Quo Vadis, Conservatores?
And as he went forth of the city, he saw the Lord entering into Rome. And when he saw him, he said: Lord, whither goest thou thus [quo vadis] ? And the Lord said unto him: I go into Rome to be crucified [Romam vado iterum crucifigi]. And Peter said unto him: Lord, art thou being crucified again? He said unto him: Yea, Peter, I am being crucified again. And Peter came to himself: and having beheld the Lord ascending up into heaven, he returned to Rome, rejoicing, and glorifying the Lord, for that he said: I am being crucified: the which was about to befall Peter.
—Acts Of Peter [apocryphal], XXXV
-Some random thoughts, in no particular order, in the gloomy aftermath of the Elections…
–But first an explanatory note: my lower amount of posts over the last several days is due to the fact that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I plan to answer the question in the title of this post. Fully formed conclusions are not as yet within my reach, but, with all of the very thoughtful and heartfelt discussion I have witnessed in The Ether since Tuesday Evening [and a whole bunch of wilfully blind pablum puking from our side, as well], I thought it time to jump right in to the mosh pit of philosophizing.
-Why not start with Mark Steyn, after all, he has been proven a prophet and his book, After America, must be in consideration for sacred text status:
So Washington cannot be saved from itself. For the moment, tend to your state, and county, town and school district, and demonstrate the virtues of responsible self-government at the local level. Americans as a whole have joined the rest of the Western world in voting themselves a lifestyle they are not willing to earn. The longer any course correction is postponed the more convulsive it will be. Alas, on Tuesday, the electorate opted to defer it for another four years. I doubt they’ll get that long.
A storm is threatening and a hard rain’s gonna fall.
More from Prophet Steyn:
…I would say what Barack Obama did was quite brilliant. I’ve lived in places where politics is tribal. I’ve lived in Belfast, and in the province of Quebec, you know, in both places you basically have secessionists and loyalists, and people vote tribally. The present Democratic coalition is one based on tribal identity. You vote because you’re a woman, you vote your lady parts as Obama advised them. If you’re black, you vote based on your ethnicity. If you’re lesbian, you vote based on your orientation. The Republican Party asked people to vote as citizens, to say that that is your most important identity. You might be lesbian, you might be Hispanic or whatever, but you’re a citizen, and you vote as a citizen. And I’m very wary of just going down the route of identity group pandering, because I think it’s ultimately destructive of cohesive, it’s the biggest argument in favor of big government, because you say well, we’ve got all these competing identity groups, we’ve got a bunch of Muslims on one side of the street, and then a bunch of gay guys on the other side of the street, and only big government can mediate the competing interest of the fire breathing mullahs and the hedonist gays. And I think you damage the polity going down that path.
The Left has successfully Balkanized The United States.
The key for we conservatives is to not accept the Left’s definition of Balkanization by race, creed, orientation, and ethnic group. The division is between those who believe in The Constitution and The Declaration Of Independence and the spirit that animates them and those who hate and despise all that. We cannot co-exist in the same nation with the latter — this should now be obvious.
One final bit from That Old Devil Steyn:
…[Obama] didn’t have a “mandate” for half the stuff he did in his first term, but he did it anyway – shoving Obamacare through on one last bought vote rather than focusing on jobs, etc. That’s the main reason his re-election was so narrow – because he spent his first term concentrating only on things that, whatever their immediate downside, offer his team serious long-term advantage. Our guys might usefully learn from that: Too often Republicans, even when they win, are content to be in office rather than in power.
If that’s what he did when he had a re-election to fight, what do you think he’ll do now that he doesn’t? Regardless of the “inevitable Republican gains in 2014″, this is a man happy to advance his agenda through executive power supported by the bureaucracy and the courts, in neither of which is there any danger of “Republican gains”. In other words, if you liked the first-term executive orders, wait till the second.
While we’re at it, on the brink of another four years, the key point about Barack Obama is not that he’s a secret Muslim Kenyan Commie or whatever. Whether he was born in Honolulu or Mombasa or Stockholm or up on Planet Zongo, what matters (as I write in my book) is that in his general worldview he is entirely typical and perfectly representative of tens upon tens of millions of Americans. Tuesday’s majority confirmed that. They don’t need a “conspiracy”: They agree with him. That’s the problem.
