August 13, 2021

CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT FAILED: Writing in the American Spectator, Scott McKay argues the conservative movement is dead, if it is defined as the Old/New Right Plus Bush Chamber of Commerce Republicanism:

“When you’ve gone from surrendering on gay marriage to failing to summon up convincing arguments for obvious things like ‘boys shouldn’t play on girls’ sports teams’ or that the least racist nation on planet Earth was founded to promote slavery, you aren’t really conserving much of anything anymore, are you?

“When you went from failing to reform government programs like Social Security and Medicare, when it was patently obvious they would eventually bankrupt the government, to signing off on a trillion-dollar bacchanal of ‘infrastructure’ spending only a quarter of which can reasonably fit in that definition, you’re not a fiscal conservative.

“When you progressed from creating a security state capable of spying on everyone in the world with marginal accountability to having little to say when that security state gets politicized and nearly effects a coup d’etat on a duly-elected American president, we can’t really say you’re conserving our liberty.”

McKay advocates a new “Revivalist” movement that sounds an awful lot like what I heard one night in October 1964 on television when a guy from “Death Valley Days” came on the screen and delivered what became known as “The Speech” that launched the Reagan Revolution.

He wasn’t perfect, but he won the Cold War and got Congress to pass the biggest tax cut in American history, rebuilt American military might and respect, and showed how presidential leadership can restore a large measure of the shared civic spirit that once was the norm.

I was one of the legions of idealistic young Americans he inspired to enlist in the movement to save America and who in some key respects were the “Wide Awakes” of our day. Reagan was the right man for the time. But that was 1980. This is not. A revival would be great but would it be enough?

 

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