out reservation to the authentic Americanrnculture that the super-culture dominatesrnand seeks to destroy. Hence, anyrnsuggestion of cultural and political radicalismrnby the Old Right or the New towardrnthe goals of uprooting the dominantrnculture has been greeted b)- thernneoconservatives as “extremist,” “reactionary,”rn”racist,” “antisemitic,” or “anti-rnAmerican.” That is how they greetedrnChronicles, as well as Pat Buchanan inrnthe 1980’s and 90’s. That is also howrnthey greeted their own colleague Fr.rnRichard John Neuhaus and the symposiumrnhis magazine First Things publishedrnin 1996 on the “end of democracy,”rnand, not surprisingly, that is howrnthey greeted Mr. Weyrich’s letter lastrnFebruar’.rnThus Wall Street ]oumal neoconrncolumnist Paul Gigot, in a column entitledrn”New Right Now Sounds Like OldrnLeft,” calls Mr. Weyrich’s letter “anti-rnAmerican” for suggesting that Americanrnculture is corrupt and for “blamingrnAmerica first.” When neocons talkrnabout “America,” what they mean is thernsoft managerial regime that has evolvedrnsince the New Deal, what the late MurrayrnRothbard called the “welfare-warfarernstate,” and when they compare peoplernon the right to the “Old Left” (the samerncharge was made against Chronicles andrnlater Pat Buchanan), they mean that thernright is as anti-American as George Mc-rnGovern and Ramsey Clark. While theyrnmay dislike or have some reservationsrnabout the exact contours and content ofrnthe next metamorphosis of the managerialrnstate into the New World Order, neoconser’rnatives generally have much morernof a problem with radicals of the rightrnworking to reverse the direction of history’rnthan with forces of the left pushing historyrn”forward.”rnMr. Weyrich, however, appears tornthink that political conservatism hasrnfailed not because it has neglected thernauthentic American culture but becausernthat culture itself is corrupt or has withered.rnHe now asserts that “I do not believernthat a majority’ of Americans actuallyrnshares our values” and that “if therernreally were a moral majority out there.rnBill Clinton would have been driven outrnof office months ago.” But the failure torndimip Clinton proves very little, andrnthere are several other reasons why it occurred.rnMr. Weyrich himself acknowledgesrnone—”the lack of political will onrnthe part of Republicans” —but there arernothers: the inability of the “moral majority”rn(if that’s the right term for it) to mobilizernits political will in a society wherernnational political expression has becomernlargely a monopoly of the dominant culture;rnthe fact that many Americans,rnwhile not approving of Mr. Clinton’s sexrnlife, believe he has been a good Presidentrnwho has kept the economy strong; andrnlastly, the failure of the self-proclaimedrnopposition to Mr. Clinton—the conservativernmovement—to persuade mostrnAmericans that the President should berndumped.rnTwo reflections emerge from consideringrnMr. Weyrich’s lamentations aboutrnthe Waterloo of the right. In the firstrnplace, almost every complaint he lodgesrnagainst what he thinks is the moralrnwreckage of American society, the “everwiderrnsewer” in which he seems to thinkrnmost Americans are wallowing, is in factrna complaint against the dominant culture.rn”Even now,” he writes, entirelyrntruthftdly,rnfor the first time in their lives, peoplernhave to be afraid of what theyrnsay. This has never been true inrnthe history of our country. Yet today,rnif you say the “wrong thing,”rnyou suddenly have legal problems,rnpolitical problems, you might evenrnlose your job or be expelled fromrncollege. Certain topics are forbidden.rnYou can’t approach the truthrnabout a lot of different subjects. Ifrnyou do, you are immediatelyrnbranded as “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,”rn”insensitive,” or “judgmental.”rnBut as correct as this passage is, it isrnstill a complaint against the dominantrnculture, not the traditional one. Peoplernget fired for expressing forbidden thoughtsrnin universities, corporations, TV networks,rnand newspapers, but not at locally ov^’nedrnand operated farms, schools, and businesses.rnMr. Weyrich does not cite a singlerninstance to support his claim thatrn”Americans have adopted in large measurernthe MTV culture that we so valiantlyrnopposed just a few years ago.”rnSecondly, one should also reflect that,rnamong the alternative reasons suggestedrnabove for the failure to dump Clinton,rnthe most important have to do simplyrnwith the failure of the political right.rnThe “majority,” whether moral or not,rnnever does much of anvthing; elites —rnminorities—always rule, and this is asrntrue of organized conservatism as of organizedrnsocialism and communism.rnThe elite of organized conservatism inrnthe United States for the last 20 yearsrnhas been the neoconservative-dominatedrn”conservative movement,” in whichrnMr. Weyrich and his New Rightists wererncaptains, and when he complains thatrn”Americans have adopted the MTV culture”rnand ceased to be moral, one has tornsuspect that the problem is not that thernmajority of Americans have ceased to bernmoral but that the majorit}’ just doesn’trnpay much attention to Paul Weyrich andrnthe “movement” he helped create. Thernmajorit)’ has paid little attention to thernmovement’s insistence that it was RonaldrnReagan, not Bill Clinton, who fixedrnthe economy and destroyed communismrnso that we no longer have to go tornwar against it; the majority has paid littlernattention to the concoction of conspiracyrntheories, pornographic speculation, andrnthinly masked partisan gloating that hasrncharacterized the ckmisy conservativerncrusade against Mr. Clinton; and thernmajority has displayed very little interestrnin submitting to the political leadershiprnof the “conservative movement” or anyonernassociated with it. The majority, tornput it quite bluntly, pays no attentionrnwhatsoever to organized conservatism,rnand it does not do so for a very good reason:rnThe kind of conservatism that hasrncome to prevail in the United States overrnthe last generation—neoconservativesrnand their unemployable children and inlaws,rnthe Beltway Right, and the flyingrnsquadrons of semi-literate “New Righfrnbumpkins—has virtually nothing to sayrnworth paying attention to.rnIf the campaign to dump Bill Clintonrnis a flop, that’s too bad, but the nationrnwill survive it. What the nation cannotrnsurvive is a politics without a right—atrnleast a right in opposition but, one wouldrnhope, also a right that is able to becomernthe dominant force in national politicsrnand culture. Mr. Weyrich is correct thatrntoday the nation doesn’t have a right ofrnthat kind and that the one it does have isrna total and absolute dud. He’s not correctrnthat the absence or failure of thernright is the fault of the American majorityrnor proof of the collapse of the realrnAmerican culture: It’s the fault of thernright itself and of the course on whichrnthe organized right has been ttaveling forrnthe last decade. Mr. Weyrich himselfrnhelped place it on that course. If he hasrnnow learned how to redirect it onto arnmore fruitful one, he will have somethingrnuseful to tell us in the future. crn36/CHRONICLESrnrnrn