I’ve gotten to where I don’t like Conservatives much at all. That wasn’t always the case. My error frequency ran higher in my callow and misinformed youth. I still find myself voting for some. It isn’t a pleasure. It’s more like a duty.
It’s like some of the math problems I solve for a living at work. There is no happy answer. There is one that is less excremental. You choose least awful by smell and let the other, more malodorous options go fertilize the corn. Sadly, by practicing the politics of minimizing maximum regret; myself and others like me, have fostered the continued existence of an entirely underqualified and overcompensated political class of intestinal rotifers.
Yet now, mirabile dictu, the worm has begun to turn on Conservative Inc. An entire new right exists in Amerika that reads National Review about 0.0001% as frequently as they would Zerohedge, Instapundit, or perchance Amerika.org. Even somewhat Left-of-Center sites such as Slope of Hope or Moldbug’s Substack are more likely to serve up a ration of truth to flavor the cope a wee bit. Information superiority is power. The younger, smarter, more tactile American Right gets its information from places off the set of Conservative Inc.’s Truman Show.
Charles Bukowski wrote an epic metaphorical poem entitled “Eyeless through Space.” It compared our comprehension of reality to the helpless state of an airline passenger. The average person went hurtling through the void with their lives in the hands of other people’s goodwill and competence. This was the true state of the Amerikan Right. We were always, as a recent post here at Amerika intoned, Reluctant Conservatives.
When some liminal event transpires, a door is opened wide. We see outside the confinement. To use an overused cinematic saw. “Welcome to the Desert of the Real.” In The Desert of the Real, we realize that Conservative Inc. is conserving a status quo that features Drag Time Story Hour. It conserves a status quo of open borders, flattened wage curves, and exploitive governance and economics. It conserves Anarcho-Tyranny. We cannot be both conservative and traditionalist. We now need to pay our nickel and make our choice.
We know some things will work. Affirmative culture and rational marriage patterns lead to better societies. Conservatism sold us that they symbolized this, but failed to ever effectively protect that sort of value system. In the end, they stabbed the traditionalist in the back via their Conservative Case for the exact opposite of what has been proven conducive to the good and the just.
Their case is fairly straightforward and by now pretty familiar to anyone paying attention to such things. Marriage is a civilizing institution. It civilizes heterosexual young people, especially men. It encourages stability and monogamy. And it would have the same effect on gay men too. Barring gays from the institution of marriage is not merely discriminatory and unfair on its face, it is also unwise social policy because society has an interest in civilizing gay people too. Refusing gays full admittance into this fundamental institution only encourages marginal and self-destructive behavior.
Like Jonah Goldberg does in the quoted passage above, Cuckservatives get the entire thing backwards. Marriage is a lynch-pin institution that protects an already civilized society. It works because it separates the civil from the barbaric. It shouldn’t be forced to do this with a crowbar.
The civilized behavior has to be inculcated into people by a functional heteronormative culture. Then, marriage can be a proper (and properly exclusive) barrier to entry into a desirable social grouping. Let in The Huns, The Vandals and The Visigoths, and the Romans predictably get turned into Italians.
Jonah’s real causal vector here is cowardice. He is more real in the paragraph I quote below.
I will be honest. I wish the whole issue of gay marriage would go away. I do not like it. To what extent my problems with the idea are visceral versus intellectual I do not know. But, certainly, to some significant extent they are in my gut. Regardless, gay marriage is not going to go away. This is because gay people are not going to go away and conservatives should stop blinking and rubbing their eyes in the hope that, when they re-focus, homosexuals will be missing from the picture.
He quits. He can’t do the job that traditionalist and civic-minded Americans wanted the Conservative Movement to accomplish. But he sucks because he won’t just be an honest quitter and leave the field so that someone else can take his place. He still wants a salary, donations, cruises, and honorariums as if he were really still diligently at work. He just doesn’t want to have to do the heavy lifting that leads to the achy back.
But he is forced to maintain a facade. As long as that facade stays erect, he stays an influential Conservative. I mean he looks like he’s conserving stuff. He writes for National Review. He’s a Buckley Fellow instead of just your average guy. Like Emperor Augustus, he keeps emblazoning “SPQR” on every legion’s eagle long after The Republic has been taken out back and killed with an axe.
This leads me towards the ultimate thesis here. Why does Cuckservatism face its 476 A.D moment at the hands of traditionalists? It gets back to Jonah Goldberg’s carefully erected facade. Goldberg, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Liz Cheney are now revealed in their brazen deceit. They are stealing rather than conserving. The implicit guilt that accompanies this makes them hate the people they claim to represent, protect, and serve.
Historians label the deposition of Emperor Romulus Augustulus the end of The Western Roman Empire. Military Experts could make a case for the show being done after The Battle of Adrianople, about a century prior. Whatever junta ran Rome would still convene some sham of a Roman Senate at sword point and get crowned Emperor. Hence, legalistic sorts still called it The Western Roman Empire.
Economists may infer the ongoing loss of the African grain farms from 410-440 AD spelled game over for The Eternal City. Like that IPhone made in China instead of Amerika, it indicated a subjugation of one nation to another that still had productive capability. Stilicho ultimately still put the Bastard Sword to Count Boniface. He thereby helped Gaiseric and his Vandals overrun more agriculture latifundiae so that he; not Boniface, would determine who got called emperor. The title carried still a fetishistic magic.
So makes 476 A.D. game over? In that year a barbarian named Odoacer was nice enough to explain a few things to Boy Emperor of Rome, Romulus Augustulus. He explained to Augustulus that he could relax and no longer worry about important stuff – if he wanted to still keep his head. Odoacer explained that no self-respecting barbarian of good standing wanted to claim the title Roman Emperor. By 476 A.D. the title was considered a joke instead of a true honorific.
A university education in History is a frequent pre-cursor to a career in law or investigative research. Titles, niceties, and the officially official all matter to the sort of person inclined to undertake this route through life. Let your typical Historian decide when Rome stopped having a Western Empire, and that person will answer that it stopped being an empire when nobody coveted the title of Roman Emperor.
This brings us around to why Cuckservatives are facing 476 A.D. soon at the hands of more traditional Rightists. They conserve nothing, and therefore the traditions that traditionalists consider either sacred or effective are bound to die in the dirt when Cuckservatives are in charge. Ultimately, when a majority of Rightists consider Conservatives to be Cuckservatives, nobody will want to be considered a Conservative.
The title will be a joke instead of an honorific. Just like the title of Western Roman Emperor was a hollowed-out resume bullet at best by 476 A.D. At that point the Right will no more want to be considered Conservative than Odoacer wanted to be considered a Roman Emperor. Then, it will be 476 A.D. for Romney, Ryan, and Liz Cheney.