December 27, 2017
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
The Anti-Trump Alliance: Mainstream Conservatism Contributes to It and Affirms It – The Example of Ben Shapiro
In yesterday’s MY CORNER I commented on the collapse of the Russian “collusion” accusation leveled at President Trump and his campaign. Despite its increasingly visible vacuity and the lack of any actual evidence incriminating the president, the forces of the Deep State establishment have only stepped up their efforts to press the charge, characterized by a mounting hysteria and frenzy. Their hatred for Trump is such that despite the paucity of facts, they simply want, it seems, to “will” the accusations to be true.
In the past I have labeled this response, which is both intellectual and emotional, a kind of lunacy, a madness that appears to have possessed a wide swathe of Americana, most especially in the media, in our entertainment industry, and in academia—not to mention amongst various political leaders (e.g., Congressmen Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu, and others).
This anti-Trump hatred—which some pundits have, half-seriously, termed “Trump Derangement Syndrome”—exists not just preponderantly over on the “farther Left,” but also amongst prominent members of the so-called “conservative movement,” that is, in its established journals, think tanks, and punditry centered in and around Washington DC and in Manhattan.
Over the past few years I have argued that well before the advent of Donald Trump, the present-day leadership of what is termed contemporary “conservatism” was actually an historical aberration, partaking in a kind of pseudo-“conservatism” that owes far more to the theories and inherited nostrums of Marxist Leon Trotsky than to the wisdom of Edmund Burke or to John C. Calhoun or, more recently, to Russell Kirk. There are several primary accounts of what has been essentially the “great brain robbery” of the conservative movement, including critically significant studies by Paul Gottfried (The Strange Death of Marxism and Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt), Claes Ryn (The New Jacobinism and America the Virtuous), Gary Dorrien (The Neoconservative Mind), and others which document what can only be described as a concerted subversion and take-over of the “conservative movement.” This take-over by those we call “Neoconservatives” occurred basically during the 1970s until the late 1980s, and involved dramatic shifts in what “conservatism” had to say about major questions confronting the American nation.
In foreign policy, the Neocons were zealous believers in imposing “liberal democracy” and a vague “egalitarianism” in every country of the world; while traditional conservatives reject the idea that the United States must impose its views on other countries, or that we must intervene in every local conflict or civil war across the face of the globe.
Neocon policy is premised on the belief in universal equality as a fundamental and undeniable principle, and it is an egalitarianism that must be spread and applied—and even enforced—everywhere.
Thus, the Neocons, with their debt to Trotskyite theory and their contemporary emphasis on egalitarianism as fundamental, buy into the Leftist template and narrative about “civil rights” expansion, not just for blacks and other minorities, but also for women and other determined social groups. The logical conclusion of that line of thinking led them inevitably to champion such things as the civil rights legislation of the 1960s and 1970s, which arguably destroyed the constitutional protections for private property and further weakened the already fragile balance between the rights of the states and the role of the Federal government. This is in stark contrast to the resolute and constitutionally-based opposition to such actions by earlier, traditional “old right” conservatives—including an earlier William Buckley and Russell Kirk.
And more recently Neocon egalitarianism has broadened, again I would suggest logically, to encompass breaking down and dissolving gender distinctions, including advocacy for women in previously all-male army units, defending same sex marriage, support for transgender rights, and even recognition of “gender fluidity” (e.g., Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, James Kirchick, George Will, etc.). Certainly, they are not usually as bold or as “advanced” in their propagation of these propositions as the “farther Left,” and oftentimes, in their punditry or essays, they can sound positively on the right, but their initial and fundamental acceptance of the Trotskyite template and egalitarianism imprisons them in an inescapable logic—and its conclusions.
While the over-the-top frenzy, the lunatic reaction of the Deep State Left and its various minions in the Mainstream Media and amongst the Democratic Party to the usurper Donald Trump was to be in some ways anticipated, the derision and anger of the Neocons at “non-movement,” non-establishment Trump’s successes—and their fear of being displaced by what they saw as a “nativist” and “isolationist” conservative Right taking over “their” movement, their private preserve—drew them into a kind of loose anti-Trump “United Front” with their supposed opponents on the farther Left. Yet, that common front was both logical and natural, given their shared, if remote, ideological moorings.
In effect, both the farther Left and the NeverTrump Neocons are two faces of the same Progressivism that saw the election of Trump as an intolerable disruption of the historically inevitable Progressive Revolution, a revolution which always and ineluctably “moves Left.”
In the multi-front “war against the president and his agenda,” it is the attitudes and actions of the so-called “conservative movement,” the established Neocon elites centered along the Potomac and along the Hudson, that in singular fashion have been the most deceptive and offensive. While not joining the most extreme, “farther Left” proponents of revolution, their temporization and acceptance of the Left’s major, overarching premises on race and gender, and the undergirding principle of “equality,” have neutralized any effective opposition they might have summoned.