-In the Comments section of one of Jeff Goldstein’s recent posts, Dicentra has provided us with some excellent analysis of the ‘Latino/Hispanic’ situation and condition:
Latinos have a much different point of reference when it comes to the term “conservative” and class-warfare rhetoric.
Remember that the Spanish recreated the European feudal system in their colonies. The first on shore were conquistadores, not religious pilgrims. The soldiers got lands and haciendas as a reward for their service to the Crown for conquering the land and bringing back gobs of gold and silver and slaves to Spain.
The Spanish concept of honor prohibited soldiers from debasing themselves with manual labor; similarly, other nobles and favorites of the king were awarded land and slaves, and they also were exempted from working.
There has never been Homestead Act or Protestant work ethic in the Spanish-American cultures: the Catholic church functioned only to reinforce the feudal order, wherein the peasants were to resign themselves to their fate as their betters lived high on the hog. The Latino Catholic church, to this day, does an abysmal job of instilling Christian virtues; for most Latino Catholics, it’s all about praying to the Virgin to win the lottery and going to midnight Mass on Dec. 24th to see what everyone is wearing to the subsequent all-night parties.
Consequently, the “conservatives” in their countries are the legacy land-owners and the Church: those who actually did have (and still have) a monopoly on power. Their only political opponents are the various flavors of Marxists who gin the natives up on populist rhetoric and dreams of eating the rich. Of course, the Marxists merely occupy the seats of power themselves and the peasants continue eating dirt, but that doesn’t stop the next crop of Marxists from insisting that THIS time, the people will get a fair share of the pie.
“Es el mismo circo con otros payasos (Same circus, new clowns)” they say of the endless revolutions.
But they never had Founders like ours; never had an in-bred love of liberty and the free market and other Enlightenment traditions. (Simón Bolívar came close, but his legacy did not endure as he’d hoped, cf. Hugo Chávez’s co-opting of Bolívar’s name for his Fascist state.)
Their grandparents’ generation never did the “too proud to accept charity” thing. Their societies are so corrupt, for so long, that they figure they might as well get what they can while the gittin’s good, because there’s no rags-to-riches path to betterment in their countries that doesn’t involve marrying up, criminality, or political corruption.
You can also forget about “family values.” It’s true that their families tend to stick together, but when it comes to chastity and marriage and fidelity, those concepts are nearly non-existent. Again, the Latino Catholic church does NOT teach young women to wait or young men to cool it. Men feel entitled to marry one woman and then start a second or even third family with another woman, telling the new ones that they don’t need a piece of paper to prove their love. Those who don’t actually shack up with another woman still feel entitled to tomcat about, and the women just have to sit there and take it, because who else is there?
The Hispanics are therefore NOT natural Republicans. They are extremely vulnerable to class-warfare rhetoric, because entrenched class privilege still holds sway in their homelands, and the family values thing isn’t really part of their traditional ethic. The Mormon Latinos who I know are much closer to being Republicans, because we tend to attract the ones who pick up on the Protestant work ethic and other morals; however, they’re in the minority.
It was always wishful thinking on the part of the GOP that they’d get their hands on this enormous new voting bloc. Not sure where it came from, but it’s just another in a long line of estupideces on their part.
Dead solid perfect and very well put.
SIDENOTE: Dicentra wrote: ‘Consequently, the “conservatives” in their countries are the legacy land-owners and the Church: those who actually did have (and still have) a monopoly on power’. If you go to Google Translate, set it up to translate from English to Latin, and type in the English section the word ‘conservatives’, it returns the word ‘optimates’, which literally means ‘aristocrats’ — interesting, eh?
–An exchange over at The Other McCain between Evi, Smitty, JeffS, and Your Humble Dispatcher:
EVI: Although for what it is worth, we probably did not lose because of voter fraud (not in every state and every race we lost, that is simply not possible). We lost due to ignorant people who are manipulated by the MSM and the Democrats.
SMITTY: That’s about where I am at on the point.
BOB: Evi, I think you also have to factor in the fact that we have had several generations – starting with the one right after the so-called ‘Greatest’ – that have known unprecedented luxuries and have been nurtured in an environment surrounded by provided government services at all levels. So many tens of millions of Americans don’t know any other way of life and, most importantly, don’t care to know.
The fault, Dear Brutus, is not in the stars
But in ourselves…
JEFFS: ‘Fraid so, Bob. “The Lamest Generation” is among us.
