Cain, the Stupid Party, and the future of conservatism

David B. writes:

A few months ago, I pointed out that every four years, the Republican voters nominate the worst presidential candidate possible on The National Question. They do it in state senatorial primaries as well; Lindsey Graham and John McCain easily stave off primary challenges.

Now the Stupid Republicans have a new hero, Herman Cain. What are his qualifications? He “ran a pizza company.” I’ve never eaten his brand and hardly ever have even seen a Godfather’s Pizza store anywhere. He has had cancer and is 65 years old. Even if he gets by his current bad headlines, who knows what will come out?

I don’t think the Stupid Republicans care much that Cain pretends to be good on The National Question. Most of them are for him in order “to show the liberals we are not racists.” Powell and Rice taught them nothing. For that matter, George W. Bush did a lot to pave the way for Obama by insisting on having “blacks in charge of American foreign policy,” in the words of a Beltway conservative columnist.

Cain probably will not win the nomination. He reportedly lacks an organizational infrastructure. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if Perry is the one who makes a comeback.

I’m sorry if I seem harsh, but I have lost patience waiting for self-described conservatives, never mind the American people as a whole, to “wake up.”

LA replies:

I’ve been feeling the same way lately.

For years, perhaps almost since VFR began, I have been laying out two possible scenarios for the future.

The first scenario is that people will start to turn away from liberalism after it has done much damage, but before it has destroyed our civilization.

The second scenario is that people will not turn away from liberalism, and that it will continue until it has destroyed our civilization.

Lately I’ve been feeling more and more that people will not turn away from liberalism, and that it will continue until it has destroyed our civilization, or at least until it has destroyed the civilization of the United States. A big part of this is the growing feeling that American conservatism will never become a serious and effective opposition to liberalism.

Guesses, feelings, intuitions of this nature are subjective and subject to change. But I call things as I see them, and that’s the way I see them right now.

Where does this leave us? If there is little reasonable hope that America will turn around before it it is too late to save her, then traditionalism needs to begin to shift its focus from the relatively easy task of critiquing liberal society, based on the hope that the society will ultimately turn around, to the much harder task of building an intellectual and ultimately a practical alternative to an unregenerate liberal society which seems to be irreversibly dragging us all to the precipice.

As I’ve pointed out before, these two approaches do not exclude each other. Critique of the present, liberal society involves the presentation of alternative, traditionalist standards by which the standards of the present society are rejected. Building an alternative society involves the critique and rejection of the present society. But each of these activities has a different center of gravity. What needs to change is the center of gravity—from critiquing to building.

I don’t know that I personally have the ability for this task. But I know that it needs to be done.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 04, 2011 09:30 AM | Send

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