The Lost Cause of Conservatism


A reader writes:

Your post is interesting, and you take apart Jonah’s 'review' brick by brick, but surely you realize it doesn’t matter.

You, as a conservative that has broken faith with the movement, simply must be punished. Surely you know that's how 'conservatism' works these day, as Bramwell notes in his American Conservative essay.

'Conservatism' is a lost cause, because as passionately as what we might call coherent conservatives (you perhaps chief among them) might defend it, the overwhelming bulk of the movement is not interested in intellectual honesty, will never admit its mistakes (as you and Glenn Greenwald have written, this sort of 'conservatism' can never fail, it can only BE failed) and will never, under any circumstances, come around to your arguments.

'Conservatism' has been so bastardized, so compromised, so interested in ideological purity that the thing you pine for, that realistic, pragmatic philosophy, is lost forever. What you argue for, then, is really a different kind of political philosophy, separate from the two that prevail in the U.S. today (and that's being charitable, to say that the Democrats have a 'prevailing' philosophy).

Give it a new name, and quit thinking that conservatives will come around if only they open their eyes. As should be manifestly clear by now, that is never going to happen.