July 05, 2009
Spending the last few weeks in a concussed haze after yet another losing battle with an errant mechanical Jacobin (I got hit by a car) has not been fun. Screaming headaches at the mere site of a computer screen do not enhance a writer’s productivity. It’s also a significant handicap if one wishes to stay informed about something other than the death of Michael Jackson.
That said, one perk of getting rundown has been the cover it has given me when local liberals and Obamanists have sought to pounce on me for my previous lukewarm defenses of our now disgraced Governor. “Hey Dylan, what about your boy Sanford?” “Screw him, my head hurts.” Bleeding hearts may not like my politics, but they generally won’t kick a victim of mechanized violence when he’s down, leaving me relatively exempt from prolonged attacks on my political principles – a few of which I share(d?) with Mr. Sanford.
Curiously given my long time contempt for her, the same courtesies were not extended to me yesterday when Alaska’s Governor and former Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin decided to step down for reasons that seemed to confuse even her. In the last few hours alone, I have answered several emails on the subject of Mrs. Palin and what her apparent departure from the political arena means for “right wingers” like me. Though I have never thought of myself as particularly right wing (is the designation anti-egalitarian populist indicative of a left or right position?), I can see almost nothing right wing in the person of Mrs. Palin which leaves me even more confused than I was after my initial encounter with the automobile some weeks back. As my friend Patrick Ford noted earlier, Palin is a career eccentric who’s bizarre behavior is her calling card. Though a generous biographer might compare some of her quirks to John Randolph, I find her much more comparable to Mike Huckabee. In fact I wrote a long(ish) essay on the subject some time back which some folks misread as a quasi-endorsement of their shared “aw shucks” political style.
The truth is that while I find Palin and Huckabee share an odd folk charisma – and am in agreement with much of what Governor Sanford was hoping to represent pre-scandal – none of these figures could have ever be an effective representative of any dissident conservative or rightist movement. For starters, all of the above are establishmentarians and at minimum “soft” globalists. While I have jumped to Mr. Sanford’s defense before on this subject, there is no denying that his conservatism is closer to that of the Trilateral Realists than that of Robert Taft and Ron Paul. Palin and Huckabee are even worse and more overt on this score, though their pandering was less measured than Mr. Sanford’s. True believers all of them? Maybe not, but that is largely irrelevant. The lack of particularism found in Sanford may appeal to the cosmo-sect of libertarians – and the phony particularism of the Huckster and Palin may appeal to crunchy cons and leftover Falwellians – but neither brand of thought represents anything other than “opposing” wings of the universalist plague that has been sweeping the nation for the last fifty years.
One world for the elites, or one world for Jesus. Take your pick, but don’t get uppity about limited government, shutting down the empire, or taking on consumption culture and the corporate liberal state. After all, there are souls to be saved and managed trade agreements to be rammed down the throats of the peasants!
Palin may be cute, Huckabee may be nice and Sanford may have been the best of the mainstreamers, but cute, nice and status quo doesn’t cut it. The sooner the new generation of “right wingers,” conservatives, and decentralists comes to terms with this the better. It’s time to create our own leaders and build our own movement. Separating ourselves from the perpetual disappointment of the professional political class is the first step.
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