April 08, 2009
Austin Bramwell thinks the writers of Takimag missed the mark in parodying NRO for April Fool?s Day. Rather than analyze his critique point by point, allow me to suggest, as straight-facedly as I can, what the actual NRO credo looks like. The ideology sketched below is not just good for Lowry, Ponnuru, and Goldberg, however ? it should be a pretty good fit for Brooks, Kristol, Frum, Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity, too.
1.) All men are endowed by their Creator with a.) the right not be aborted, b.) the right to a pro-American government, and c.) the right to ever increasing prosperity. (Regarding ?b? ? democratic governments are necessarily pro-American, and pro-American governments are necessarily democratic. Any apparent contradictions will be resolved upon closer examination.)
2.) America stands for these fundamental rights (including the application of 1b to the rest of the world). Although America has made some mistakes in the past, those failings have been substantially rectified and to dwell upon them is anti-American. Evils that can be pinned specifically on Southerners, however, may be discussed without any suspicion of anti-Americanism. For these purposes, the South is a foreign country, like Germany.
3.) The evils that still besmirch the country, such as abortion, are the work of a small, unelected elite ? the liberals.
4.) The American people are fundamentally good and intuitively subscribe to the rights outlined in 1. In fact, all people around the world deep down believe in those rights. Everybody wants to be American.
5.) But people in other countries are prevented from becoming Americans by their evil, undemocratic governments. Some of these governments, in Europe for example, are run by secular liberals. Other governments, the really evil ones, are run by anti-American dictators whose sole mission in life is to destroy America and the rights that she represents. These dictators, whatever ideology they claim to profess, are all fascists.
6.) The only other nations that have always embodied the rights enumerated in 1 are Great Britain, which is really the same country as the United States (but a little worse off for being closer to godless Europe), and Israel. Lately, Georgia and Ukraine have joined the Enlightened nations as well.
7.) Good liberals basically believe in point 1, but they don?t believe strongly enough. This is the sin of moral relativism. Martin Luther King was better than most liberals, but even he didn?t believe in America enough ? enough, that is, to support the Vietnam War. (Sometimes, as Bramwell notes, it may be conceded that King wasn?t altogether down with 1c either.)
8.) Bad liberals are really fascists, and unpatriotic conservatives are really bad liberals.
9.) Every time the United States topples an undemocratic government, American values automatically prevail. This natural cause-and-effect sequence can only be thwarted by a failure of will on the part of American leadership (an effect of enervating liberalism) or by subversion from anti-American tyrannies elsewhere.
10.) Elite institutions of higher learning are thoroughly controlled by anti-American liberals and fascists who are indoctrinating our youth. Of course, conservative pundits who matriculated from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, etc. are unaffected by this.
11.) Taxes and interest rates must always be kept low to ensure ever increasing prosperity. Deficits don?t matter.
Not everyone on the establishment Right agrees with all of these points ? a handful dissent from 1a or 1c, for example. Nor would anyone on the establishment Right phrase some of these credenda quite so bluntly. But I think on the whole this is a fair characterization.
Lest anyone jump to conclusions, I?m not affirming the opposite of each of these points, nor am I arguing that the creed is wrong in every particular. But as a worldview, it certainly is buncombe, a potlatch of liberal platitudes and militaristic hubris.
This post originally appeared at The Tory Anarchist.
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