Synthesizing what he’s learned from Rick Perlstein and from watching Donald J. Trump five and a half years since descending an escalator, Paul Campos condenses modern post-Goldwater conservatism to three tenets. Print them and stick’em on your fridge door:
(1) Western civilization in general and America in particular is in severe and possibly terminal decline.
(2) This decline is a product of two types of contamination, ideological and genetic. The ideological component is made up of leftist thought, which is radically relativistic, rejecting all natural God-given social hierarchies, and is dedicated to replacing them with a kind of perverted egalitarian totalitarianism.
The genetic component is the contamination of white European blood by intermingling it with that of inferior races.
(3) The most important natural social hierarchies are these: Men should rule women, white people should rule non-whites, those with money should rule those without it, and Christianity should be the dominant form of belief in society.
(4) The only votes that count are cast by registered Republicans. A Democratic vote is illegitimate.
We know the last is true because over a hundred House Republicans endorsed Texas’ lawsuit overturning the will of a legitimate majority of voters. No hyperlinks needed — my readers know the drill.
Rereading bits of Henry James’ The Bostonians last night, I underlined a series of observation so precise, so right, that I admonished myself for missing them years ago. The stupefied Verena Tarrant, the would-be feminist with a gift for public address, observes about her Southern suitor:
She didn’t know that being a conservative could make a person so aggressive and unmerciful. She thought conservatives were only smug and stubborn and self-complacent, satisfied with what actually existed; but Mr. Ransom didn’t seem any more satisfied with what existed than with what she wanted to exist, and he was ready to say worse things about some of those whom she would have supposed to be on his side than she thought it right to say about almost anyone.
On my morning walks I’ve noticed Christmas decorations — Santas and reindeers as big as yachts — have replaced most of the Trump detritus. Three dead enders living in the cul-de-sac I call MAGA Alley still fly their asshole flags. I wonder, kindly, if they’ve forgotten to take them down. Likelier, though, is a belief that the Democrats stole the election from Trump. What lives do they lead? Do they babble about politics all day? Do their children spit on them? “There is, in short, no living with these people,” Campos concludes. I’m hoping the president-elect understands no suasion or appeals to a fairytale era of bipartisan comity will work on these revanchists. The only thing keeping them from wishing Joseph Robinette Biden died is the thought of a Black woman named Kamala Harris in the Oval Office.