Jay Nordlinger asks an important question at National Review.
“In the 1990s, everyone said the same thing about American conservatism: “For decades, the conservative movement was held together by anti-Communism. All the disparate elements were connected by anti-Communism. What connects them now?”
The same question may be posed today. I think of two immediate answers. First, to be a conservative is to be anti-Left, as George Will says. That’s not nothing (as he also says). In fact, that’s a big thing. And the second answer? By and large, we are anti-abortion. That’s also a big thing. A momentous thing.
And beyond those . . .?
Now, hang on a minute. Increasingly, I meet young people who call themselves “integralists” or “post-liberals.” They believe that the American Founding was a tragic mistake. They favor some sort of church-state government, though some are too shy to be explicit about their heart’s desire. (I suspect they will get bolder — more candid — which is welcome.) They are more Franco than Jefferson, more Orbán than Reagan — more Pat Buchanan than Will or Charles Krauthammer. …”
I don’t think he will like the answer:
The American Right like the European Right is united by authoritarianism and social conservatism. It is also defined by its rejection of Left-Libertarianism.
Conservatism, Inc. is defined by Right-Libertarianism which is a set of ideas that lacks a mass constituency among non-Boomers. The generation that voted for Ronald Reagan is largely dead. There are far more economic populists than economic liberals who lean to the Right. Virtually no one reads or cares about what George Will says in The Washington Post.
The problem is that the White House, Congress and the federal bureaucracy are full of a bunch of people who have been trained to give lip service to a defunct ideology that conserved nothing and which is totally out of sync with its base. The Democratic Party doesn’t have this problem because its Left-Libertarian ideology is in perfect harmony with its Jewish donors, the mainstream media and their deranged base of minorities, homosexuals and cat ladies.
The Republican Party is constantly losing and assimilating leftwing social revolutions into mainstream conservatism, policing the boundaries of the mainstream for the Left (the courtesy is never reciprocated) and trying to deliver an agenda for its donors that fails to excite its base. Who wants to vote for classical liberalism plus multiculturalism and political correctness?