In The New York Times, Thomas B. Edsall warns that the Right is drifting away from liberal democracy and toward authoritarian democracy.
“In the continuing debate over whether liberals or conservatives are more open minded, whether those on the left or the right are more rigid in their thinking, a team of four Canadian psychologists studied patterns of “cognitive reflection” among Americans. …
For Stenner, the “overriding objective of the authoritarian is always to enhance oneness and sameness; to minimize the diversity of people, beliefs and behaviors.” …
In her email, Stenner argued that “non-authoritarian conservatives, opposed to change, dedicated to upholding laws, and to the defense of legitimate political and social institutions that underpin societal stability and security” are a crucial pillar of democratic governance.In the real world, she continued, “it is the authoritarians who are the revolutionaries.”
Even if this shift hasn’t been reflected as of yet in public policy, the Right has shifted away from the conservative liberalism of the Reagan era and toward the conservative authoritarianism of the Trump era. The Right is now defined by authoritarianism and social conservatism.
It is the best of times and the worst of times to be a conservative.
It is the worst of times in the sense that liberalism has committed suicide. It has exhausted itself and left behind a world of unprecedented decadence and disorder in its wake. It feels like the ground is collapsing beneath our feet. This country which was founded as a constitutional republic has descended into anarchy and chaos. It has lost order, stability, cohesion, continuity, decency and normalcy.
Speaking of openmindedness and rigidity in thinking, one wonders if Thomas Edsall has seen what has happened at The New York Times since James Bennet and Bari Weiss were chased out by the mob? It is no longer safe to utter an opinion at The New York Times that contradicts the woke orthodoxy. America’s leading newspaper is currently debating whether Aristotle should be cancelled which is a topic which I do not believe has been broached since the Dark Ages. George Washington, the Father of our Country, has to go as well along with John Muir who is the father of the National Park system.
What is the world supposed to think about the current state of liberal democracy as reflected by The New York Times and the United States? We live in a country where 146,000 people have died of COVID-19 as opposed to zero in Vietnam. We live in a country that seems to be a state of demonic possession where even statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary are being destroyed. We live in a country where young people own almost no property while Jeff Bezos made $13 billion dollars on Monday. We live in a country where millions of people have been suddenly plunged into unemployment and insecurity while the media would rather focus on browbeating the public to death about “black trans” issues.
It is the best of times though to be a conservative in the sense that we live in a time of profound intellectual ferment due to the collapse of liberalism. Conservatives are being forced by necessity to pick up the pieces and articulate a new vision of society.
We are now at Thomas Carlyle’s inevitable wreck.
Every organic bond that holds together and supports the whole structure of civilization from religious faith to ethnicity to the law has been subverted and demolished by progressive liberalism. We are now at the climax of this centuries long struggle for liberation and the millennium is at hand. All that is left for us to do now is to “rejoice in the new remarkable era of human progress we have arrived at.”