Modern conservatism: ‘badly manufactured absinthe’

From my vantage point in Boulder, Colorado, the tumult in the political world is reduced to watching the regular at a coffee shop/bookstore downtown arguing with a cashier about the health benefits of soy milk versus almond. Colorado ain’t a swing state. Florida is a swing state. In the northern wilds where balding homonuculi like Rick Scott dwell, the damp coffee grounds of a political party are clogging the drain. Charles Pierce:

Ever since the late 1970s, when it determined to ally itself with a politicized splinter of American evangelical Protestantism, having previously allied itself with the detritus of American apartheid, the Republican Party has been reeling toward catastrophe even as it succeeded at the ballot box, and taking the country along with it. Crackpot economic theories were mainstreamed in the 1980s. Crackpot conspiracy theories and god-drunk fantasies were mainstreamed in the 1990s. Crackpot imperial adventures abroad were mainstreamed in the 2000s. And all of these were mainstreamed at once in opposition to the country’s first African American president over the past eight years.

Modern conservatism has proven to be not a philosophy, but a huge dose of badly manufactured absinthe. It squats in an intellectual hovel now, waiting for its next fix, while a public madman filches its tattered banner and runs around wiping his ass with it. It always was coming to this.

Or as Paul Krugman pithily remarked in a column cited by Pierce, “Trumpism is basically a creation of the modern conservative movement, which used coded appeals to prejudice to make political gains, then found itself unable to rein in a candidate who skipped the coding.”

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