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7 Reasons Why The Right Should Not Seek to Convert The Left

An appreciation of Dennis Prager and multimedia celebration of his magnum opus, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

June 8, 2012 - 7:00 am

4. Today the Conservative Movement Lies Fragmented, Infiltrated, Compromised, and Corrupted.

How can we fully rebut the Left’s smears of the Right when there’s usually an element of truth to every attack?

Something to note in Prager’s terminology: he chooses “Americanism” not “Rightism” or “Conservatism.” This is an important distinction and one he mentioned in his interview with PJTV.

Conservatives and those on the American political Right may articulate American values, but these two interrelated (and not synonymous) movements are not based in promoting them. “The Right” in any country refers to the side of the political spectrum that embraces a nationalist identity over an internationalist one. Thus, among the American Right there are numerous nationalist tendencies, and they don’t all agree about just what it means to be an American — just that it’s important for us to be one. Likewise among those in William F. Buckley Jr.’s “Conservative movement” there’s a general agreement about “standing athwart history yelling stop,” and the need to conserve American greatness. But there’s plenty of disagreement about what really needs to be conserved and how to do it.

In Chapter 3 Prager discusses “Why the Left Succeeds.” His third point: demonization of the Right. He notes the frequency with which leftists employ charges of racism, homophobia, and other smears.

Beyond the scope of the book, though, is the reality of a Conservative movement that tolerates a whole host of individuals and ideas in direct opposition to the American values Prager describes.

Ann Coulter in March:

“And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party,” she said. “I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money. The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that.”

And who are the crackpots at the edges who live up to the Left’s demonizations about bigotry, cronyism, rigid ideology, and selfishness?

All these groups and tendencies compete within “the Right” and “the Conservative movement” for money, power, and converts. And their roots go too deep to be upended.

In the book Prager notes how he apologized to Rep. Keith Ellison who accepted it and told him his mother was a fan of his show...

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