Subtle-sounding distinctions are frequently the foundations upon which ruin is built. Consider the difference between conservatives and conservatism. Now contemplate how much policy space exists between advocacy of one compared to the other. So much in fact that those who proselytize for one usually do so to the utter abandonment of the other.
The friction between the alt-right and establishment neo-connery represents this distinction well. Broadly the alt-right advocates for the interests of conservatives–living organic creatures of blood, hopes, and heritage. Conversely, the alt-right cares nothing for the desiccated sheaf of doctrines called conservatism.
Though desiccated sheafs have their champions as well. Publications like National Review and Weekly Standard are steadfast in defending a set of sliding-scale positions that are as True Conservatism today as they were stock liberalism last week. But even if its philosophies were static, they would exist only as a gratuitous ideological check-list completely divorced from the interests of those expected to embrace them. That conservatism is wholly indifferent to the welfare of conservatives is considered quite an attractive feature by its staunch AIPAC-advocates.
I was thinking about this vast gulf at the tail end of conserve while reading about an ongoing tax debate rankling the White House. This clash is–as usual–one between Steve Bannon and the Gary Cohn Goldman faction. That is to say between conservatives and conservatism.
Bannon is said to advocate a mauling of high earners, while the corporatist wing is squealing about the injury this would cause to ideology. Like most nebulous concepts, it’s striking how closely conservatism has come into alignment with the interests of wealthy corporatists.
I’m not aware of specifics in either tax proposal, though ideally there would be a severe “super-rich” bracket that differentiates the malign borderless plutocrats from the merely well-off. For it’s the former who have so enthusiastically wielded their wealth as a weapon against conservatives…all in the cause of conservatism.