Untimely Observations

How to Succeed at Conservatism (Without Really Trying)


My young friend Richard Spencer is thinking about a career change, and he wisely asked my advice about what he can do in order to be invited on FOX as a regular contributor. Although Richard has loads of charm and sex appeal, he nonetheless lacks the kind of worldview that's essential for one to become a movement conservative spokesperson. And so I would like to propose these minimal attitudinal changes, without which he might find it hard to move up professionally: 

  1. Richard should incessantly talk up democracy and human rights, and whenever he proposes a foreign policy, he should stress its relevance for promoting democratic equality for everyone on the planet. It may be equally useful to mention Lincoln, Truman, Churchill (who was a distant relative of Richard's), and above all, Martin Luther King in soliciting support for a particular position -- for example, blowing up Iran to punish its leadership for denying the Holocaust. Richard should be vocal in his condemnation of the Mullahs and other Muslim dignitaries who "repress" gays and women and who deny directly or indirectly a certain catastrophe to which I've already alluded.
  2. Richard is going to have to rethink his critical relation to Third World immigration. What he should be saying is what the RNC has been teaching Rep candidates in Pennsylvania to recite: "illegal immigration is illegal but it's no big deal. We should be talking about something more positive, namely, fashioning a more robust immigration policy to allow more people from poor countries to live the American dream." I've never heard Richard expressing such generous, timely views und until he does, movement conservatives may suspect that he's a WASP nativist.
  3. Richard must do everything in his power to dispel the impression that he does not believe that all human beings have the same innate intelligence. If such cognitive equality has not yet been demonstrated, an obvious reason is racism and/or sexism. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, we've failed to find the proper delivery system for educating everyone. Democrats, but certainly not Republicans, are busy discriminating against minorities by denying them adequate subsidies for charter schools. Indeed the Dems are so shamelessly racist that they're withholding from the same minorities (who for some reason persist in voting for them) the state-subsidized opportunity to attend private schools. If only these nasty Democratic practices could be brought to a halt, then we'd see how equal we really are!
  4. Richard is going to have to ease up on Elena Kagan, who is destined to become a "moderate" Supreme Court justice. Unlike the wise Latina, Elena has an ethnic strength that she shares with Bader-Ginsburg and Breyer, and which makes her irresistible to movement conservatives like Kenneth Starr and the editors of the New York Post. We all know the reason that Sottomayor got hammered by the Washington conservative policy community far more brutally than did Ruth and Steve, and now Elena. All of these brilliant legal thinkers got (or in Elena's case, are getting) away with itsy-bitsy scratches. Since it would be unwise to mention an indelicate issue or to notice who pays for and controls the conservative movement, perhaps it might be best for Richard to stress Elena's moderateness.
  5. Perhaps he could further explain that Elena used to be against the ROTC at Harvard because of its insufficient enthusiasm for the gay lifestyle. Since then, however, she's changed her mind, because the military has become more receptive to this fashionable way of life. Richard could also cite Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, and other movement conservative nabobs who have been every bit as enthusiastic as Elena about welcoming openly gay recruits into the military. What better way is there to make American exceptionalism felt than by recruiting gay soldiers to convert the countries we occupy to our morally superior way of life? But since Richard has already put his contrary views into print, he will have to work extra hard to prove that he accepts the new path to democratic perfection.
  6. It would pay for Richard to imitate NR chief editor and FOX-contributor Richard Lowry, who has attacked the Obama healthcare plan as a betrayal of MLK and the civil rights movement. This statement indicates that Lowry "cares," unlike Richard who probably does not. Lowry has also exposed the failing memories of Julian Bond, Benjamin Hook, John Lewis and other veterans of the civil rights movement, who created the misimpression that King and Obama agreed in their economic views and redistributionist aims. Obviously this is not the case! Lowry, Heritage and other movement conservative authorities deny any connection between MLK's civil rights movement and the Obama administration.
  7. In his most recent syndicated column, Richard Brookhiser explained that there is no cultural or social need any longer for his fellow-WASPs to hang around, because "we are all Protestants now." Unless I'm mistaken Richard has challenged this premise, insisting insensitively that many of the later immigrants to the U.S. bore deep resentment against the older Protestant settlers, an attitude that they never fully overcame and which indelibly marked the politics of the newcomers and their descendants. That's a cruel (and sort of fascist) thing to say, and we therefore hope Richard S. will listen to Richard B. on how to charm the leadership of the current conservative movement.

Like multicultural America, the movement gets better everyday in every way. Conservatism is about conserving our openness or (is it?) permanent but changing things, regardless of whether Richard has deigned to recognize this truth.

More will follow as I immerse myself in the inspirational journalism of the movement in which Richard hopes to make a new career.