-The ever-resourceful Gavin McInnes has, somehow, gotten a hold of letter written by Joseph Gobbels, time traveller [who knew?] to Barack Hussein Obama congratulating the Propagandist-In-Chief for his victory this past Tuesday.
A few highlights:
I’m here to tell you something. In short: I am impressed.
As a propagandist, you have achieved everything I set out to do. You soared to victory this week like a Bundesadler in a Leni Riefenstahl film. I’m amazed der Juden and der junge are so devoted to your cause, as it seems you are determined to extinguish both. But what really impresses me is the blind faith with which more than half of America follows you. These are people who couldn’t care less about politics, yet somehow they are in a trance. Why? Because you promised them you care. Amazing. An entire generation of young men stand proudly behind you simply because you play basketball. And you’re not even good at it!
After all but allowing an attack on your Libyan consulate you sent out a spokesperson denying such an event existed, and it worked. Instead of talking to world leaders you go on women’s talk shows. When unemployment soars, you say it would have gone much higher without you. You kill the space program and devote the resources to making Muslims feel better about themselves. MUSLIMS!? Isn’t America at war with a great number of them? You tell those disgusting Zionists to go back to the borders of nearly half a century ago and when they protest, you add that they must leave Iran alone. (This was my favorite part, BTW—I must have gone back and watched this 100 times.)
I haven’t seen propaganda this effective since Roosevelt. He managed to convince post-Depression America that it was the government’s job to make things right. Roosevelt instilled in the lower classes a permanent reliance on government that persists today and will go well past the Second Civil War of 2030.
Fox News appears to be the only one asking questions, but only old people are watching and they will all die shortly. Old people ask too many questions.
This is why I killed Andrew Breitbart…
-Ladd Ehlinger nails a big part of our problem in a post entitled: The Murphy Brown Effect.
The conservative world has ceded the field of media and pop-culture to collectivists for many, many decades now. As a result it will continue to suffer at its hands, doomed to losing elections to the incompetent and the corrupt for all eternity.
Romney lost mostly from the “Murphy Brown effect.” For those too young to remember, Bush the Elder and his Vice-President, Dan Quayle, were both pilloried by the popular sitcom starring Candice Bergen week in and week out for months on end. But it was not just “Murphy Brown,” it was a huge chorus of pop-culture voices all singing the same tune, that Bush and Quayle were stupid, or evil, etc.
So when I say “Murphy Brown effect” I refer not just to the sitcom, but to the entire pop-culture chorus.
Until conservatives bigwigs recognize the fundamental power of pop-culture, and start investing in the arts (movies, television, music, etc.) to counteract this trend, they will continue to remain irrelevant, continue to lose their country, and continue to lose elections.
This is a front we on which must take the offensive.
-On the calls by The Usual Suspects [supposedly] on the Right for a Big Tent, Larry Thornberry is rightly contemptuous:
George Neumayr is spot on this morning in “The Big Tent in the Middle.” There already is a Democratic Party. No need for two of them.
“Our liberals can beat their liberals” is not a battle cry Republicans can follow to victory. Even if it were, such a “victory” would be as hollow as a tennis ball.
The Democrats are unapologetically the party of the left. If Republicans would ever stop mincing around and start being the full-service party of the right they might get somewhere. As it stands, Republicans continue to natter on about the “electability” of yet another moderate, politically correct, Marquis of Queensberrry, oh-so-polite candidate who refuses to pin the tail on the odious donkeys and as a result gets his rear handed to him by Democrats who never hesitate to throw the fastball high and tight.
–Jeff Goldstein on those who claim they’re conservatives:
One of the problems with nominating moderates is that they are cast by the left as right wing extremists. Mitt Romney called himself “severely conservative” even though he was clearly a technocrat who believes in the supremacy of government as a means toward social and economic problem solving. And the fallout from this is that timid, “pragmatic” party hacks, relying on the left’s characterization of the right, set themselves up as “conservatives” when they are, in fact, no such thing. And yet because they’ve adopted the label, they presume to speak on behalf of those who, in reality, they don’t much care for, those who have been pushed into the “fringe” camp by the constant leftward movement of the political lines of demarcation.
-My good Friend In The Ether, Adobe Walls, is, sadly I think, quite correct:
Since in the end we were doomed to lose anyway, I don’t buy the argument that nominating Mitt was the best we could do. Mitt was the most electable, moderate candidate who upon being elected “might” have done some good. Wasn’t it better to have lost running a Goldwater rather than a Rockefeller in 64, given that we lost anyway?
