"What's past is prologue" : What we face in the new right
And what's past is prologue: In this quote (Shakespeare) the point at which we now stand, is described: We stand at a beginning formed from an event which set the stage. And what was this prologue? The swift and rapid deterioration of the right. Since Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative in 1964, that honorable tract of the true libertarian spirit who was conservative in the best and noble sense, there has been a slide downward which is enough to make you almost believe it is satanically inspired. "Whiter are we tending?" might have been the question of some before the NeoCons came with their delusions, which culminated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But this was itself only a consequence of the breakdown which had begun to accelerate in the '80s.
It went by in the night, singing songs. The two-party system is a noble and democratic one, and nothing would strengthen the left, and serve to bolster it more, than a vigorous debate with a formidable adversary such as was the real right, the original right. But the right has been absolutely transformed : It has not veered from its original character, but decayed.
The speed at which the decay occurred was alarming , and in its wake did the public discourse sink. " Things fall apart, the center does not hold" as Eliot said; prophetic words, and if there is indeed a "coming civil war" it will be due to this alarming, truly alarming, decay of the right, which is a past event. The left now tangles with a corpse. The skeleton, as Ortega y Gasset says, eats up the flesh surrounding it.
Here is an analysis that cuts to the chase:
Does The New Right Even Have an Agenda Anymore?]Alas, today's Republican Establishment seems not only incapable but uninterested in negotiation or deliberation. It isn't just the dogmatism, or lockstep partisanship, or Koolaid fantasies spun -up by the Murdoch-Limbaugh hate machine. Heck, even though "culture war" is verifiably the worst direct treason against the United States of America since Fort Sumter, that isn't what boggles most.
It's the stupidity. The vast and nearly uniformdumbitudinousness of ignoring what has happened to conservatism, a transformation of nearly all of the salient traits of Barry Goldwater from:
* prudence to recklessness
* accountability to secrecy
* fiscal discretion to spendthrift profligacy
* consistency to hypocrisy
* civility to nastiness
* international restraint to recklessness
* efficiency to no-tomorrow wastrelness
* personal rectitude to flagrant licentiousness
* cleanliness to filthy habits
* logic to unreason
...and more, reversing:
* from respect for science to incantatory voodoo
* from an almost pedantic love of history to near total ignorance of the past
* from individual-based deliberation to lockstep party-line voting
* from belief in federalism and states' rights to excusing monolithic presidential power
* from negotiated problem-solving to strawman-based politics
* from a bookish love of statistics to justification by anecdote
* from country-first patriotism to the flagwaving kind that can instantly turn into rants about secession, the killing of civil servants and praying for the president to fail, even if that means the country going down with him.
This is not about classic left-vs-right anymore. (As if that metaphor ever held cogent meaning.) Not when every measure of national health that conservatives ought to care about -- from budget balancing to small business startups, to military readiness, to States' Rights, to the economy, to individual liberty, to control over immigration at our borders -- does vastly and demonstrably better under democrats. With nearly 100% perfection.
(Fact avoidance is even worse when you encompass ALL of history. Ask today's conservatives which force destroyed more freedom and nearly every competitive market, across 5,000 years. Which foe of liberty and enterprise did Adam Smith despise? Hint: it wasn't "socialism" or "government bureaucrats.")
No. Given their lack of any other tangible accomplishments across the last fifteen years, one must to conclude that the core agenda of Rush Limbaugh, Rupert Murdoch and their petroprince backers really is quite simple.
To find out just how far they can push "culture war" toward a repeat of 1861.
Is the Agenda Civil War?
Does that sound florid and paranoid? Well, I do try to be entertaining!
Anyway, bear with me a bit, because the parallels are eerie. Not only on the geographical electoral map, but in the way that vast swathes of the South would only see or hear just one point of view (in uniformly pro-slavery newspapers, back in 1861, or via talk radio today), or propounded from every white pulpit -- an incessant drumbeat of regional, ethnic and partisan hatred. With predictable results: the demolition of national discourse, along with the murder of census workers and the bubbling froth of a new wave of Timothy McVeighs.
Obviously, this is blatantly the agenda of Murdoch and Limbaugh and their foreign backers, since they do not even offer their own measures or agenda for deliberative negotiation with the party and president chosen by the American majority. They never even try to assert that any tangible improvements in national health occurred during their long tenure in power. Indeed, can you name any effective accomplishment -- consistently pursued and unambiguously achieved -- other than to push America toward Civil War?
Why they have been doing this is open to speculation. I have my theories. You may have yours.
But even without knowing their true motives, one can look ahead to outcomes. And so, I have to ask these fellows one question --
Let's say that you succeed. Suppose, driven by your potent and effective propaganda, America's "red" population rises up and Culture War finally goes all out...do you actually think that subsequent events will be to your liking?
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