“Conservatives” want Rudy as President
A sobering realization.
A couple of months ago I came upon a discussion at the lively mainstream conservative web site, Lucianne.com, that gave an idea of the obstacles standing in the way of the appearance of any real
conservatism in this country. The topic was, if Vice President Cheney doesn’t run for re-election, who should replace him? Along with Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice, the L-Dotters’ most enthusiastic choice for Vice President in 2004, and, they made clear, for President in 2008, was … Rudolph Giuliani. You know, that Rudy. Rudy the champion of illegal aliens. Rudy the supporter of open borders. Rudy the public adulterer. Rudy the public abandoner of his second wife and the mother of his children.
Rudi the shameless public slimer of his second wife and the mother of his children. Rudi the marcher in gay rights parades. Rudy the marcher in gay rights parades that include the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Rudy the cross dresser. Rudy the supporter of abortion. And, let us not forget, Rudy the passionate campaigner for the arch-liberal Mario Cuomo against his fellow Republican, George Pataki, in the 1994 gubernatorial race. Despite Giuliani’s far-out social liberalism and his atrocious personal behavior, including betrayals both public and private, many conservatives—apparently for no reason other than his great record in reducing crime and his impressive demeanor in the days following the September 11th attack—see this soulless man as presidential material.
Since the first function of government is the protection of society from violence, it is perhaps not surprising that many conservatives would see Giuliani, famed as a fighter against crime and terrorism, as a potential national leader. However, the second function of government is the preservation of the social order itself. Can a man who in his private life and public acts has systematically violated the social order be plausibly seen as its guardian? Indeed, can he even be seen as a protector of society from violence? After all, the Muslim terrorists would not even be among us were it not for the open immigration policies that Giuliani himself supports.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 03, 2002 08:57 PM | Send
It’s very distressing to see what passes for “conservative” these days. Nancy Pelosi describes herself as a “conservative catholic.” The “conservative” Pataki was endorsed by the NY Times, which is not unlike being endorsed by “The Daily Worker.” A “conservative, pro-life” George Bush has a the Justice Dept. fighting to use RICO statutes to silence pro-life protestors. It’s amazing how leftists have deconstructed the language itself.
“It’s amazing how leftists have deconstructed the language itself.”
Yes, except that that’s not quite the problem we have here. Here we have, not liberals deconstructing the language, but conservatives stating their wish that Giuliani—a social liberal whom no one claims is a conservative—become president of the United States. The disease is within conservatism, not imposed on it from without.
Lively? Lucianne.com is The Weekly Standard with hot flashes.
Touché, Mr. Sleighback.
Let’s say that the posters there have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. What it all adds up to as far as substance is concerned is another question. Mainly it’s just “rah-rah Republicans, rah-rah Bush.”
For all his many flaws, Rudy did do a lot of good for the city. He balanced our budget, helped reduce crime. (Murder rates down 70%!) Frankly, he saved NYC.
If you think I’m overstating the case, look at NYC since our RINO Mayor Bloomberg took over: Higher taxes, the anti-smoking crusade killing small businesses, more regulation, and job loss.
No conservative should support Rudy for President. We can do much better. He would be a far better governor than Elliot Spitzer in 2006.
Goodness, no TRUE conservative could support Giuliani. The truth is that the man is, overall, a liberal. I hate to break it to his many conservative fans, but you cannot be mayor of New York as a conservative or even a moderate. You have to subscribe to radical social liberalism and equivocate often on economic issues. That’s still left-wing.
No one ever expected or required Giuliani to be a conservative. At the same time, nothing required him to walk in Gay Pride parades, or to defend illegal immigration, or to campaign for Mario Cuomo, or to go over the top in the several other areas I mentioned.
Maybe the Bush believers and the others that voted for Bush, mostly the same people that would probably vote for Guiliani, are similar to enablers. Enablers are those that solve the day-to-day problems of the alcoholic without insisting the alcoholic take responsibility. The alcoholic usually does not take responsibility when an enabler is present. Perhaps we could learn something by analyzing the situation from such a perspective.
