Dear Jonah Still Doesn't Get It
I feel for Jonah Goldberg and the rest of the #NeverTrumpers at Conservatism Inc. The awful truth is that their Resistance to the leftward ratchet has failed, and the world has moved on.
So last week Jonah’s G-File is “Against One-Thingism,” complaining that we are becoming like our lefty friends for whom politics is everything, what with Republican and Trump support for Roy Moore, candidate for United States Senator in Alabama and all.
Okay, Jonah, so what is Baldrick’s cunning plan for dishing the left?
Let’s do the Eisenhower thing and make the problem bigger. What do you do when you are faced with a millennarian movement for which politics and power and cultural hegemony is indeed the holy One Thing.
The truth is that you have to come pretty close to your own One Thing. Otherwise you just go under the knout and bend the knee to the One Thingers and their political and cultural commissars, and your children go with the New World Order, as taught by regime thugs in the schools and in entertainment.
That is why the Reformation inspired a Counterreformation, the French Revolution inspired various anti-French Coalitions, the Bolshevik Revolution inspired a movement of anti-Communism, and it wasn’t pretty.
And that is why lefty progressivism has inspired Trumpism. It is no use complaining about life narrowing down to One Thing. We are in another big fight with the left, whether we like it or not.
Moreover, as the first year of Trump has revealed, in many ways we have gone backwards since the good old days of Reagan and Buckley in the 1980s. The Republican President and Congress have failed to reverse the ratchet of ObamaCare, and the pending tax plan is a lot more timid than the supply-side Reagan tax cuts of happy memory.
And then there is the little matter of the corruption of the bureaucracy. Isn’t it interesting that the Trump Russia convulsion is starting to expose the conversion of the FBI and Department of Justice into an enforcement arm of the Democratic Party? These guys rewrite memos to exculpate Dem politicians and scan every word of a Republican’s phone calls against his answers to FBI agents.
Let’s give Jonah Goldberg his due. The movement he represents fought against a post-World War II left that believed in a socialized economy and an accommodation with Communism. That counter-movement won the Cold War and discredited the idea of a government programs as the solution to all our problems.
Now we have a left that hides its socialist policies behind complex subsidy schemes like ObamaCare; it has betrayed the civil rights revolution with the racist and sexist politics of diversity and inclusion, and it wants to replace the nation state with a top-down globalist regime that is merely an oligarchy of power worshippers.
The One Thing on the right against which Jonah rails is a fermenting brew of political and cultural responses to the new lefty threat. It’s messy, it’s crazy, but everyone is trying to answer the same question: what is the best way to excise this new cancer on our glorious western project before it metastasizes all over our body, and what is the best way to rally people to its standard?
Is there a danger that a new One Thing might corrupt us and make us merely a mirror image of our lefty adversaries? Of course.
In fact, this fear is the constant obsession of the left, that some new Fascism will emerge from all the racist, sexist, homophobic hating on the right. Okay, so it might. Except that we on the right don’t believe in racism, don’t believe in occupying the commanding heights of the economy, and don’t believe in political power as a sacrament.
Meanwhile Jonah Goldberg is all worried about corruption by the One True Thing, and Kevin D. Williamson, too, is all worried about the corruption of Roy Moore.
Well, okay, we should be worried, but not to the extent that it prevents us from fighting the war.
The nasty thing about wars is that they get more and more ruthless as each side reaches more and more desperately for victory. The question is: what comes after the war? Does the victor kill all the men and salt the fields, as Rome did for Carthage in 146 B.C., or transport all the factories in East Germany to Russia, as the Soviets did after World War II?
Or do you lend the losers money and help them get back on their feet, as the West did to Germany and Japan after World War II?
My guess is that after we beat the left in this latest war, we will be merciful, or even absentminded. Because at the center of our One Thing is the fact that we righties are not that interested in power.