The Future of the Right? 1/26
It seems murky
The key to understanding the attitudes of young conservatives is their pervasive sense that the war for the soul of America has already been lost, their belief that progressives have taken control of every efficacious power center in American society
Pointer from Elayne Allen.
As an old conservative who distrusts much of the “new Right,” I share this sense of loss. But I don’t think that political power is the answer. I think we need to raise the status of rigorous thinking and lower the status of conformity to nonsense that travels under the banner of social justice.
Take the issue of teaching CRT in schools. It was not the Democratic Party that instigated teaching CRT. CRT comes from the schools of education. And the CRT in schools of education comes from the CRT in higher education writ large.
If you fight CRT through the political process, you may win a battle. But as long as college education has high status, and as long as CRT has high status within higher education, you will lose the war.
But on electoral politics, Adler-Bell writes,
if you squint, the New Right is advocating a potentially efficacious political program: that combination of economic populism (a.k.a. welfare state liberalism) and cultural conservatism (a.k.a. Christianity and immigration enforcement) that pollsters are always telling us has untapped potential as a majoritarian prospect in U.S. politics.
Adler-Bell in turn links to Matthew Walther, who sees the populist right quite differently.
there are millions of Americans who do not oppose or even care about abortion or same-sex marriage, much less stem-cell research or any of the other causes that had animated traditional social conservatives. . . . these are people who, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, accept pornography, homosexuality, drug use, legalized gambling, and whatever GamerGate was about.
Walther calls these Barstool conservatives.
The Barstool conservative movement will not have institutions in any recognizable sense, certainly not think tanks or highbrow magazines, but it will be larger, more geographically disparate, younger, and probably more male. It will also, I suspect, be more racially diverse, much like the portion of the electorate that gave Trump 74 million votes in 2020.
My sense is that a lot of people want a government that keeps quiet and sticks to doing things it has shown it can do, like collecting Social Security taxes and paying benefits. I think that people expected to get that from Joe Biden. He gave them something else, and the sense of bait-and-switch is what accounts for his poll numbers.
Public service announcement: The comment section is for comments on the post. It is not for comments on comments, or for comments on comments on comments. If commenters engage in extended fights with one another, then I will either have to start suspending people or just quit reading the comments altogether. And once I stop reading, the comment section will turn into a sewer.