Without these “conservative” enablers working hard and restraining the liberals, the liberals would quickly ruin the country with spending and with mass immigration. I had hoped the Republican Congress had finally gotten some backbone when they attempted to stare down Clinton by shutting down the government. Of course we know that Newt Gingrich blinked and Clinton ran Newt and his similarly wobbly substitute (ex-Speaker Livingston) out of town and routed the ideas of the rest of the Republicans. The rout continued until typical Democratic ugliness and the buffoon Algore kept sufficient Democratic regulars at home on Election Day 2000 so as to allow the Electoral College to materialize the vacuous Bush into a president.
The point is the enabler is supposed to stop enabling, to allow the alcoholic to fall into ruin. This is demanding respect. Otherwise the enabler and the alcoholic are forever weaving down the street.
Mr. Murgos’s description of conservatives as the “enablers” of liberals is right on. This insight goes back at least as far as Atlas Shrugged. In that novel the productive competent people, acting out of misplaced loyalty to a radicalized society, never challenge the premises of the ruling collectivists, allow themselves to be victimized by them, and keep producing. Thus they keep the country going even as they are being demonized by the very elites whom they help keep in power. Sound familiar? The heroes of the book decide to stop being enablers and withdraw from society, and then the system collapses.
I’m not at all an Ayn Randian, but I believe that this central theme from her book is profoundly true and applies today. If the decent people of this country stopped “enabling” this current system, if they WITHDREW THEIR MORAL SUPPORT from the current system, not in the manner of the America-haters of the right and the left, but in the manner of the upright dissidents of the Soviet Union like Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov and Sharansky, the current liberal order would lose its legitimacy. But the problem with America is that everyone, especially the millions of small “c” conservatives, are so invested in upholding America AS IT IS that they they end up defending and enabling the current radicalized order, even as that radicalized order keeps attacking conservatives as bigots and haters. People are too comfortable, and too mistakenly loyal, to want to be dissidents.
Just today a friend was reading to me an article by Kay Hymowitz, whose very good book, “Ready or Not: Why Treating Children as Small Adults Endangers Their Future—and Ours,” had analyzed the reigning “anti-culture” in very strong terms. I had thought very highly of Hymowitz as someone with real insights into the moral ills of the current culture. But in this recent article of hers (from City Journal I believe) she was praising some filthy TV program, “The Osbornes,” because even though the main character is disgusting, he has a family. Similarly, various conservatives have praised the totally worthless and evil program “The Sopranos” as conservative (!) because the gangsters portrayed in it have families and keep their marriages together. It’s the “bourgeois-bohemian” or “Bobo” phenomenon that all the neocons are now endorsing: you can be a sado-masochist or a Mafioso, but if you earn a living and keep your family together, or if you do some other token “conservative” thing, then, voilà, you’re helping advance “conservative” values and should be lauded and celebrated.
Today’s conservatives are so immersed in the current liberationist culture that they are unable to stand apart from it and criticize it in a firm, principled way. Anyone who does so seems mentally unbalanced, just as dissidents in the Soviet Union were portrayed as mentally unbalanced. (Please note that I am not, in the manner of the European New Right and of various anti-Americans, morally equating the two systems.)
I have never read Atlas Shrugged or any of Rand’s books. I was using what I thought might be common sense (and concluded what no doubt many others have concluded). I am very pleased Mr. Auster agrees. I suspected I was some kind of nut. I actually acted on this idea in 2000 by voting for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-In-Mr. Auster’s-Presence, even though I knew He was apt to say inconsistent and inappropriate things. (Christopher Hitchens referred to He’s supporters as “nutballs.”) He was the only one publicly against mass immigration, which along with nuclear terrorism is the greatest danger to America. He was not Clinton, Bush, or Nader (I am really asking for it.)
