After the Hangover: Conservatives on the Road to Recovery?
R. Emmett Tyrrell: All we need to do is to allow history to continue its course. That conservative counter-culture I mentioned is being created and it will help us govern in the years ahead as govern we shall.
BC: There’s a wonderful quote from Eric Hoffer that you reference throughout which essentially is that great causes descend into a racket. Is that what happened with the Republicans during the bleak era known as the Grand Old Spending Party? Is that what is happening now to the Democrats?
R. Emmett Tyrrell: Yes conservatism became a racket, which not only explains the spending but also the congressmen and political apparatchiks in the hoosegow. The problems facing Democrats are far beyond the stage of racket. Their biggest problem is their overactive political libido.
BC: You’re very optimistic in After the Hangover regarding conservatism’s future and correctly identify that Americans are far more likely to be conservative than leftist. How then can we fix the prevailing disconnect between a largely conservative electorate and the Republican Party?
R. Emmett Tyrrell: The disconnect is being fixed. The rising conservative counter-culture that I talk about in the book is banishing the Kultursmog. Thanks to our counter-culture in the media we can depict issues as we perceive them not as the Liberals perceive them, and we can defend ourselves against the Liberals’ slurs. The tea partiers are working with the conservative movement in ensuring that this party moves to the right on all the proper freedom issues.
BC: Your book addresses conservative turncoats and the crablike method they employ to prevent the success of their peers. Who are “the Davidians” and the “Reformed Conservatives” that plague our ranks?
R. Emmett Tyrrell: The parasitic Reformed Conservatives are the likes of David Brooks and David Frum(p), two operators who are forever on the make, shaping their message to appeal to the Kultursmog and ensuring an elevated place in the smog. There are others: Scarborough, Christopher Buckley. What they all share is an ambition for celebrity in the Kultursmog, but the smog in no longer as influential as it was. They are purely motivated by ambition and self-advancement. As for Frum(p)’s looks, he cannot be held accountable for his physical appearance. His character is a different matter.
BC: Regarding Sam Tanenhaus’s monstrous The Death of Conservatism. This was one of many leftist works that prematurely celebrated our demise. Were these efforts a form of black operations? In other words, did they actually believe what they wrote or did they seek to create a new reality with their words?
R. Emmett Tyrrell: Black operation? No, a major point of my books is that the Liberals live in a fantasy. Life for them has not changed much since 1968. Back then a better case could be made for conservatism’s fragility.
BC: In Chapter 6 you cite a passage by Friedrich von Hayek regarding the leftist expropriation of the term “liberal.” Many of us refuse to mislabel our opponents with such a benign word, but how then should we term our adversaries?
R. Emmett Tyrrell: Our adversaries are statists. I use a capital “L” throughout to distinguish these poseurs from the real liberals of whom Hayek was one.
BC: Thank you very much for your time, Sir.