Johnny Rocco’s World

Conservative political strategists are like the military strategists they would like to emulate: They are always fighting the last war.  For how many years, when the Soviet Union was collapsing, did conservatives continue to rail against the communist menace?  Marxism, and not only the virulent Leninist strain adopted by the Bolsheviks, had once posed a serious threat to the security and order of the United States and Europe.  It was a life-threatening disease that all decent people were bound to combat.  By the 1970’s, however, the threat of communism was no longer on the order of congestive heart failure or even a slow-wasting cancer; it was more like a recurrent malaria the body had got used to.  It weakened the constitution of the patient, certainly, and its periodic bouts under Kennedy and Obama have been undoubtedly unpleasant, but it is not Marxism that is going to kill us.

For at least 50 years, the wars conservative ideologues have been fighting were lost even before open hostilities broke out.  The feminist revolution was already won when women were given the vote and Republican businessmen at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were championing “equal pay for equal work.”  The subversion of the family represented by the pernicious movement to secure “children’s rights” was well under way when Americans accepted government schooling, school-attendance laws, and child-protection statutes—at...

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