It’s the Culture, Stupid!

“Karl Marx was a mighty prophet.”

—George Bernard Shaw

Following the failure of the neo-con-laden Bush administration and the neo-con-led McCain campaign, it is clear that whatever the American right is doing is not working.  A variety of authors have offered a variety of explanations to bewildered American conservatives of what went wrong and where to go from here.  The best of these efforts is The Next Conservatism, authored by Paul Weyrich (who died before the book was published) and his long-time colleague, William Lind.  Weyrich and Lind write from a traditionalist conservative perspective—they cite Russell Kirk more than they cite any other thinker—and they offer a lucid and concise summary of ideas that, while familiar to readers of Chronicles, will seem new and even strange to those whose idea of conservatism has been shaped by the official conservative movement and its mouthpieces: National Review, The Weekly Standard, and Commentary, each of which cheered as George W. Bush, in the memorable phrase of Pat Buchanan, “got a hold of the keys, got high on neocon hooch, and crashed and rolled the family SUV.”

Although the failure of Bush is the cause of much conservative soul-searching, Weyrich and Lind recognize that the rot goes much deeper.  They argue that...

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