Into the Wilderness

>> Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Republican Party and conservatism in general really is fascinating right now. Taking glee in their circular firing squad and subsequent cannibalism is going to bring a smile to the faces of many liberals. The election is not over yet but the all signs point to an obama victory and when that happens, on the scale it looks like it might happen, conservatives and the republicans are going to be as farther out in the wilderness than either party has been in the modern political era. The reasons are easy to spot.

When David Brooks wrote his now famous column excoriating the GOP for chasing away the people who demanded and respected ideas he illustrated the greatest problem with modern conservatism. Modern Conservatism as it has evolved has entered the last stages of its society, its civilization.

Picture them as a civilization where at one point there were a number of people inventing things. These people were advancing conservatism for the rest of the conservative society. A conservative enlightenment. They invented the backbone of the society in the southern strategy, tax cutting, abortion, gay rights, "patriotism", regulation bad. What have become the traditional republican wedge issues were once shiny and new. They were invented by people like Nixon and Buckley who were very smart regardless of what you think of their morals.

These ideas became the cars, the tv's, the computers of conservative, the houses. They were things that everyday conservatives used as a basis of their lives. Now however all of the inventors are gone. Instead we have people like Rove who do not actually invent anything but are good at using what has already been invented. They can use what they have but cant build anything new. So they stay in the same buildings, use the same tvs, use the same cars even as those start to get very old and to break down. Now though nobody is around to fix them. its the idea that everyone can drive a car but if it all went to hell not many people could build one from scratch.

The failure of the modern conservative to understand how to build new things, new ideas is exemplified in the McCain campaign. McCain is unable to weave the various pieces of conservatism that he has into a coherent economic vision. his failure in the banking and financial crisis is going to cost him the election. He had a certain set of tools left to him by the proto conservatives but they were not enough to deal with the situation at hand and so mccain has sunk.

So the conservatives civilization has collapsed like europe into the medieval period. they will be headed into the wilderness with the task of building a new society with new ideas. they need the big thinkers the inventors again if the want to get back into power. i doubt they realize this any time soon. every indication is that instead of abandoning some of the obsolete cars etc they are clinging to them even tighter.

I suspect though that there is a small number of national or state level republicans who understand the fundamental need to do something new. they look a lot like mike huckabee. Huckabee is at least someone who is putting out new ideas to frame the future of the republican party. Economically populist while socially conservative. we have to keep an eye on them while they trek off into the wilderness to restart their civilization.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

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