Our recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good. Trump and his minions falsely claimed that he won the election, and have kept repeating the Big Lie. And we now know how close he came to subverting the Constitution.
Opening prayer today at Eric Trump and Michael Flynn’s QAnon event: “God, open the eyes of Pres Trump’s understanding, that he will know how to implement divine intervention. And you will not surround him with RINO trash, in the name of Jesus.” pic.twitter.com/56vsiVxzs0— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) October 22, 2022
Trump Threatens Journalists With Prison Rape in Bizarre Rant About Supreme Court Leaker: If They Don't Give Them Up, They'll Be 'The Bride of Another Prisoner' https://t.co/pBA1133Dbj— Mediaite (@Mediaite) October 23, 2022
Whereas the far left sees America as irredeemably racist, the far right sees America as irredeemably woke. All of the institutions of American life are “captured” by the left—from the academy, to corporate America, to the military, to pop culture. Even our churches and religious schools are infected by wokeism. Conservatives have conserved nothing.
Here’s a version of that argument by John Daniel Davidson, a senior editor at The Federalist:
After all, what have conservatives succeeded in conserving? In just my lifetime, they have lost much: marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years, the First Amendment, any semblance of control over our borders, a fundamental distinction between men and women, and, especially of late, the basic rule of law.
Here’s Michael Anton, the author of 2016’s notorious Flight 93 essay, writing in American Greatness:
Have we conserved [the American regime]? Does it function as it was designed to do? As a political scientist, and as a historian of sorts before that, I find the question laughable. If any of you want to make the case that we still live in the founders’ regime, go ahead.
The radical left seethes with fury at the America that was and believes that the America that is cannot escape its horrific past, at least not without revolutionary change. The radical right longs for the America that was, loathes the America that is, and believes the America that will be is doomed, at least not without revolutionary change.
This is the postliberal call. This is where nationalist conservatives want to wield power to “reward friends and punish enemies.” This is where Davidson says, “The government will have to become, in the hands of conservatives, an instrument of renewal in American life—and in some cases, a blunt instrument indeed.”
That means, in his words, “a dramatic expansion of the criminal code.” This means draconian restrictions on free speech and on parents’ rights. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Again, here’s Davidson:
To those who worry that power corrupts, and that once the right seizes power it too will be corrupted, they certainly have a point. If conservatives manage to save the country and rebuild our institutions, will they ever relinquish power and go the way of Cincinnatus? It is a fair question, and we should attend to it with care after we have won the war.
Anton, for his part, calls for rediscovering “the right of revolution”:
I maintain it as axiomatic that you can’t have natural rights without a right of revolution, just as you can’t have the founding without an actual revolution, and since you can’t have the regime of the founders without natural rights, you can’t have the founding principles or the founders’ regime without a right of revolution.