct campaigns to destroy anything giving offense.
They fear where the slippery slope of woke iconoclasm will lead — first it’s Jefferson Davis, ultimately George Washington.
They value tradition and worry we are trashing part of our history.
This impulse, though, is a mistake. Confederate statues and symbols deserve to be reevaluated, and often mothballed. …”
Yes, where does it lead?
If anything is true, national disintegration has accelerated since NatCon I.
We now know definitively that it doesn’t stop with Confederate monuments. In hindsight, we also know that Rich Lowry’s inclusive liberal civic nationalism which he outlined in his 2019 book was utterly worthless and tantamount to “fascism” to these people.