The GOP is not a conservative party period. It may be possible to capture it and then make one in time. But I don’t see how that can possibly happen in time. We are faced with staggering menu of possible catastrophe’s in the near and long term. I had little hope that we’d avert disaster even if Romney had been elected. He was not the man to drastically shrink the government.
We can however take some comfort in the knowledge that those who voted for Comrade President will starve to death first.
The divide in this country is simply too great to bridge and in the end that might be for the best.
The country would have most definitely been served better if a Rick Santorum or a Sarah Palin had been nominated.
-Another of my good Friends, K-Bob, is displaying a perfect conservative attitude:
Being pessimistic isn’t fun. I have already begun to laugh more, since Tuesday. And I shall continue to do so, even while preparing for hard times ahead.
-As for reforming the GOP, Truth Seeker succinctly sums-up the problem with attempting that:
Random: Elephants are the only mammal that can’t jump
— Truth Seeker (@tisaboutfreedom) November 9, 2012
–Smitty ain’t wearin’ no blinders:
…The bad news is that there will be substantial collateral damage, and damage to your collateral. Great time not to be too attached to your toys.
My worry is that, as FDR II rolls us on through the Even Greater American Depression (EGAD), the saga climaxes in WWIII.
There’s a damn good chance that the rabid wolves surrounding America will pounce on our weakened frame, or they will wait for the Leftist malignancy to do even more damage, so, perhaps, we may have more time — perhaps.
-In a recent post, Erick Erickson wrote [don’t follow the link to this shyster unless you really feel the need to]:
No immigrant comes to the United States wanting to be on welfare. They come for a better life of hard work and success….
While many may come here for the financial opportunities, way too many of them refuse to assimilate. One of the reasons is that The Establishment [legal, political, and social] tells them they don’t have to and makes it easy for them not to.
Prediction: Erickson goes all ‘Big Tent’ in 4…3…2……
-A general point: We certainly cannot surrender because it is our duty to our ancestors and our posterity to continue the fight to restore The Constitution. However, like The Founding Fathers, have we reached a point where the only possible course is to effect a separation?
-Some of the citizens of Louisiana have put forward a petition:
We Petition The Obama Administration To: Peacefully grant the State of Louisiana to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
It’s a start, but perhaps we should replicate what the petition of the citizens of Haverhill, Massachusetts sought to do in 1842 [it was presented to the House by Representative John Quincy Adams]. It read:
To the Congress of the United States. The undersigned, citizens of Haverhill, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pray that you will immediately adopt measures, peaceably, to dissolve the Union of these States.
First, Because no Union can be agreeable or permanent, which does not present prospects of reciprocal benefit.
Second, Because a vast proportion of the resources of one section of the Union is annually drained to sustain the views and course of another section without any adequate return.
Third, Because (judging from history of past nations) this Union if persisted in, in the present course of things, will certainly overwhelm this whole nation in utter destruction.
Sounds like we wouldn’t have to alter the text in any way.
-Here are some thoughts I left [Ooo, that word] over at Jeff Goldstein’s place:
I’m thinking we should stop caring about the ‘Hispanic vote’, the ‘Black vote’, the ‘single women’s vote’, the ‘homosexual vote’, etc. and concentrate on getting conservatives and Classical Liberals to designate a section of the country to move to, take over the governments of those states, and expel those who believe government is the solution from said states. Then we implement that kind of state resistance to the Feds that Jeff Goldstein has written about. If the national government threatens to use to the police and/or the military powers against us, we then declare our Independence, as is our right as Free Americans under The Declaration Of Independence.
This will, first of all, allow for the possibility of people rising-up in other states to join us in our stand against Leftism and, second of all, give us time to prepare for armed rebellion.
I just don’t think The United States, as presently constituted, can survive.
Let me add: The United States Of America is an idea, and ideas know no boundaries. Who says that it must forever be the fifty [or 57] states in union?
-Let’s end with a call to arms and action from Mark Levin. He is no hot-head, so when he advocates the following actions, serious attention must be paid:
We may have to think about this…
Why is it that the left are the only people in this country who can resist, who can obstruct, who can sabotage?
I say we resist and where we can obstruct and where we can sabotage tyranny.
What do you say?
Me?…oh, that’s easy…