Crude-o-cons

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You
have to wonder what’s going on with the official conservative movement
when one of its leading figures includes homosexual prison rape
in a commencement address to a graduating class of a conservative,
Christian high school, and when another uses the same metaphor to
exalt the results of the US invasion of a third-world country.

Lew
himself called attention to Jonah
Goldberg’s commencement address this year at Hillsdale Academy,
in which Jonah regaled his captive audience, along with his
awkward misunderstanding of the visual metaphor of the slippery
slope and aphorisms detailing the importance of justice and individual
rights, with these plums of ‘conservative’ wisdom:

I
hear that Princeton moral and legal political philosopher Robert
P. George spoke at the Hillsdale College graduation. That’s great.
Dr. George is a brilliant man.

He
taught me a great deal when we were in prison together. He taught
me:

  • How
    to chill pruno in the toilet bowl.
  • How
    to make, and conceal, a shiv.
  • He was
    even the one who taught me that if you let another man steal the
    apple brown betty
    off your cafeteria lunch tray it means you’re engaged.

That’s
a very important lesson.

I
mention Dr. George because I thought it might be fun to beat Mr.
Philosopher Man at his own game and hence make the college kids
green with envy. So, I do hereby solemnly swear to make more off-color
prison jokes than he did in his address.

As
some of you may know, I’m a conservative and proud of it. I spend
quite a bit of time encouraging young people like you to become
conservative or to be true to their conservative principles. But
since you went to school in the shadow of what many liberals consider
to be a leading madrassa of the Vast-Right-Wing Conspiracy, maybe
it would be better to put ideology aside.

First,
don’t ever date anybody in your dorm for at least the first semester.
It won’t work out and it will make your life really complicated.

Second,
don’t buy a mini-fridge until you’re sure your roommate hasn’t got
one.

While
not someone I regard as a particularly robust thinker, I can’t imagine
NR’s old court thinker Russell Kirk giving “advice” quite like these
“humorous” examples offered up by Jonah. I stopped reading NR sometime
in the mid-nineties, and only years later discovered how much it,
and I, had changed since then.

Besides
his class clown humor, Jonah Goldberg is another example of a trend
imported from the totalitarian Left, although thankfully, not present
in his address cited above. Jonah, as well as the far more egregious
example of David Frum, and others in the neoconservative movement,
trot out without apparent hesitation the old smear tactic of the
left of impugning the motives and character of critics of their
writing by accusing them of anti-Semitism, and of using neoconservative
as a euphemism for Jew, though neocon godfather Irving Kristol popularized
the word in many books and articles. Conservatives used to complain
about the Left’s smearing of conservatives and conservative ideas
as anti-Semitic, even as fascist. Now, it is the Right that uses
this line of attack, for the simple reason that it is expedient,
rather than profound, and is designed not to illuminate, but rather
in the Orwellian fashion of abusing the language, to intimidate
and silence inquiry and criticism. It's a sad day when the American
Right acts as the thought police.

More
evidence of the collapse of American conservatism was highlighted
on the LRC blog where Professor Ralph Raico called attention to
Ann Coulter’s recent little chat. Professor Raico recounted the
scene:

“On
June 3, the columnist Ann Coulter addressed a Republican women's
club in Jacksonville, Florida (see Anthony Gancarski, "An
Evening with Ann Coulter
"). In the course of her diatribe
… Coulter proclaimed that the Middle East is now ‘George Bush's
bitch.’ ‘Bitch’ in this sense is prison talk for the victim of homosexual
rape. There are probably some who get a frisson from hearing a woman
speak in this over the top, disgusting way. But, aside from that,
wasn't the idea to bring ‘democracy’ to Iraq and the rest of the
Middle East? How? By treating the whole of the region and tens of
millions of Arabs as the personal ‘bitch’ of the White House Half-Wit-in-Chief?
And speaking of this particular ‘bitch,’ … Republican ‘dignitaries’
paid up to $75 a piece to listen to her spout this stuff. Welcome
to the citadel of freedom and civilization, ‘conservative’ America
in the year 2003.”

How
generous of Ms. Coulter – last known for describing Messrs.
Goldberg and company as "girly boys" – to let us
in on the obvious, which is, the “liberation” of Iraq is, as Professor
Raico pointed out, a semantic fraud, as all Iraqis now, as before,
live under an absolute military dictatorship. George W. Bush is
the latest dictator of Iraq, the Arab socialist Ba’ath Party has
been supplanted by the military socialism of Bush’s own war party,
and Saddam’s Republican Guard has been replaced by the Republican
Party’s bodyguard of lies.

Once
upon a time, conservatives praised the dreary era of the 50s and
Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. Now their cultural role
models might be the welfare state’s urban war zones and prisons.
Somehow, the thought intrudes that the “culture” inside prisons
or the urban blight created by the welfare state is not the civilization
that conservatives are supposed to be defending.

What
the neocons like Coulter, Goldberg, and the rest fail to see, is
that assault may be an appropriate metaphor for what their fellow
statists have done to Americans over the decades. And neoconservatives
continue the job. Thanks to the work of deception and smear from
the likes of Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, and their power mad clones
throughout politics and the media, we all are victims now. Of the
warfare state and the welfare state. And of the central planners
who now reside so comfortably within the pages of National Review
and the other print and broadcast outlets of the official conservative
movement who, instead of working to restrain the state’s voracious
appetite for destruction, tirelessly urge it onwards with flippant
comments about flooding cities, drowning millions, and obliterating
Mecca with a US nuclear attack.

They
and the Left represent a criminal attack. They reduce the citizen
and the middle class as a whole into a statist hierarchy of humiliation
and subjugation; of domination of the strong over the weak. Conservatives
once would have been embarrassed at the disparity of power demonstrated
by the easy conquest of a poor, weak country by the greatest military
empire in history, and questioned the claims of what just occurred.
The neocons and the other state apologists, on the other hand, revel
in the demonstration of power. In any fight, they cheer on the bully.

The
Associated Press recently published an early calculation of civilians
killed by the invasion of Iraq based on records from 60 of Iraq’s
124 hospitals. At least 3,240 people were killed, including 1,896
in Baghdad alone.

Maybe
among these Iraqi’s murdered by the connivance of conservatives
the likes of Jonah Goldberg and Ann Coulter, was the future Arab
Thomas Jefferson the neocons claim to desire. We’ll never know.
We do know they were children of God.

The
official conservative movement has degenerated into a gang of thugs.
They revel in death and destruction, drifting along towards nihilism
in their convoluted defence of the legitimacy of the neocon program
of total and perpetual domestic and foreign war.

Paleolibertarians
realize that the greatest threat to the principles of the West,
and especially the social achievements of the West, is that monster
that entrances the Left and neoconservatives with its myths and
lies, the state itself. Its wars, its taxation and welfare statism,
and its corruption of language, and of people.

June
16, 2003

Adam
Young [send him mail] writes
from Ontario, Canada.


     

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