David French: The Rise of the Tough Guy Right

David French is lamenting the rise of “the tough guy Right”:

“What’s far more worrisome is the way Trump feeds some of the worst impulses in the conservative movement, turning otherwise sane and smart people into Facebook commandos and Twitter SEALs. Trump is a man of the moment, and that moment belongs to the tough-guy Right. …

They are the tough-guy Right, and you can always tell when you’re dealing with them. Express concern that, say, Trump’s first national-security adviser lasted less than a month on the job before being fired, and you’re “pearl-clutching.” Call out lies on your own side and you’re accused of angling for a gig at the New York Times, or of attempting to curry favor with the crowd that frequents those ubiquitous Beltway cocktail parties. Criticize these tough guys and they’ll call you a mealy-mouthed “beta male,” looking at the liberal elite and begging for love. (Trump is, of course, an “alpha,” and they all want to be one, too.) …

None of this is honorable. It’s low and partisan. I don’t care how many war allusions you use, how insulting you are on Twitter, or how many times you accuse your opponents of “pearl-clutching” and “bed-wetting.” Unless your argument is honest, principled, and consistently applicable to both sides, you’re just being tribal. …”

Now for the entree:

“One way to understand what we are witnessing, amid the national humiliation of Donald Trump’s presidency, is to see it as the total collapse of conservative ideology. That might seem like a strange claim in a year when the far right seems ascendant throughout the Western world, and when the Republican Party nominally controls the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time in a decade. But I think it’s accurate, and all the breathless Ayn Rand fanfics hidden away in the hard drive of Paul Ryan’s Windows Vista PC don’t make it less so. (It does not follow, by the way, that “liberal” ideology is in such great shape either, and the two phenomena are not unconnected. Topic for another time!)

As a political force, American conservative movement has been morally and philosophically bankrupt for decades, which is one of the big reasons we are where we are right now. …

It couldn’t last, and it didn’t: The grand bargain the Republican elite thought it had struck with the loonier fringes of the lumpenproletariat came undone in spectacular fashion in 2016. Donald Trump and his pitchfork brigade stormed the country club, chugged all the Pinot Grigio straight from the bottle and then barfed it up on the imitation Persian carpets.

What’s left of the conservative intelligentsia is either whimpering in the corner alongside New York Times columnist David Brooks or groveling before its new overlords and swearing eternal fealty. Either way, it’s pathetic. Buckley may have been an erudite con artist to a large extent, but he had a coherent worldview, avoided telling outright falsehoods and would genially have agreed that there were some good things about the Enlightenment, and perhaps even about postwar American culture …”

I laugh every time I watch this video. It sums up their situation.

2 Comments

  1. Just read article, will never get those 5-10 minutes back unfortunately. That David French guy is a fool…sounds like a true cuckserative. LOL

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