When it's not Trumpism that threatens to overwhelm whatever's left of the
It's time to move on. But conservatives seem stuck in an age that has passed us by and can't seem to get out of our post-Buckley rut, which is good news only for the kind of gleeful gliberals who are riding high these days astride the
Just take a glance at "The Coming Conservative Dark Age" in the current issue of
Part of the reason for this immobility is that great leaders don't just shape history. They can freeze it in their own much adored image, reducing it to an endless repetition of what has been without allowing their followers to consider what might yet be.
Such a leader of thought and style, in Commentary's words, was
Mr. Buckley's death at 82 in 2008 deprived not only American conservatives but all Americans of something else: His authority. And we need it now more than ever. Few things would be more welcome on the American scene whether right, left or center than a good, thorough culling -- a ruthless purge of positively Stalinist dimensions.
To quote Commentary's back-of-the-book piece on the state of the
Of course Mr. Buckley and company were elitists. There can be no society without an elite to lead, criticize and generally guide it if it is to remain a society instead of a madhouse. But now the mob is everywhere. And as always its noisome presence is but the precursor to oppression, persecution and tyranny in general.
Once upon a time there were creatures called moderate or Eisenhower Republicans, a breed that did more than just repeat the Trumpian delusions of their time. They came, they saw, they conquered the ideological fixations of their age and marched on to victory.
But look around now. Not an Eisenhower in sight -- that is, someone the American people would follow whose good sense beckoned them on to victory, usually by a landslide. Think of Ike's mile-wild grin, the way he exuded cheer and good will. We liked Ike and so did the whole country, if with the exception of a few intellectual snobs who didn't know any better and didn't care to learn. Eggheads they were dubbed, and just as easily shattered.
For now all is in crazy-quilt abeyance as the country waits for sanity to return. So it has been since ancient times and so it will be again if the ancients had it right about history's being cyclical. And once again the mob needs to be dispelled, not welcomed. And the best way to do that is to find a way up from politics.