Principalities & Powers

Toward a Hard Right

What is the meaning of the election of 2004 for the American Hard Right?  The question, of course, presupposes that there is such a thing as a “Hard Right” distinct from the Mossad’s Station Pentagon, or the “moral values” evangelicals, or the Girly Boys’ Jamboree.  By “Hard Right,” in this context, I mean neither what has by now evolved into the establishment conservatism of the neocons and their Christian Right allies nor the collection of conspiracy-mongers, captives of various ethnic and class resentments, and neck-twitchers of all descriptions whose bottomless buckets of e-mails seem magnetically attracted to my inbox.  I mean, rather, a still amorphous but definitely existing formation of dissident conservatives and rightists (some savory and some not, depending on one’s tastes) that finds itself alienated not only from the direction in which America as a nation and a civilization appears to be going but from the mainstream of American “conservatism,” a body of opinion that now merely defends and reflects this direction.  I will not name all the elements of this movement that I think belong in it (since the first response to doing so would be for most of those I named to denounce and reject association with the others), but most of the readers with whom I communicate, many of whom I regularly encounter at public conferences and speeches, will know exactly...

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