No country for old conservatives?

Recently, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity awkwardly collided during the nightly handoff between their respective shows.  Carlson had just finished another righteous closing segment of Tucker Carlson Tonight by excoriating Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of Amazon) for obscenely profiteering during the coronavirus pandemic at a time when Americans the country over were getting pink slips.

During the hand-off Hannity took a swipe at Carlson and came to the defense of Bezos by stating that "they [the people at Amazon] provide goods and services people want, need, and desire? That's America.  It's called freedom, capitalism, and as long as it's honest, right?  People decide..."  Hannity later issued an apology for "any misunderstanding to Tucker and the Fox audience."

This curious incident is yet another example of the growing divide between conservatives who are willing and able to engage in the current ideological conflict and those who are still "fighting the last war."  Hannity and his ilk like the overwrought, elderly Sheriff Bell in the film No Country for Old Men find themselves completely outmatched by a new species of adversary who eschews all the old well known patterns of behavior.

Brought up in the good old days of black-hat ne'er-do-well "commies" facing off against heroic white-hat free-marketeering capitalists, these Hannity-esque conservatives are confounded to no end by the multi-directional attacks of a new Gramscian left that seeks to take over the means of socialization, not production.  Its crusade to cleanse American culture of all real or imagined "reactionary elements" proceeds with the full support of America's most powerful capitalists.

The blood-and-iron patriotic industrialists of yonder days that Hannity imagines still predominate on the American financial scene are now nothing but a memory.  That class of men who were "Made in America" and whose gritty successes have been popularized by mini-series like The Men Who Built America and cinematic masterpieces such as There Will Be Blood have been superseded by a new hyper-capitalist Davos class composed of brainy technocratic overlords and their pencil-pushing managerial cousins.

Reptilian technocrats like Jeff Bezos sit at the apex of this new hyper-capitalist Davos class.  For this new class, there is not a lick of difference between their fellow countrymen and the most wretched inhabitants of the Third World.  Their passports are merely for show, an unfortunate holdover needed for their sallies in and out of antiquated nation-states.

Conservatives like Tucker Carlson have acted accordingly by moving beyond the old "capitalist and commie" dichotomy.  They have come to understand that the greatest threat to what conservatives hold dear emanates from this new hyper-capitalist Davos class who have not only achieved a modus vivendi with the "commies," but serve as the communist Praetorian Guard.  Depending on the situation, they alternate between the servile enforcers and the puppet masters of the new Gramscian left.

At the end of the film No Country For Old Men, old Sherriff Bell decides to finally retire as a result of being unable and unwilling to match his new adversaries.  Conservatives like Sean Hannity must either learn to adapt to the changing parameters of the new ideological battles or risk being left behind by a base that is slowly but surely rejecting the "dead consensus."  A viable future for conservatism lies in the ideas issuing forth from men like Tucker Carlson and Sohrab Ahmari, who are willing and able to meet this dangerous new Gramscian left with aggressive novelty instead of the same old, same old.

Ernesto J. Antunez is a conservative columnist residing in Miami. He can be reached at, or via Twitter @ejantunez.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

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