Thursday, July 18, 2019

Liberals Need Fresh Ideas; National Conservatism Is On the Move

Conventional politics is at it's end. It's pretty easy to sense that. This past weekend the National Conservatism Conference met in Washington, DC. The press basically missed it. They were busy bloviating over the disaster in the White House, Donald Trump, and his destructive tweets.

These are national hawks who met. They are concerned with (as they see it), among other things, the post-cold war order of weak borders and straitjacketed free trade ideology and policies.

Among speakers who were there was the star of TVs top-rated cable news show (Tucker Carlson), the Trump administration's national security advisor John Bolton, Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Theil, the rapidly rising senator Josh Hawley, and the best selling author J. D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy). Those were the marque names, but the rest of the speakers, and many of the attendees as well, were just as notable, if not as well known.

Their primary focus, according the Daniel McCarthy, author of this piece on the event, seemed to be:

1) Striking at laws and cultural assumptions that permit tech companies to amass wealth and power.

2) Striking at the bastions of liberal ideology in higher education.

3) Supporting American industry for the sake of workers as well as national security.

4) Adopting a more restrained foreign policy than the US has seen since the end of the Cold War.

McCarthy says, "The mystique of policy in Washington is a religion, but real policies are not the result of blueprints or manifestos, they are the product of talent applied to circumstance. What was different about this was that these were people who specialize in opening new fronts in ideological conflict."

The right doesn't have demographics on their side going forward, nor the moral high ground in my view, but they appear to have ideas which are crystallizing. The left of center folks better come up with a fresh view of the new world in which we find ourselves, and a direction for it. Freshening up stale, old New Deal ideas and policies in the year 2020, will not cut it. National Conservatives appear galvanized and inspired. This could be the beginnings of a new conservative intellectual movement, paradoxically, with Donald Trump as it's leader.