Perspective

Love the One You’re With

The reelection of George W. Bush has confirmed the leftist takeover of the Republican Party.  While conservative Christians turned out in strength to defeat the party of “gay marriage,” Richard Perle & Assoc. remains in charge of foreign policy, and Karl Rove and Arlen Specter will prevent any action on the moral agenda.  Most movement conservatives will continue to support the President, while claiming to hold political and moral principles that are, in fact, anathema to the administration.  More radical conservatives seem increasingly tempted to damn the GOP utterly, and, along with it, the system of government that they perceive as an alien regime.

This paradox is symptomatic of a deep confusion in the conservative mind.  In almost the same breath, conservatives can say that they define themselves, first, as people who defend the moral, social, cultural, and political order, and, second, as opponents of the current moral, social, cultural, and political order that is the product of modernist revolutions.  This contradiction, so familiar as to be a cliché, is frequently masked by attempts to resolve it in favor of one or the other principle.  Neoconservatives, for example, embrace modernity with as much gusto as their physical and mental frailty permits, either praising or at least refusing to condemn divorce, abortion, blue jeans, MTV, and the welfare state.  Libertarians, by...

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