Republicans in Paradise:
Reflections on Election 2002
are whooping it up like cowboys at a rodeo these days. They again
control both the House and the Senate, and they also claimed victory
in a number of gubernatorial races. Pundits are crediting both George
W. Bush’s leadership and the public approval of his agenda. Is the
hoopla justified? I admit that even though part of me prefers let’s-drag-our-feet
Republicans to openly socialist Democrats, I find myself hesitating
to join the festivities. I hate to be the one to throw cold water
on the Republican Party’s party, but some of us have memories. What
happened the last two times Republicans seemed poised to launch
1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President, ending the disastrous
Carter era. It was "Morning in America," or so the soundbite of
the day went. All of a sudden conservatism was popular-among college
students, in movie theaters, you name it. Moreover, the economy
did improve after Jimmy Carter, it could hardly do otherwise
and Reagan can take some credit for sowing the seeds that
led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
trouble was, the culture was deteriorating. The pop-conservatism
of the day wasn’t exactly a revival of Edmund Burke, or even Russell
Kirk, but more a cross between the childish pseudo-patriotism of
a Rambo movie and a college fraternity party. While the pop-conservatives
partied it up, the cultural Marxists who would transform campuses
into Stalinist camps quietly gathered their forces. During the Reagan
years affirmative action was strengthened rather than weakened,
and those of us who had previously paid such things almost no attention
were forced to notice them. We began warning of trouble ahead. We
had no idea!
the end, the Reagan Revolution foundered all across the board. The
period 198892 was a weird transition. The frat party was over.
Reagan’s successor had a quite different political philosophy, one
hatched in the bowels of the UN and the CFR, not the venues that
had spawned Reaganism. Gorbachev was a globalist, too, so perhaps
the Soviet Empire had simply outlived its usefulness. During Bush
the Elder’s term the economy tanked, Saddam went from being our
ally against Iran to arch-villain when he invaded Kuwait and triggered
the Gulf War, and the cultural Marxists came out of their library
cubicles in force with their gender studies programs and critical
race theories. Political correctness became a household word. Suddenly,
conservatism wasn't so popular anymore. In fact, in the hallowed
halls of ivy it had become almost synonymous with racism, sexism,
etc. ad nauseam. At one time I had thought I would probably
marry an academic woman. I discovered to my dismay that I couldn’t
have an intelligent conversation with an academic woman if the topic
was politics. Most had completely bought into notions I considered
absurd, like sending women into combat in the name of "gender
equity." I witnessed women verbally assaulting other women
for not towing the gender feminist party line.
we saw the rise of the most despicable figure to get into the White
House since Abraham Lincoln: William Jefferson Clinton. "It’s
the economy, stupid," he told the public, and defeated Bush
the Elder handily. He began making mayhem about "gays in the
military" before he was even in office. I recall thinking,
Geez, we’ve got our first politically correct White House. Some
would doubtless argue that the culture war was already lost. The
"official" conservatives seemed to flounder helplessly,
and the country lurched leftward into its "celebration of diversity."
went into eclipse. Cultural Marxism seeped outward from campus and
began to affect, or infect, the nonacademic world. Confederate symbols
that had previously troubled no one came under attack throughout
the South. It was as if a nation that had existed for less than
six years was responsible for everything wrong in black America.
Restaurant chains such as Denny’s faced huge discrimination lawsuits
as Jesse Jackson honed his shakedown skills. Threats of both litigation
and destroyed reputations hovered over even large corporations.
The latter began their "sensitivity" sessions where white
males were expected to adopt and endure their legacy of historical
villainy. For all practical purposes, an alien ideology took over
America during the early-to-mid 1990s, one resolutely hostile not
just to American founding principles but to Western civilization
it was the beginning of the party for the global-governance crowd
which also came of age during the 1990s. The UN Rio Summit had unleashed
Agenda 21 almost unnoticed. Clinton and his cronies gave us NAFTA,
which accelerated the destruction of America’s manufacturing base.
I began to notice how more and more American foreign policy was
influenced by men whose names I wasn’t sure I was pronouncing correctly.
Having long laughed off "conspiracy theories," I located
a copy of Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy
and Hope, and spent some time studying it. It offered an
explanation why government continued to get larger and more intrusive
no matter which major party controlled the White House, and dropped
some very strong clues about who was really running this show, and
it wasn’t the Republicans! I closed the book wondering about the
future of U.S. sovereignty, given that almost no one believed that
a relatively small global elite had been laying plans to dominate
the world for decades.
