I remember the first time being called a “reactionary.” It was several years ago during what was intended as a friendly social gathering that had started to foul with the stench of fermented liberal preening. A flatulent boomer dwarf, emboldened by mojitos, began to advise of my various moral infirmities made apparent by what was at the time only a barely perceptible ember of hate.
Taking a few moments to digest what was intended as insult, I thought what an odd one it was. Reactionary? As in one who responds to stimuli? As a glass of milk, in contrast, would not? I pointed out that his own immune system was highly reactionary to foreign pathogens, and if I punched him in the face, he would be reactionary as well. As it turns out, we haven’t been invited back.
Though with the acuity of age I’ve begun to see his premise as it applies to conservatives in general. Increasingly those panting beagles, whose incoherent philosophical hodge-podge is stapled together and called conservatism, have come to define themselves almost exclusively by reaction to others. Writing cowardly under a pseudonym in Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton captured the essence quite well. He described the judiciary as having neither force nor will, but merely judgment. I’ll make no accusations as to illicit possession of the third, but having neither force nor will would also be an accurate description of the drones shuffling through a CPAC conference. They do not impel, or even much alter, the direction of society. They simply recoil from what their enemies despise. No force, no will. It’s like smacking a plate of jello; there’s only waves of backlash.
The most obvious of these is the generations long struggle session to convince liberals that conservatives are not racist. All the world’s religions can only wish their adherents were so devout. Dems are the real racists is more than a meme for mockery. For conservatives it is liturgy. And once a movement of traditionalist whites adopt fealty to non-whites as their cornerstone, you can be assured not much of either tradition or whites will be conserved. So because of this frenetic recoil against anything that actually benefits themselves, conservatives are left with little more than an inanimate market-place to defend. Which ultimately results in an American future of blackish-brown corporate Calcuttas. A scene I presume conservatives have obliged themselves to embrace with a horrified rictus. I don’t even see race!…(gulp)
But they are hardly finished reacting. As racist recoil has made them more anti-racist than any blue-haired barista, so is Donald Trump now triggering a similar response to nationalism. As obedient as any terrier, movement conservatives noted liberal and neocon disdain toward Trump’s milquetoast nationalism, and have come furiously yapping in reaction. This portends poorly. For it is very likely many conservatives will now add nationalism to their unholy writ and commence cobbling their platform around opposition to it. That they will do so with unreachable zeal makes them about as useful to their posterity as a protractor in Sheniqua’s school bag.
Thus you may be assured of seeing anti-nationalist sentiments from the so-called right that once would have only lubricated the crevice of liberals. Most now appearing along the lines of anyone is an American who believes in our ideas. In response, I’ve asked for a consensus list of American-making ideas, and how we validate that each migrant is in proper possession of them–will pass along upon receipt.
Similar is this anti-nationalist via Trump rumination from neocon neophyte Ben Shapiro.
White supremacist support for Trump isn’t predicated on Trump’s white supremacy (there’s no evidence he’s a white supremacist); it’s likely predicated on Trump’s ideology-free nationalism, a nationalism which suggests that birth in the United States confers special merit, rather than adherence to a traditionally American philosophy.
White supremacist, it’s just a given…from conservatives. But note the indictment of Trump’s so-called nationalism. Suggests that birth in the US confers special merit. Yes, there is that suggestion floating in ideologically-free waters that birth in the US confers special merit–such as being an American. Not that I’m an advocate, but the 14th Amendment suggests the same thing. Has Shapiro disavowed this amendment, or has conservatism disavowed Shapiro? Which question will Fox News ask first?
Though the concluding point is that reflexive conservative recoil is now in full wave motion. And if Trump is saying we have a country or we don’t, then the answer can only be the latter. What, you think you’re more American than a bushman on the Serengeti just because you were born here?