Still A Tory After All

Sometimes the shrill accusations of being a leftist turncoat rattle me a little. And then I realize I'm not alone:

Increasingly, British Tories wonder what has happened to their American relatives. It’s as if your favorite cousin had a nervous breakdown, found religion, and became an evangelist for an apocalyptic cult prophesying the imminent end of the world as we know and love it.

The scale of this trans-Atlantic distancing was revealed by a survey last year that found that 48 percent of prospective Tory MPs supported Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Tellingly, the Republicans invited to speak at Conservative Party conferences in recent yearsArnold Schwarzenegger and John McCainare the kind most despised by many grassroots conservatives in the United States.

Beck’s brand of conservatism could scarcely be more alien to a Brit. Its startling popularity in the United States would once have been an underground phenomenon; now, thanks to satellite television, the issues and attitudes that animate the conservative base can be seen, in all their gruesome glory, across the world.