Clinton misstepped. He gave the country its biggest tax increase
ever; his wife laid plans that would have basically nationalized
the health care industry. In 1994, voters rebelled, and there was
evidence in the form of a steady stream of litigation much
of which would make its way to the Supreme Court that questions
about runaway affirmative action were finally being taken seriously.
Conservative talk radio appeared, and Rush Limbaugh became its major
voice. A new slogan began making the rounds: "Clinton-Gore,
Out in Four!" The fundamental silliness of much academic political
correctness was exposed (e.g., Leonard Jeffries’ absurd distinction
between European "ice people" and African "sun people,"
or Catharine MacKinnon’s infamous claim that all voluntary sexual
intercourse is a form of rape). Conservatism was back!
1994, Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House. This time it wasn’t
"Morning in America" but the "Contract with America."
Gingrich promised to bring a number of resolutions to the Floor,
and did just that. Rush Limbaugh, now on television, loud ties and
all, praised the new Republican Revolution. There was a tremendous
flurry of activity in early 1995. It was an exciting moment
if you hadn’t heard Limbaugh defend NAFTA and ridicule the idea
of global government in the works, or heard Mr. Newt identify his
favorite ghost of U.S presidents past: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Clinton told us that "the era of big government is over."
there was more trouble. Liberals had retained control of the major
media, after all. They put Limbaugh’s show on at ridiculous hours.
They bashed the "Contract with America," and the Gingrich
crowd took it with token retorts. Liberals denounced "angry
white males" who wanted to "turn back the clock."
Timothy McVeigh’s pale complexion and male body parts made it possible
for pundits to connect the Oklahoma City bombing with the anti-affirmative
action movement and also with the citizens militia movement. McVeigh
had had no involvement with either, but we were seeing the rise
to dominance of a mode of thought that saw truth as unimportant.
Again, Republicanism showed signs of beginning to flounder.
in early 1996, the Clinton Regime was able to engineer a major budget
crisis that almost shut down the federal government. Clinton blamed
the Republicans. The Republicans seemed unable to muster an effective
response; it would not have been unreasonable to suspect either
their intelligence or their motives (or both) by this time. Despite
favorable if indecisive Supreme Court decisions such as Adarand
and the triumph of measures like California’s Proposition 209, preferential
treatment kept getting worse, not better. It had done the very thing
we had warned about, expanding to encompass more and more groups.
Homosexual militancy in particular had come of age, pulling gays
and lesbians under the affirmative action umbrella. States such
as Massachusetts wrote "sexual orientation" into antidiscrimination
law. The campuses got worse, as cultural Marxism completely took
over despite the earlier exposés. Critics such as myself who had
tried to fight the campus battle without tenure were simply elbowed
out. It became impossible for speakers identified as "conservative"
to speak on campuses without being interrupted. Fraternity men who
showed up at Halloween parties in "black face" found themselves
in serious trouble with the sensitivity police. Corporations became
as politically correct as the campuses had been. Employees were
called onto the carpet for such things as having Confederate symbols
on their cars. By 2000 there would be cases of people being fired
Republicanism seemed to go into eclipse despite Republicans’ having
retained more-or-less numerical dominance in Congress.
As evidence surfaced that Clinton had sold nuclear secrets to the
Chinese to help finance his 1996 re-election bid, they pursued him
for his dalliance with an intern. Our drift toward global government
under the UN continued, as terms such as sustainable development,
smart growth, etc., crept into public discourse. Evidence
began to emerge if you were looking for it of how
both federal and state governments were buying up land and furthering
the unholy alliance between radical environmentalists and purveyors
of world government that had shifted into high gear in 1992 with
the Rio Summit and Agenda 21. Mainstream Republicans offered only
token objections that went nowhere.
is now eight years since the Gingrich Revolution. Does anyone remember
what was in the "Contract with America"? Did any of it
question’s a no-brainer. In 2000, George W. Bush was elected president
by the slimmest of all possible margins, an election Democrats might
well have stolen had the Supreme Court not stepped in. Gingrich
was exposed as having had an extramarital affair of his own the
whole time he’d been condemning Clinton’s sexual olympics. Discredited
and publicly disgraced, he stepped down into oblivion. At first,
Bush the Younger seemed a relatively unimpressive former party animal
who’d ridden to the top on his father’s coattails and Skull-and-Bones
connections. And then 9-11 happened.
