rection of the representative leader of arnpolitical persuasion and faction that hasrnno tangible popular support outside thernBeltway was a calculated kick in the groinrnto the right by the party’s leadership, arnkick to which the right, after its platformrntriumph, was unable to respond with thernonly weapon it had left, the threat of secessionrnfrom the party; and if this ticketrnwins the race against President Clinton,rnits victory will almost certainly mean thernpolitical extinction of the kind of conser-rn’atism the Buchananite right represents.rnIf the ticket wins, Mr, Kemp as vicernpresident will be positioned for his ownrnrace for the White House in 2000 and,rnbarring a disaster in the Dole administration,rnwill have the inside track to thernnomination. Even if the ticket loses, it isrnnot difficult to anticipate what the neoconservativernand e’en the liberal line willrnbe—that Mr. Buchanan and the rightrnstuck the ticket with an “extremist” platformrnthat simply frightened away mainstreamrnvoters, that the decrepit Mr. Dolernwas not supportive of Mr. Kemp’s pollygogglernpolicy-wonkism and refused tornunleash his running mate’s bottomlessrngenius, that Mr. Kemp was the unsungrnhero of the 1996 ticket and ought to berngiven another opportunity to crush thernnarrow-minded ^Ir. Buchanan and to redefinernthe American right in his ownrngenerous Lineolnesque image. Win orrnlose, then, the real victor to emerge fromrnthe Byzantine backstairs politics of SanrnDiego this summer will be Mr. Kemprnand his Beltway cabal, who will proceedrnto redefine the American right in theirrnown terms and to back up their redefinitionrnwith political power.rnFor the Buchananite right, the ChristianrnRight, the Old Right, the HardrnRight, the paleoconservatives, and thernpaleolibertarians, that will mean politicalrnoblivion, the final disappearance of anyrnserious hope of influencing Americanrnpolitics in a direction away from the gargantuanrnstate and the state’s alliancernwith both oxerclass and underclassrnagainst the middle class, or in a directionrntoward dismantling the warfare-welfarernstate, controlling immigration, reversingrnthe erosion of national sovereignty, withdrawingrnfrom the pursuit of a globalistimperialistrnforeign policy, and restoring arnEurocentric cultural order. It is onernthing to lose an election, but as long asrnthe losers are able to define the opposition,rnthey retain the possibility of eventualrnN’ictory. It is another thing to lose thernopposition itself, to allow not only thernvictors but the losers themselves to definernthe terms of debate and the rules ofrnthe game. That is what the election, andrnmaybe even the defeat, of the Dole-rnKemp ticket this year would mean—thatrnit is not the real right that defines the oppositionrnand sets the framework of thernpolitical discourse but the fake right thernDole-Kemp ticket represents.rnOf course, the rank-and-file Republicanrnand the average citizen who votes forrnthis ticket against Mr. Clinton cannot bernblamed for his choice. Supporting thernreelection of an administration led byrnone of the most repulsive men in Americanrnpolitical history, mottled with therngangrene of corruption and sexual licensernand emitting the stench of tyranny,rnis not a choice most decent Americansrnshould welcome, regardless of theirrnpolitical beliefs. But the fact is that thernreelection of Bill Clinton might just bernbetter for the nation and the only politicalrnforces able to salvage it than the victoryrnof Mr. Dole and his running mate.rnThe evils of the Clinton era should notrnbe the trump card by which a rival party,rntoday almost indistinguishable from thernDemocrats in their basic worldview andrnpolicies, is allowed to win a rigged deal.rnAt least since the nomination ofrnDwight Eisenhower in 1952, the realrnright in the United States has voted forrnthe Republican ticket on the groundsrnthat it was choosing the lesser of twornevils, and every four years we hear thernsame refrain from the ticket’s apologistsrn—that the country just cannot survivernAdlai Stevenson, John Kennedy,rnLyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey,rnGeorge McGovern, Jimmy Carter, WalterrnMondale, Michael Dukakis, or BillrnClinton. But the truth is that of course itrndoes survive and that the victories of therncentrist Republicans who are these villains’rnfoes never make any difference anyway.rnConservatives, having workedrnthemselves into a dither over the iniquityrnof the Democrats, fall for this argumentrnin e’er’ election, and then, within a fewrnyears or a few weeks, are amazed to findrnthat the centrist Republican candidatesrnwhom they have put in power have betrayedrnand ignored them once again.rnThe argument that we just have to supportrnthe lesser of two evils to avoid destructionrnis merely a formula by whichrnevil is perpetuated in pou’er and byrnwhich men and measures that are notrnevil are driven into perpetual exile; if thernreal right listens to the formula et againrnthis vear, it ma’ be the last time it willrnenjoy the opportunity to hear it.rnYet it may be that I exaggerate. NeitherrnMr. Dole nor Mr. Kemp is able tornrepresent the social forces that are beginningrnto rally around the real right thatrnthey managed to snooker at their conventionrnthis year, and it remains questionablernif Mr. Dole’s endless rehearsalsrnof his adventures in a war that endedrnmore than 50 years ago and Mr. Kemp’srnchildish bubble-chatter about Utopias ofrnhigh technology, unlimited growth, andrneverybody getting rich will speak to thernpeople whom Whittaker Chambersrncalled “the plain men and women of thernnation,” who see their material wealth,rntheir communities, their nation, theirrnpeople, and their civilization vanishingrnbefore their eyes. Even if they are stillrnunwilling to embrace what the real rightrnoffers and even if no such alternative isrnavailable to them, they may yet find alternativesrnin Ross Perot, the LibertarianrnParty, the Taxpayers Party, and other vehiclesrnthat are reasonable facsimiles andrnwhich come a lot closer than what therntwo “major parties” offer.rnIt may be, then, that what we saw inrnSan Diego this summer and what we arernseeing now in the race between Huey,rnDewey, and Louie is simply the last gasprnof a dying political system that is designedrnto ensure that no alternative andrnno challenge to the interests it protectsrncan emerge. Unable to attract a mass politicalrnfollowing on their own merits,rnthose interests must advance candidatesrnlike Mr. Dole, Mr. Kemp, and Mr. Clintonrnwho offer the best counterfeits of thernreal right they can concoct, and MiddlernAmericans are increasingly biting hardrnon the currency they peddle to test its realrnvalue. It may be that the present twopartyrndomination of national politics isrnnow so exhausted that Middle Americansrnwill soon emerge in their own partyrnwith their own agenda and consciousnessrnunencumbered by the trivia and distractionsrnof the major parties. But whatrnought to have become clear is that thisrnagenda and consciousness cannot be advancedrnby either the established leadershiprnof the Republican Party or even byrnthe party’s right wing that allows itself tornbe swindled for a meaningless platformrnthat the leadership despises.rnNOVEMBER 1996/41rnrnrn