Why and how “conservatives” let us down, by the Z-Man.
If you were to bring forward to our age the cultural and political sensibilities of the founding generation and create a political movement around them, you would find yourself in very serious trouble. The reason is you would be so radical in your aims that even the most enthusiastic of constitutional conservatives would denounce you. …
This is because the Buckley-style conservatism that has come to define the American Right was never about ends. When they talk of originalism, they don’t mean the original intent of the Founders or even the original intent of the law. … For Buckley conservatives, getting the process right is all that matters.
This is how something ridiculous like homosexual marriage can quickly moves from an absurd Progressive troll to a timeless conservative principle in a decade. All it requires was a journey through the courts, where an emotionally unstable judge and four lunatics could make it the law of the land. As long as it went through the proper legal process, Buckley conservatives could hail it as a founding principle. …
This is the story of conservatism in general. Politically, the movement started by Bill Buckley has been a smashing success. It reshaped the Republican Party, put three presidents in the White House and turned the GOP into the majority party from the 1990’s forward. Despite this, the country is further to the Left than anyone imagined possible forty years ago. The epitaph for Buckley conservatism, as it heads to the dustbin of history, is that it conserved nothing.
Why did conservatives achieve so little in the last few decades?
There is no shortage of reasons for why conservatism failed to provide any resistance to the Left, despite having the better grip on reality and popular support. Radicalism always attracts fanatics and a small group of fanatics can do a lot of damage. The Right is always playing defense, which means their margin for error is smaller. The Left is willing to lie, cheat and steal in order to gain victory. These and many others are all true statements, but there is one main reason the Buckleyites were a total failure.
As you see with originalism, the Buckleyites were never willing to state what it is they sought to achieve as an end goal. The hyper-focus on process allowed them to avoid making clear what they wanted.
Gay marriage — stating the bleeding obvious (which never happened publicly during the recent Australian referendum, which was framed instead as about equality):
The homosexual marriage issue is always a great example and it is so here. Instead of saying homosexual marriage is irrational and at odds with civil society, which is certainly true, the so-called conservatives wrapped themselves in legal arguments about contract theory and downstream legal issues.
The Right could never bring themselves to state the obvious. The intent of marriage laws and customs is to encourage baby making. The language of marriage makes that abundantly clear. The only purpose of marriage is reproduction. The additional benefits created by society through laws and rituals is to encourage reproduction. Homosexual marriage is therefore an absurd contradiction. The Right never bothered with these arguments and instead fell into Jesuitical legalism. …
Establishment conservatism is corrupt and useless, hence Trump:
What conservatism under Buckley became is a shaming mechanism to prevent whites, and let’s not kid ourselves about the conservative audience, from stating publicly what they want for their community and their country. Thanks to Buckley, it is no longer possible to say, “I don’t want a bunch of foreigners moving into my town, because we live here and that’s how we want it.” Stating preferences is no longer permitted. Instead, what you want has to have some outside justification. …
If there is to be a new Right … Conservatism will have to start with “This is who we are and this is how we seek to live.” The goal of the ideology is to achieve a clear set of ends, not a set of processes that may or may not achieve those ends.