Charlottesville was a shameful disaster, and the responses from America’s elites were far from encouraging. Most of them amounted to “Who started it?” That is the response of a child. But then again, “Antifa came better-armed and was more violent overall” is as morally asinine a statement as “Why didn’t Trump clearly denounce the KKK?” What was needed after Charlottesville was not a battle of Whataboutisms, of politically charged puerility, but of moral conviction and clarity—particularly from conservatives.
Despite the warnings of Russell Kirk, M.E. Bradford, Chronicles, and precious few others, conservatives yielded to the temptation of ideology a long time ago. Conservatism, the “anti-ideology,” has thus negated itself. It is now little more than a set of policy objectives that exist to the right of the radical left, on a spectrum that is apparently bounded by incest and cannibalism, on one end, and jackbooted oppression of the Other, on the other. On the left end of the spectrum, slightly to the right of incest and cannibalism, are the right to mace and bludgeon political opponents (“hate speech is not free speech!”); the taxpayer-funded emasculation of psychotic soldiers (when will you stop persecuting our legions of transgendered warriors?); and the promise of wonder drugs made from baby parts. On the right end of the spectrum, slightly to the left of “Hail, victory!” and “Jews will not replace us!” are a federal Defense Department that feels compelled to bomb the Taliban until every last jihadist on earth is dead, and a Justice Department that feels compelled to brandish its bona fides by investigating the Charlottesville homicide “to protest against racism and bigotry.” So when an idiot high on his own racial victimhood and “saving the West” runs over and kills a leftist social-justice warrior with his sports car, federalism goes out the window.
Where is truth on this spectrum? In the middle? Slightly to the right of center? The “far” right? The “Alt”? The reactionary, traditional, and genuinely conservative answer is “nowhere”: The spectrum itself is a lie.
Here, we are playing a ridiculous game. The Cultural Left that now winks at Antifa violence and intimidation is the same Cultural Left that created the womanizing, decadent, blustering billionaire celebrity character known as Donald J. Trump; NBC made him a star and worshiped the image of what they now call the beast. It is obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that Trump is not a racist, or secretly in bed with David Duke and Richard Spencer. But now we are engaged in a great civil war, and power-hungry radicals of every stripe will always prefer disingenuously to cast the conflict in terms of freeing the slaves instead of preserving the revenues.
What still unites us? Our commitment to “equality”? “Liberty”? “Whiteness”? “Colorblindness”? These questions are now being asked, understandably so, given the intensity of the simmering conflict between the Alts Left and Right, which is shoved into our faces every day, so long as we continue to look at our televisions, laptops, and smartphones. Clearly, the question must be answered. And clearly, the answer is none of the above.
Reality exists apart from the human will and psyche. Either we assent to it and conform to it, or we don’t. And the essential reality here is this: We are not “the ones we’ve been waiting for”; we are who we are. As such we are already united as Americans, members of families, citizens of our cities, counties, states, and country. We have borders, the “bounds of our habitation,” laws, and long-held customs. Our duty is to remember and defend these things within the context of our God-given responsibilities, our “estates.” There exists no duty to march around like an angry leftist mob eager to render evil for evil, or to dream up a new ideology or history around which to rally, or to claim victim status, or to spend our days denouncing whatever the media have identified as the hate crime du jour.
The reactionary does not answer revolution with revolution: He fights anarchy to reestablish order, in view of the transcendent moral order established by his Creator.
Before we can defend, we must first remember. Anamnesis is required to break out of the false left-right spectrum. Transgenderism, feminism, same-sex marriage—the denial of our freedom to speak out against these things is not so little a thing as a violation of our (incorporated) First Amendment rights. It is an assault on reality itself. Such an assault cannot be met with protests and chants, or ultimately with appeals to courts. When an entire generation has been force-fed liberal pablum via its schools, politicians, entertainers, and even its churches, any appeal to prescribed liberties will be met with mace and clubs. There is no longer a recognized basis for justice, let alone magnanimity.
We can no longer afford to ignore or fail to speak the revealed truths of what it means to be a man, woman, husband, wife, son, daughter, neighbor, or citizen. If we continue to refuse to do so, it will matter little which side—left or right—retains power in Washington, D.C.