Wednesday, March 09, 2005

"Beautiful" Losers

GOP==Gay Old Party?

The vulgar ("Jeff Gannon") scandal has revived Washington whispers that the supposedly anti-gay Republican Party is really nothing less than a gay affirmative action program. Glance at whose running the GOP and it looks like a Harvey Fierstein cocktail party. A few months ago, activist Mike Rogers of revealed that GOP National Field Director Dan Gurley is gay and sought unsafe sex online. Rogers also revealed that Ken Mehlman, chair of the Republican National Committee, is gay.

This week, the Internet news site posted allegations that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan may be gay and suggested he is a common fixture at Texas gay bars – kind of like a gay, southern version of Norm on the old sitcom Cheers. “He was often seen in gay clubs in Austin and was comfortable being there,” an anonymous source told Raw Story. “He’s been seen in places that normal people who are looking for heterosexual relationships are not seen alone.”

Religious Leaders Looking for Federal Boodle!
The White House invited 250 religious leaders to the White House to hear the president discuss his unconstitutional "faith-based" initiative. The president says he will continue to simply circumvent the congress via unconstitutional executive orders. Christians should be leery of supporting such lawlessness and ought to recall that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Al Mohler sees the destruction of marriage in the wide-spread acceptance of no-fault divorce. Mohler is absolutely correct, and I am waiting for conservative Christians to get on board this train...but I won't be holding my breath. As Mohler points out, most clergyman are unwilling to discuss divorce from the pulpit in spite of the clear declaration in Scripture that God "hates divorce." Until we clean out our own churches, we have no business expecting the culture at large to be receptive to such truths.

I love Mohler, but he occasionally gets a bit confused when discussing politics and foreign policy. Here, for example, he is writing in response to an article by Martin Peretz and wonders if liberalism has a future. A more appropriate question might be whether conservatism has a future.

The "conservative movement," composed mainly of a collection of anti-liberal forces in the 1950's, was committed to constitutionally limited central government, independent local and state governments, an entrepreneurial economy of privately owned firms, and a moral code made up of bourgeois institutions imbued with an ethic of restrained individualism. (Before you read on, ask yourself if any of these objectives has been realized. OK, you may now continue reading.)

The first issue of Chronicles that I ever picked up had a discussion of the demise of conservatism and was headlined by an essay written by Sam Francis called "Beautiful Losers."

Writing in 1991, Francis powerful prose is as affecting and prescient as when it was written. Francis wrote:

Nearly sixty years after the New Deal, the American Right is no closer to challenging its fundamental premises and machinery than when Old Rubberlegs first started priming the pump and scheming to take the United States into a war that turned out to be a social and political revolution. American conservatism, in other words, is a failure, and all the think tanks, magazines, direct-mail barons, inaugural balls, and campaign buttons cannot disguise or alter it. Virtually every cause to which conservatives have attached themselves for the past three generations has been lost, and the tide of political and cultural battle is not likely to turn anytime soon.

Not only has the American Right lost on such fundamental issues as the fusion of state and economy, the size and scope of government, the globalist course of American foreign policy, the transformation of the Constitution into a meaningless document that serves the special interests of whatever faction can grab it for a while, and the replacement of what is generally called "traditional morality" by a dominant ethic of instant gratification, but also the mainstream of those who today are please to call themselves conservatives has come to accept at least the premises and often the full-blown agenda of the Left. The movement that came to be know in the 1970s as neoconservativsm, largely northeastern, urban, and academic in its orientation, is now the defining core of the "permissible" Right--that is, what the dominant Left-liberal cultural and political elite recognizes and accepts as the Right boundary of public discourse. It remains legally possible (barely) to express sentiments and ideas that are further to the Right, but if an elite enjoys cultural hegemony, as the Left does, it has no real reason to outlaw its opponents. Indeed, encouraging their participation in the debate fosters the illusion of "pluralism" and serves to legitimize the main Leftward trend of the debate. Those outside the permissible boundaries of discourse are simply "derationalized" and ignored--as anti-Semites, racists, authoritarians, crackpots, crooks, or simply as "nostalgic," and other kinds of illicit and irrational fringe elements not in harmonic convergence with the Zeitgeist and therefore on the wrong side of history.

Francis is correct, and if anything, the intervening years have validated his thesis. Conservatives have lost, and yet they aren't even aware of their own defeat.


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