don’t need to rehearse all that’s happened since. Except to say
that the cultural Marxism of the politically correct, with its having
placed minorities of questionable competence in positions of authority,
has reached the point where it has actually gotten innocent people
killed. I refer, of course, to the recent D.C.-area sniper attacks,
where Montgomery County, Md.’s affirmative action police chief,
Charles Moose, had his troops looking for an Angry White Male, not
a black Muslim and an illegal alien. Meanwhile, militant homosexuals
have begun to propagandize in grade schools, and books hinting at
a future normalization of pedophilia have begun to appear from major
academic presses as our culture continues defining deviancy down.
here we are, after the elections of 2002. The percentage of the
public that voted obviously likes Bush the Younger, approves of
how he is conducting the war on terrorism, and just placed the Republican
Party back in the driver’s seat of Congress. Now what?
the above history is any guide, it will be more of same old same-old.
The Republicans will host a national frat party that will last a
short while; meanwhile, (1) Democrats will scheme behind the scenes;
(2) the media will continue to answer to leftist interests, which
means that at the first Republican misstep, the party’s over. Leftists
do, after all, have one trait we have to admire, however begrudgingly:
they don’t quit. They have wanted power for decades, and despite
minor-league setbacks such as Reaganism during the 1980s and Gingrichism
during the mid-1990s, they’ve always come roaring back. Neither
they nor the neocons who have assumed the mantle of "official"
conservatism have moral scruples about playing ball with the global-government
crowd; the leftists just play ball a little better, that’s all.
The closer they can bring this society to socialism, the easier
it is to control.
is what a genuine Republican Revolution 2002 would deliver: (1)
a systemic, society-wide challenge to cultural Marxism and political
correctness in all forms, with a spotlight on the universities and
what often passes for education and scholarship in them. The result
would be a swift end to coercive and insulting "sensitivity
training" whether there, in corporations or wherever, leading
to a permanent end to the affirmative action that started it all;
(2) a new look at U.S. immigration policy that will begin, and proceed
apace, to the expulsion and repatriation of illegal aliens who might
mean harm to native-born Americans; this, it seems to me anyway,
is a more intelligent way to fight the war on terror than the federal
government’s current agenda, which is collecting as much personal
data as possible on native-born Americans; (3) a repudiation of
globalism, up to and accompanied by a U.S. exodus from the U.S.-bashing
UN and a public exposure of the efforts of its minions to control
American populations and natural resources in the name of "sustainable
development"; (4) a new move to eliminate the U.S. Department
of Education, to be followed (hopefully) by the elimination of its
equivalents in state governments, as a precursor to getting the
government out of the education business altogether; (5) a reawakened
healthy skepticism about government power and government omniscience,
as reflected in wholesale abandonment of "gun control";
and (6) a new national conversation about the guiding premises of
our civilization, including such things as the relationship between
belief in God, public morality and the much-misunderstood separations
clause in the First Amendment. This conversation should rediscover
the idea of rights, especially property rights, adhering in individuals,
not groups, and how documents such as the U.S. Constitution do not
create but rather recognize, in writing, rights that pre-exist government.
And speaking of the Constitution, it might be a good idea to revive
it, with the idea that Rome on the Potomac should follow it. Then
I can quit calling the place "Rome on the Potomac." I’ve
only listed six items here. I won’t say there aren’t others. There
is a lot to undo, and as I’ve emphasized to more than one reader
via email, we didn’t get into this mess overnight and we can’t realistically
expect to get out of it overnight.
to say, though, I don’t expect to see this. The appointment of one
of the most rabid leftists in Congress, California’s Nancy Pelosi,
to House minority leader, indicates that the Democrats have no intentions
of rethinking their commitment to leftism. Why should they? They
surely believe they will be able to go on directing the show behind
the scenes, because apart from a few new faces in Congress, nothing
fundamental has changed.
Tragedy and Hope, Carroll Quigley wrote:
argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals
and politics…of the Right and…Left, is a foolish idea…the two
parties should be almost identical, so that the American people
can ‘throw the rascals out’ without leading to any profound or
extensive shifts in policy…It should be possible, to replace one
party with the other party which will pursue, with new vigor,
approximately the same basic policy [pp. 12471248].
to me like a good reason to seek out alternatives to this two-party
wasteland, as opposed to the naïve belief that things are somehow
going to be different this go around.
Yates [send him mail]
has a PhD in philosophy and is a Margaret "Peg" Rowley Fellow
at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
He is the author of Civil
Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (ICS Press,
1994), and numerous articles and reviews. At any given time
he is at work on any number of articles and book projects, including
a science fiction novel.
© 2002 LewRockwell.com