So, the great nation builder is leaving the White House, his vision of a peaceful Middle East just a pipe dream, something poor old W used to know something about.  I say poor old W because he was, after all, taken in by his very own Vice President, a treacherous and cowardly man, a character William Shakespeare would have had a lot of fun inventing.  Cheney and his neocon plotters established a shadow government, made up the myth of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and allowed useful Israel First idiots in the media to do the rest.  Five years on, hundreds of thousands on both sides lie dead or crippled for life, millions have become refugees, and Iran is the superpower of the region.  Uncle Sam, in the meantime, has a galloping fever that could prove fatal unless radical medication is applied.  And those responsible for the mess remain—like herpes—impossible to extricate from the body politic, infecting everyone and everything they come into contact with.

The trouble is no one in this country of ours seems to learn anything from past mistakes.  Eight years in Afghanistan have only strengthened the Taliban and enriched those who sell the West drugs—hardly the purpose of our original mission there.  The only good thing to report about our failed mission, in a place no foreigner has ever prevailed, is that it may have stopped the crazed Cheney from sending troops to Georgia to fight the big bad Russian bear.  Why should Georgia and the Ukraine join NATO?  So we can dispatch young Americans to fight for them one day soon?

In the aftermath of the 2008 election, I had a chance to attend a meeting of the Mencken Club in Baltimore, where I was supposed to speak to an audience of learned folk who think along the lines Chronicles readers do.  I never made it.  What was there to say?  That it was Republicans who allowed the neocons in our tent in the first place?  That it was my mentor Bill Buckley who facilitated them as they pushed out the Sobrans and Brimelows and Buchanans?  That it was Republicans who spread false stories about a lady from Alaska ensuring an Obama victory?  That it was a GOP president who kept Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman instead of sending him to Hollywood to be Lindsay Lohan’s agent?  That it is the GOP that is still in denial about neocons and foreign wars?  Nah, I “stood” in bed instead.  Conservatives lost the battle long ago, when they got infected by the Frums of this world, the Frums being experts in destroying a party or an idea from within.

Does this mean I’m throwing in the towel?  Have never done it yet, but I’m thinking of sport.  Politics I hate, but when people like myself get so disgusted that they feel like throwing in the white rag, it’s time to wake up.  The Kristols, Podhoretzes, Frums, and the rest of the grotesque neocons cannot be allowed to prevail.  Let’s face it.  Americans still believe in freedom and democracy, low rather than high taxes, marriage between men and women, strong families, personal liberty, and states’ rights.  Many of them still see America as a republic, not an empire, and, most important of all, do not believe in open borders and unlimited immigration.  The beating the GOP took last November was the result of the Bush administration’s cynicism in ignoring the tradition the country was founded on.  Amnesty is something dictators grant to those imprisoned for disagreeing with them, not to those who broke the laws of a democracy.  America became a great country because of the cohesion of her citizens, not because she is diverse.  America became a great country because European-Americans made her great.  Yet European-Americans will soon be a minority in the country, as they are in many large American cities and in states such as California and Texas.  Multiculturalism in old Europe has led not to integration but to segregation.  It was intended to promote tolerance, but it has promoted unease and violence in societies more abrasive, fractured, and intolerant than they once were.

In Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, liberal democracy is in danger.  Free speech is at risk, and a combination of political correctness and ethno-religious separatism is eroding the graciousness of civil society.  Paris, London, Manchester, Leeds, Marseille, Milan, and other European cities have no-go areas for whites.  Is this what we want for our cities?  Europe may have lost a shared set of moral values, but do we wish to emulate her?  As Pat Buchanan wrote, “How, when tribalism is everywhere ascendant, is diversity a strength?”

Computers, the internet, and satellite television are rapidly changing life.  With the new technologies the idea of an autonomous national culture is going down Swanee—and fast.  A national culture is predicated on the idea of a canon, from which people share a set of values and references—a public vocabulary, so to speak.  I remember the days when a politician could cite the Bible and expect people to know what he was alluding to.  If he did that today he’d probably be brought up on charges by some diversity ombudsman.  We conservatives have been infected by foreign bodies, as has the GOP.  We need new ideas for policies, and we need to go back to basics.  Otherwise, they will one day resurrect us as they are about to resurrect the mammoth.