The Coming Conservative Renaissance
The other day, Matthew Continetti at Commentary published a piece, entitled The Coming Conservative Dark Age. The premise, if I understand it correctly, is that the death of William F. Buckley in 2008 was akin to the fall of Western Rome to the Germanic Barbarians, and much like how the rest of Western Europe subcommand to the approaching darkness as the light of Rome was extinguished, so too will American conservatism as their guiding light finally expired. At the conclusion of the very first paragraph, Mr. Continetti makes the case that William Buckley was the authority of American conservatism, and that, without Mr. Buckley at the helm, American conservatism will surely fall into its very own “dark age.”
Perhaps one can see the logic behind some of Mr. Buckley’s “purges.” After all, extreme elements in any movement, when not kept in check, can only serve to alienate those who would otherwise be potential allies in advancing whatever cause you wish to dedicate your life towards advancing. As an example, prominent anti-Semites may alienate otherwise sympathetic Jews and prominent white nationalists may alienate otherwise sympathetic minorities. Come election season, the vote of a single African-American or Jew is equal to a white nationalist’s vote. If your goal is to achieve victory in a diverse country such as America, a diverse coalition is necessary whether these extreme factions want to admit it or not.
However, perhaps the greatest mistake that Mr. Buckley made was that his “purges” did not stop with the anti-Semites or the white nationalists. Much like the totalitarian regimes of the past, those who dissented from Mr. Buckley’s narrow-minded view of American conservatism were purged from the National Review, which might as well have served as the Vatican of American conservatism, with Mr. Buckley playing the role of the Pope who had a very strict definition of what constituted heresy.
For example, one does not have to be an anti-Semite or a white nationalist to see how free trade agreements like NAFTA have merely “freed” the honest, hard-working American in Michigan from a job that they both loved and put food on their family’s table. Yes, some goods are now cheaper than they were before, but what good are cheaper prices if their prerequisite is robbing the American factory worker of their livelihood? How do cheaper prices benefit the unemployed former blue-collar worker if they do not possess the funds to purchase these cheaper goods in the first place?
In a way, an argument could be made that it is Mr. Buckley himself that is responsible for the rise of Donald J. Trump. By imposing such a strict definition of what was considered heresy within the conservative “movement,” American conservatism had abandoned the American worker and, by extension, the American middle class. As the decades passed, it was essentially a prerequisite of joining the Republican party that one must toe the ideological line that was established by Mr. Buckley in his personal quest to be accepted by the elite.
By pursuing this quest and attempted reformation of American conservatism, Mr. Buckley firmly established that American conservatism was much more concerned with ‘conserving’ the status, wealth, and power of the elite within the GOP. In order to cement this shift within conservative theory, the idea of ‘conserving’ America and the standing of her people — regardless of their race or religion — had to be sacrificed at Buckley’s alter.
Perhaps this was the inadvertent result of Mr. Buckley’s efforts, but regardless of his intention, the disenfranchisement of the American people WAS the result. In the subsequent decades, allegedly staunch conservatives have promised to create jobs for the American people, yet in the next breath proclaim their dogmatic devotion to free trade — not once mentioning that the alleged “jobs” that they promised to create in the previous sentence would be shipped to China or Vietnam mere minutes after being “created,” hardly giving the American worker enough time to find their hard hat.
For decades, the American people have been hoodwinked by these alleged conservatives. But what we are seeing now is the collective awakening of the American people; they have become conscious of their present state and are rejecting the neoliberal world order that has dominated the lives of the American people since the beginning of the 1980s. It is not through deceptive practices that Mr. Trump has attained nearly 10 million votes as of this writing, but through the mobilization of the masses who want their jobs, their way of life, and America herself returned to them.
Instead of labeling the future as a conservative “dark age,” I, along with the rest of the honest Americans who have not sold out their people and homeland for financial gain, see a conservative renaissance on the horizon. Indeed, we see the awakening of an idea that will redefine American conservatism, morphing it into an ideology whose sole goal is to conserve the American people, their way of life, and America herself. Donald J. Trump has awakened the collective conscious of the American people, and it is through this grand awakening that American conservatism will be wrestled away from the elites and return to its rightful owners: the American people.
As of today, April 16th, 2016, Mr. Trump has, through his own labor and dedication to the restoration of America, fostered a sense of unity amongst the American people. Mr. Trump has created a common bond between the citizens of both New York and Mississippi, and between black and white. Regardless of our respective individual differences, we have become united under the common cause of conserving America, for it is this land that we are bound and loyal to until the very end. Unlike the cosmopolitan elites, we do not have anywhere to flee to.
It is this land that our ancestors worked to build, it is this land that we are bound to, and it is this land that we will make great again. This, my dear “Buckleyites,” is the coming Conservative Renaissance.