But seriously, I am very interested in hearing what was the moral manner of the upright Soviet dissidents. I hope the dissidents would not think my actions immoral.
I also voted for He in the 2000 election, and for the same reasons as Mr. Murgos. My opinion of Him changed decisively as a result of two articles He wrote in April 2002, as well as other things He’s written since then.
Just so Mr. Murgos knows what a real nut looks like, I don’t vote at all because voting is the public Choice Ritual of liberalism. In my view voting has virtually no positive effects; it is merely liberalism’s way of getting your concrete assent to liberalism through a concrete public ritual. My actual vote would have no actual positive or negative effect in the larger social context, but the *personal* negative effects of voting would be vast. In fact the function of voting is specifically to 1) have those negative personal effects - reinforcing the self-illusion that I should have and do have personal political power equal to that of all others - and 2) provide legitimacy to liberal governance in the larger social context. I am not interested either in personally drinking the Hemlock or in providing liberal governance with legitimacy, so as long as it is not compulsory I don’t vote. As always reasonable people disagree, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think I am right.
I’ve never watched the Osbornes or the Sopranos. I do think though that when nihilism is the official religion you have to rethink what’s subversive. Leave it to Beaver would have been subversive in the ’50s if the older brother had been an obvious homosexual. I suppose it’s conceivable that a current program might be subversive if it displayed a functioning family. No doubt it all depends on setting and what else is going on, so I’ll leave the determination up to those who get into this stuff more than I do.
I’ve never watched the Osbornes or Sopranos, either, but have viewed “The Godfather” several times. In the sense of Gemeinschaft versus Gesellschaft, there is much for conservatives to admire in the Corleone Family, very much aside from the fact that they are criminals who employ professional killers, mostly to shoot other criminals. (Paul Rahe, a political scientist, wrote an interesting essay some years ago on “Don Vito Corleone and the American Regime”.)
Who naturally appeals more to the traditional conservative, Michael Corleone or Bill Clinton? By whom would you rather be governed, Don Vito or Fr. Robert Drinan?
We were not speaking of The Godfather movies, which are great movies and which were not, as I remember, particularly praised by conservatives as being conservative (though of course it’s true that part of the enduring fascination of the Godfather movies is the combination of the criminality with the strong sense of family). I was speaking of current nihilistic tv programs which are being praised by conservatives as being conservative.
Mr. Kalb is making an interesting suggestion, that Kay Hymowitz and other conservatives whom I criticized may be right in lauding programs that only have one conservative element among an overall nihilist message, because in the context of the current nihilistic culture that one conservative element is actually subversive of the nihilism. While I haven’t seen the Osbornes, I have seen several episodes of The Sopranos, and I stand by what I said. This is a horrendous program, not only filled with unmitigated evil, but with no redeeming dramatic or entertaining qualities. Even the supposed family element is highly questionable. In the three hours I watched, Tony Soprano’s wife shows nothing but dislike and resentment for him and overall misery at her situation; there is no relationship being affirmed there at all. Conservatives praising this as a “conservative” program are simply showing that they are LOST. They are so eager to prove that “conservatism is winning,” that “America is really ok,” that they will seize upon ANYTHING in the current environment that supposedly demonstrates that point.
Matt’s comments on voting brought to mind Evelyn Waugh’s published comments on the British General Election of 1959. (It helps to understand that the Tory PM, Harold Macmillan, had recently appointed Hugh Trevor-Roper a Regius Professor at Oxford, and that Waugh and Trevor-Roper had earlier engaged in public controversy.
I hope to see the Conservative Party return with a substantial majority. I have bitter memories of the Attlee-Cripps regime when the kingdom seemed to be under enemy occupation. I recognize that individually some of the Liberal candidates are more worthy than many of the Conservatives, but any advantage to them can only produce deplorable instability. I have met, seen or heard very few leading politicians; of those I know the Conservatives seem altogether more competent than their opponents.
