Sunday, June 4, 2017

George Will's Divorce Settlement...

...ignores his role in helping to create the Vulgarian Party. He's now, as it were, a clean-machine. Like all the rest of his recovering conservative colleagues, he's now living in a post-post factual reality. Such an odd way to end one's life, huh?

Conservatism was always about raising an army of vulgarians to serve the interests of a new conservative elite in which folks like Buckley would “play the harpsichord.” That’s it. That’s all of it.

I don’t dispute that looked at from the other end of the stick, these folks weren’t just unwitting dupes but real people with real grievances and interests that didn’t necessarily coincide with the workers’ party. I don’t want to dehumanize them the way that George Will does, but I think Will’s depiction is an accurate portrayal of how Buckley viewed them.

At best, they were viewed as rough around the edges and in need of the kind of leadership that only Yale men could provide. And as long as they consented to this arrangement, George Will was fine with the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

So, my question for Will is to ask if he has the foggiest idea where he might get the votes for his post-Trump Republican Party if not from the same folks that conservatives have always attracted? Is it simply a matter of believing that better leadership will improve their morals?

If Will believes that, he needs to look around. Because the conservative movement has built a post-factual media grievance machine that churns out bile 24 hours a day. They didn’t do that for giggles. They did it because it was required to get them from near-permanent minority status to where they are today, with all the levers of government in their control.

They made this happen by showing incredibly bad leadership that destroyed people’s morals. It was intentional and it’s not going to stop both because it has been successful and profitable. To replace it with something high-minded that values high culture and the finer things in life, that would be a recipe for building a political party scarcely bigger than the editorial staff at the National Review.

I don’t know if he’ll ever fully realize it, but George Will’s life’s work has been in the service of amplifying every abhorrent and dysfunctional thing that he bemoans now. His conservatism was a con-job and a deal with the devil. In some way, on some level, I feel certain that he’s known this all along. How could he not considering his arrogance and dismissive attitude toward the horde that he’s cultivated for so long?

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