They also map pretty well upon the Confederacy, a latent fever in our American psyche that wracks the republic with regularity, whenever dogmatists, oligarchs and cynical manipulators re-light the fuse of our recurring Civil War.
Never mind that Mr. Will and I share a wish for Trump to be defeated. We even agree that the heat of that immolation is the only hope for a renewed American conservatism. “Pessimism need not breed fatalism or passivity. It can define an agenda of regeneration, but only by being clear-eyed about the extent of degeneration, which a charlatan’s successful selling of his fabulousness exemplifies. Conservatism’s recovery from his piratical capture of the conservative party will require facing unflattering facts about a country that currently is indifferent to its founding.”
Oh no you don’t, you horrid, horrid little traitor! The “country” is not to blame here. It is your version of conservatism, one that wages war on science, teaching, medicine, journalism, economics, civil servants, entrepreneurs and every knowledge profession in American life. One whose abandonment of all pretense of civility long predates the Trump calamity. One that is so ashamed of every single GOP leader between Reagan and Ryan that it mentioned none of them at the recent RNC. Well, they mentioned one. The rest were blatant failures, screechers… with a large dollop of sexual predators mixed in… and you dare hurl stones, sir?
A GOP whose average education levels have plummeted – after driving away all the smartypants who actually know stuff – until I have to ask who do you think is reading these flouncing-polysyllabic screeds of yours anymore, George?
You did this. Sure, American conservatism will come back, emerging different from the coming pyre. (May it burn out the monsters whom the GOP call representatives and senators, in the laziest snake pit Congress we have seen in at least 150 years.) Perhaps the new version will even be a movement that negotiates like adults, that benefits small businesses instead of ruining them, and that remembers the American revolution was against oligarchy, not a putsch aimed at installing feudalism. A revived conservatism of intellect and maturity that’s more like Barry Goldwater and Dwight Eisenhower or even Ronald Reagan than Rupert Murdoch, Breitbart and alt-right.
Ideally one that snorts derisive dismissal at the mewlings of the worst man in America.