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Publius blames for it: “The whole enterprise of Conservatism, Inc., reeks of failure.” This is magical thinking of the highest order: conservatives opposed huge swaths of the Bush agenda, and stopped some elements (amnesty, for example) dead.
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We are meant to learn three things from this byline: first, that the author is a classics genius familiar with the writings of Livy; second, that he is a hero willing to die for his cause (but not give his name for it); and finally, that he’s just like the founding fathers, who wrote pseudonymously, in his love of ideas. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto.But in the end, the only fellow lacking virtù is the one who hides behind Donald Trump’s skirts and a pseudonym to tar those with whom he disagrees, and to do so while falsely representing his paleoconservative nastiness as a defense of conservatism. Publius has wasted ten pages of valuable paper excusing his own cowardice in failing to fight the left (where’s been all this time, other than giving money to Democrats? But the author isn’t even willing to risk harm to his own name to launch his often baseless attacks.Publius channels Susan Hayward: “Trump, alone among candidates for high office in this or in the last seven (at least) cycles, has stood up to say: I want to live. It’s just an argument for the restoration of the Reform Party circa 1999.Finally, Publius ends with the most cherished chestnut of Trumpism: a refusal to vote for Trump is a preference for Hillary Clinton.Publius’ oddest argument is that conservatives have been losing, and only losing, for decades. He dismisses conservative solutions on crime with a wave of his perfumed fingers: “And what has this temporary crime (or welfare, for that matter) decline done to stem the greater tide?The tsunami of leftism that still engulfs our every—literal and figurative—shore has receded not a bit but indeed has grown.They’ve done it by nominating an amply unfit leftist for high office and calling him the solution to leftism.And now they insist that everyone join them, or undermine conservatism – the cause they say they don’t care about because it’s been losing for decades.This line alone should discredit the piece on grounds of total intellectual dishonesty. I have spoken about America’s trajectory toward the cliff for literally months, using that precise language, and I’ve done so regarding the Trump/Clinton election. ” What sort of “fundamental” change is Publius looking for, you ask?Unfortunately, the piece continues for another 9 pages of closely-written chicken entrails. I’ve argued that the cliff we’re headed for cannot be averted by anything less than conservatism, and it certainly can’t be averted by Republicans turning over the future of conservatism to a Big Government corporatist things are bad, they really just want to defend the status quo: “Oh, sure, they want some things to change. ("Interesting choice of phrase, that." -- Barack Obama) Not conservatism – that’s failed: “Decentralization and federalism are all well and good, and as a conservative, I endorse them both without reservation.