organization of those forces into a coherent political coalition.rnThat coalition includes the remnants of the “Old Right,” asrnwell as various single-issue constituencies (pro-lifers, antiimmigrationrnactivists, protectionists) to which Buchanan is onernof the few voices to speak. But it would be a serious error tornsqueeze Buchanan into an orthodox conservative pigeonholernfrom which he is merely trying to lead a replay of the Goldwaterrncampaign, the candidacies of John Ashbrook or Phil Crane,rnor the Reagan movement, and especially in the last year he hasrnexpressed and developed ideas with which most adherents ofrnthe conventional American right—mainstream conservative,rnpaleoconservative, or libertarian—are not comfortable. Butrnconventional conservative doctrines today are virtually extinctrnpolitically, for the simple reason that the social groups thatrnfound them expressive of their interests and ‘alues no longerrnexist or no longer are able to command a significant politicalrnfollowing, and as a result, conservative ideological candidatesrnlike Alan Keyes or Robert Dornan who insist on campaigningrnon those doctrines rise no higher than two to three percent inrnthe polls. One major reason for the underestimation ofrnBuchanan’s prospects and for the surprise with which most analystsrnhave greeted his unexpected success lay in their mistakenrnassumption that Buchanan was simply vet another right-wingrnprotestor, calling the party and those parts of the nation thatrnwould listen to him to pick up the torch of doctrine and wave itrnuntil the waters of political and cultural darkness extinguishedrnit. The reason Buchanan has not been submerged is that therntorch he carries illuminates new social forces that only now arernforming a common political consciousness. What is importantrnabout these forces is not that a campaign centered on themrndoes not now win major elections (indeed, it would be a fatalrnerror if they succeeded in winning prematurely) but that thernBuchanan campaign for the first time in recent history offersrnthem an organized mode of expression that will allow them torndevelop and mature their consciousness and their power.rnThose forces consist, of course, of the broad social and culturalrnspectrum of Middle America. Middle American groupsrnare more and more coming to perceive their exploitation at thernhands of the dominant elites. The exploitation works on severalrnfronts—economically, by hypertaxation and the design of arnglobalized economv dependent on exports and services in placernof manufacturing; culturally, by the managed destruction ofrnMiddle American norms and institutions; and politically, byrnthe regimentation of Middle Americans under the federalrnleviathan.rnThe significant polarization within American society is betweenrnthe elites, increasingly unified as a ruling class that reliesrnon the national state as its principal instrument of power, andrnMiddle America itself, which lacks the technocratic and managerialrnskills that ield control of the machinery of power. Otherrnpolarities and conflicts within American society—betweenrnreligious and secular, white and black, national and global,rnworker and management—are beginning to fit into this largerrnpolarity of Middle American and Ruling Class. The RulingrnClass uses and is used by secularist, globalist, antiwhite, andrnanti-Western forces for its and their advantage.rnThe interests that drive Middle American social and politicalrnforces are considerably different from those that drove therngroups that generally supported one or another version of “conservatism”rnin the era during and after the New Deal. Old Rightrnconservatism was a body of ideas that appealed mainly to businessmenrnof the haute bourgeoisie and their localized, middleclassrnadherents, a social base that 20th-century social and economicrntransformations effectivelv wiped out. Old Right conservatismrndefended a limited, decentralized, and largely neutralrnnational government and the ethic of small-town, small-business,rnAnglo-Saxon Protestantism. As the social base of the OldrnRight withered in the post-Depression and post-World War IIrneras, the political and intellectual right essentially divorced itselfrnfrom these declining interests and forces and evolved newrnand far less socially rooted ideologies that represented almostrnno one outside the narrow academic and journalistic circlesrnthat formulated them.rnBy the I950’s and 60’s, “movement” conservatives habituallyrnquibbled with each other over the subtler points of their doctrinesrnlike late medieval Scholastic theologians, and the doctrinesrnthemselves—a bastardized libertarianism that onlyrnvaguely resembled its classical liberal and Old Whig ancestors,rnglobalist anticommunism that slowly garbed itself in the costumesrnof Wilsonian democratism, and increasingly abstrusernmetaphysical and theological ponderosities—attracted nonernbut dissident intellectuals and proved useless as vehicles forrntransporting a mass following to electoral victory.rnNeoconservatism, emerging in the late 1960’s and early 70’s,rnwas even worse. Far less cerebral than the abstractions churnedrnout by 1950’s conservative intellectualism, but quicker on therndraw when it came to political showdowns, neoconservatismrngained the adherence of no one but still other eggheads alienatedrnfrom the establishment left and contemptuous of theirrnnewfound allies on the right.rnGiven the collapse of the social base of the right and the addictionrnof right-wing intellectuals to ideological navel-gazing,rnthe political right could no longer develop serious politicalrnstrategies. All it could do was pick up odd clusters of voters whornwere fearful of crime, resentful of racial integration, worriedrnabout communist takeovers, eager to remove federal fingersrnfrom their pockets, or passionate about the defense of businessrninterests, the last subject never straying far from what remainedrnof the right-wing mind. One way or another, the right managedrnto keep congressional seats and occasionally win the oddrnpresidential election, but its victories were flukish, dependingrnon the foibles of the opposition, and it was unable either to penetraternor dislodge the dominant culture created by the left or tornwin the firm allegiance of Middle Americans. There wasrnenough in the rhetoric of Richard Nixon’s “New Majority” andrnRonald Reagan’s appeal to Southern and blue-collar Democratsrnto stitch together momentary triumphs, but the persistentrnresidues of pro-business conservative ideology and the failure torndeliver on social and cultural commitments to Middle Americanrnconstituencies prevented the consolidation of an enduringrncoalition with real roots in existing social forces and the culturernthose forces supported.rnMiddle Americans, emerging from the ruins of the old independentrnmiddle and working classes, found conservative, libertarian,rnand pro-business Republican ideology and rhetoricrnirrelevant, distasteful, and even threatening to their ownrnsocioeconomic interests. The post-Wodd War II middle classrnwas in reality an affluent proletariat, economically dependentrnon the federal government through labor codes, housing loans,rneducational programs, defense contracts, and health and unemploymentrnbenefits. All variations of conservative doctrinernrejected these as illegitimate extensions of the state and boastedrnof plans to abolish most of them, and Middle Americanrnallegiance to political parties and candidates espousing suchrnMARCH 1996/13rnrnrn