Born To Lose in the USA

Born To Lose in the USA, by the Z-Man.

On this side of the great divide, it is popular to bang on about how Buckley-style conservatism is dead. Alternatively, people like to go on about how conservatives have systematically betrayed their supporters. It is also common to explain both trends in purely personal terms. For example, conservatism died because it became a business, perhaps even a racket, rather than a political movement. The sellouts are doing what they do because it gets them media and think tank jobs. …

There’s no doubt that many of the people living well in Conservative Inc. understand their role is to be the eternal loser. Maybe they started out as a real culture warrior, but sold out for a good life in the Imperial Capital. Make no mistake, it is a great life that surpasses everywhere else on earth. Rich Lowry makes close to half a million a year running National Review. He knows he could not make that doing anything else, so he is not rustling any jimmies in his role.

The thing is though, such men dominate conservatism because conservatism was by design intended to be a foil for radicalism. It was never intended to defeat it or even stop it, but as Buckley said, merely slow it down a bit. Inevitably such a worldview must boil off fighters and replace them with the accommodating. Buckley-style conservatism did not lose every fight because conservatives are losers. It lost because it was born to lose and therefore it attracted losers.