These “conservatives” never wanted that New York billionaire, that usurper, in the White House, and they did their damnedest to prevent his election. But now that he occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they presume from their perches of power to lecture him on what he should be doing and saying (and not doing and not saying). Unsuccessful in 2016 with a panoply of other candidates—who were rejected by an immense nationalist conservative and populist revulsion—they now demand, usually with dripping and unconcealed condescension in their voices (or in their printed words), to lecture President Trump about what he should and should not do. Think here of such media figures as Mark Thiessen, Steve Hayes (The Weekly Standard), the various writers for National Review (David French, Kevin Williamson), The Washington Free Beacon and Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire, not to mention the various GOP politicos who have done the same (e.g. Senators Lindsey Graham and others).
A few days prior to Christmas I happened to catch—not on purpose—a few minutes of Shapiro substituting for Glenn Beck on his radio program (December 21). Beck, of course, is an inveterate NeverTrumper and a certifiable nut case, if there ever was one. Shapiro, one of those one “fair-headed” young Neoconservatives being groomed for greater things in the incestuous world of Inside-the-Beltway Establishment conservative politics, first expressed some surprising approval for a few things that the president had achieved in 2017 (e.g., tax reform, cutting bureaucracy, naming of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court), but then—like the irrepressible condescending know-it-all “kid” that he is, lit into the president.
And the first of the president’s “unforgivable” sins was equating the violent Marxist Antifa and Black Lives Matter counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville with the—as Shapiro called them—“Nazi, anti-Semitic Klan thugs” who had announced their prior demonstration in favor of keeping up the monument to General Lee. That was simply impermissible! Trump was issuing a “dog-whistle” to the extreme Right, bleated Shapiro, to the NeoConfederates and all those millions of unwashed Nazis out there in Clinton, North Carolina, or Macon, Georgia, or Terra Haute, Indiana.
Partaking of the “racism” narrative dogmatically imposed by the farther Left, that ideological cudgel used by the Progressivist Revolution, Shapiro zealously performed his appointed task of attempting to deceive and misdirect those conservatives who listened to him. But not only did his whiny rhetoric attempt to shore up the Deep State view from the “conservative flank,” it was wrong, based on faulty and fake information about what really did occur in Charlottesville—information that Shapiro could have obtained if he had actually been interested in a truthful account (which he obviously was not). [http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-system-repudiated-citys-own-report-confirms-charlottesville-police-politicians-conspired-to-suppress-unite-the-right-rally?content=the%20greater%20factor. ]
His next anti-Trumpian target was this nation’s pull-out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a part of the president’s efforts to re-assert America’s economic independence and assist beleaguered American business interests internationally. Shapiro, aspiring globalist that he is, condemned the move. How dare the president retreat from globalism and our “global obligations”!
Continuing on, young rapid-fire Ben bitterly criticized Trump for his support for Judge Roy Moore in Alabama, and also lambasted Steve Bannon (“destructive strategist who could bring down the GOP”!), and he decried, pro forma, the president’s use of tweets, his language, and, of course, his “unpresidential” demeanor…but most of all, marking his screed was the profound undercurrent, an understanding, that the real and major reasons that those I will call “FecalCons” like Shapiro don’t like the president is: (1) he is “not one of them” and (2) he simply won’t take orders—although President Trump has indeed made some compromises (most recently the very unwise acceptance of selling arms to Ukraine, which will only fuel the civil war in that country).
The value in forcing myself to listen to Shapiro for thirty minutes was that it vividly illustrated once again, in bold and audible terms, clear manifestations of the core principles of the ersatz “conservative movement” that jealously rules over what is called “conservatism” today. That “conservatism” is firmly attached to and offers succor and support in its own “conservative manner” to the Revolution’s twin ideological templates on race and sex (even if in slightly more palatable, if still fatal, doses).
This is not the traditional conservatism of a Russell Kirk (the accepted founder of the modern movement) or of a Mel Bradford (the greatest modern Southern intellectual); this is not the conservatism of a Senator Robert Taft, or of a John C. Calhoun, or of a Thomas Jefferson. This is not the conservatism of American tradition; rather, it is that tradition subverted by pilgrims from the Trotskyite Left who did not leave their essentially Leftist worldview behind when they “came in from the cold.”
In effect, in today’s America we have two major political forces—both in varying degrees on the Left or owing their foundational principles to Marxist theory.
In a sense, November 2016 was a repudiation of that—even if most of those “deplorables” who voted that way did not understand the deeper implications of their “non placet.” Yet, both faces of the Left—the “farther Left” and the Neocons—did understand. And their documented actions since then have fully illustrated their response and reactions.
No, Ben, Steve Bannon is not a “destructive strategist,” he understands what is at stake and what must happen for that initial repudiation to have effect, and that is to send all those Republican Deep State politicians with whom you sleep every night—to send them home with a one-way ticket via a Greyhound bus.
It begins now…and, if we’re successful, yes, we have a great new position for you: priming tobacco in the hot Carolina sun in eastern Carolina along with thousands of sweating illegals. Try some of your whiny charm on them, for a change.
Dr. Boyd D. Cathey