I have never voted in a parliamentary election. I shall not vote this year. I shall never vote unless a moral or religious issue is involved (e.g., the suppression of Catholic schools). Great Britain is not a democracy. All authority emanates from the Crown. Judges, Anglican bishops, soldiers, sailors, ambassadors, the Poet Laureate, the postman and especially ministers exist by the royal will. In the last 300 years, particularly in the last hundred, the Crown has adopted what seems to me a very hazardous process of choosing advisers: popular election. Many great evils have resulted but the expectation of a change of method in my lifetime is pure fantasy.
Crowned heads proverbially lie uneasy. By usurping sovereignty the peoples of many civilized nations have incurred a restless and frustrated sense of responsibility which interferes with their proper work of earning their living and educating their children. If I voted for the Conservative Party and they were elected, I should feel that I was morally inculpated in their follies—such as their choice of Regius professors; if they failed, I should have made submission to socialist oppression by admitting the validity of popular election. I do not aspire to advise my sovereign in her choice of servants.
Tonight I went to a dinner party at the house of my Italian teacher. She immigrated from Italy around 1969, in the midst of the uprising of the new liberalism that has so profoundly characterized the evolution of politics since then. She is a member of the new, non-christian Italian intellectual circle. At the end of the night, her 22 year-old daughter came home. I saw a beautiful girl, who Signora Bini had earlier informed us may or may not be anorexic. I met the girl, and having talked to her for a few minutes, I can say that I saw the product of the liberal family that may soon be the majority of european and American culture. I saw a stunningly beautiful girl with her hair cut like some third rate lesbian. I saw, honestly, one of the most stunning visages I have ever had the pleasure of laying my eyes upon, who exhibited no sense of meaning or understanding of the world. I have to admit, I have had more than few glasses of wine, and I may be a romantic at heart, but I saw a striking metaphor that all of Western man’s achievements will meet at the hands of modern liberalism. I saw what the Nigerian Muslism screamed for as they rioted and killed innocent people. I saw the death of beauty.
The idea of conservatives for Rudy reminded me of the 1996 election cycle. In late 1995, Bill Kristol started boosting Colin Powell for president in the pages of The Weekly Standard.
Then Kristol and the Standard backed Lamar Alexander, whereupon Buchanan won the New Hampshire Primary. Briefly, it looked like Buchanan might actually win the GOP nomination. In a panic, the establishment right rallied behind Dole.
I remember reading where somebody, possibly Kristol, said having Buchanan elected president would be worse than Clinton being re-elected. That fall, I believe, there was an article on the Kristol family in The New Yorker. In it, Bill Kristol said that he backed Powell even though Kristol disagreed with Powell on almost every issue. The neocons tend to have inconsistent motivations.
“The neocons tend to have inconsistent motivations.”
Many neocons are simply the Mensheviks to Bill & Hillary’s Bolsheviks. That’s all. Once you understand that, the confusion ends and you understand everything. (I first saw neocons referred-to as Mensheviks in a piece by Murray Rothbard.) William Kristol and John Podhoretz are anti-Bolshevik leftists, nothing else. All that can be said for them is that anti-Bolshevik leftists are better than pro-Bolshevik leftists. Words simply cannot describe how pathetic a candidate Lamar Alexander was. If Kristol supported him, that speaks volumes. BTW, William shouldn’t be confused with Irving Kristol, his father, who is in many very important ways a solid, bona fide conservative and a great American.
I must say remus can turn a phrase. He has me nearly as excited about this Roman delicacy as he seems.
I pride myself on my belief that I can appreciate true beauty when I see it. I happen suffer from a romantic disposition that consistently provides for quite an explosion when it meets the often harsh reality, but I am a dreamer at heart. i am sure that a few more years in the cruel world will rid me of that problem entirely. At any rate, thanks for the compliment.