What A Real American Conservative Sounds Like
On the afternoon of March 7th here in Korea, late night on March 6th in the U.S., I sat down at my office computer and signed into my e-mail account with the vague idea of asking a few of my American friends for their immediate responses to the newly unveiled RepubliCare bill. As it happens, one of those friends, conservative writer Steve McCann, had anticipated my effort, sending me this unsolicited comment, the way one does when one just has to say it to someone:
The feckless Republican leadership have at long last given birth to their replacement for ObamaCare. Voila, it is ObamaCare Part Deux. Surprise Surprise!! Now the fun and games begin.
Your article on March 4 re Health Care was prescient as usual. The Republican Party of today is in essence the Democratic Party of the 1990’s so nothing they do is unexpected if one just takes a cursory look at the Clinton years.
Not only was I pleasantly surprised to receive McCann’s e-mail, as one always is when a friend gets in touch, but I was also and even more pleasantly unsurprised by his assessment of the situation. His perspective perfectly mirrored mine, and was exactly what I thought I’d hear from anyone who abhors socialism, progressivism, and in general our state-manipulated late modernity.
McCann’s first reaction was simply what I have come to expect from anyone I would call a friend at this stage of my life: serious, principled, intellectually honest, and uncompromising — the very opposite of the kind of mealy-mouthedness that has come to typify “respectable” political commentary, i.e., establishmentarianism. Such straightforward virtues are normal from McCann, a WWII orphan who was shot as a child while trying to rescue a girl from being raped, who ended up being raised in America and loving his new country, who achieved great success in the business world without losing his dignity, and who now, in his later years, seeing his adoptive nation succumbing to the progressive monster he had narrowly escaped in Europe, has taken to writing political commentary to warn his countrymen against the folly of their current drift.
In short, McCann speaks without layers of euphemism or sycophancy because he is what people of a now-distant past would have called…well, a man. Recent years, and particularly this Trump moment, have put a premium on manhood, as a whole lot of people who tried to play that role when the winds were blowing in the right direction have sold whatever was left of their souls to remain relevant, i.e., pettily successful, reason and virtue be damned. So at this time above all, I cherish my friends for providing a happy reminder of what the human species might be, as opposed to the humiliating, shrunken thing it has proven so eager to become.
For as my friend and I were commiserating on the special form of treason that is the Republican Party’s systematic crushing of the history and hopes of constitutional conservatism, many other “commentators” (i.e., establishment shills and climbers) were endeavoring to concoct semi-plausible-sounding apologies for what they quickly and cleverly took to calling “Ryan’s bill.” (These same people would never have condoned the Affordable Care Act being called PelosiCare, thereby absolving President Obama of responsibility.) Already, the mainstream “conservative” media — someone needs to invent double or triple scare quotes for words used with tongue so firmly in cheek that it almost punches right through — has issued a thousand excuses and “good news/bad news” mollifications, just as they did for John Roberts’ betrayal of his sworn duty in his individual mandate judgment back in 2012.
The purpose and likely effect of this nauseating wave of “It’s a good start” obfuscations is to muddy the judgmental waters enough to obscure the righteous condemnation coming from genuine conservatives. All this to save a presidency that is hardly worth saving, but which only exists in the first place due to the Republican establishment’s concerted effort to end principled politics in America once and for all. As McCann himself wrote a year ago:
With the nomination of Donald Trump the conservative movement is destined to be cast into the wilderness for perhaps a generation, as there will be no vehicle, i. e. political party, in which they can assume control of the levers of power. This nation will be well on the way into fully evolving into a Euro-Socialist Democracy. The ideals of individual freedom, economic opportunity and government of and by the people will just be slogans chiseled in marble at various national monuments. The Republican Party elites will have succeeded in casting out conservatism from their midst, but at the cost of eliminating any opposition party and eventuating the further decline of the United States.
And that is the real meaning of all the self-described conservative pundits, radio voices, and think-tankers out there today justifying TrumpCare, and pleading with conservatives to bend over and take it yet again — to “fall on their swords,” as the laughably disingenuous Charles Krauthammer put it — in order to “save Trump’s presidency.”
To hell with Trump’s presidency, if the price of saving it is the end of the United States of America as even a dim shadow of a free republic.