Much has happened since the end of the Cold War to show that there is merit in old-school conservatism. It’s hard to imagine 1952 Republican Presidential Candidate Robert Taft going for NAFTA, or thinking it was a good idea to accelerate defense spending despite the Soviet threat finally being debunked. Robert Taft wouldn’t have allowed Ozzy Osbourne, a documented whore for both Satan and Pepsico, into White House functions. If Robert Taft could be exhumed and installed into the Presidency, one might expect Executive orations to look a little less like infomercials for real estate scams.
We don’t have Robert Taft anymore. We have the Coca-Cola Cowboy with an MBA. The political lovechild of Buford Pusser and Dave Del Dotto; a savant that knows enough to drawl for the rubes but who sounds downright educated when giving speeches on the other side of the Atlantic. Exhibiting a keen understanding of both the Christian Gospels and “Getting To Yes”, W conducts foreign policy by asking himself “What would Jesus do if Jesus were a gunslinger?”
Our foreign policy is conservative in no tangible sense. Yet the conservative establishment refuses to point that out. More, more, more, they cry, echoing the recorded sentiments of porn-star turned disco queen Andrea True Connection. They are whores for defense contractors, whores for oil companies, and whores for interests whose exploitation knows no borders or bounds. Meanwhile, they cloak their intentions in the tawdry wrapping paper of “National Greatness Conservatism”. May they impale themselves on their flag pins.
Because they do not love America enough to see that it very well may be irreparably wrecked. The last two generations of men have seen fit not to raise their children, and the youth coming up understand a “body count” as a video game statistic. The aesthetic of the strip club has found its way into both public schools and church aisles. Everywhere you look, the value of life is diminished by a relentless barrage of nihilism cloaked in noxious sentimentality. “Reasonable people” are discussing using nuclear weapons on a country we bombed, embargoed, and starved into the Third World over the course of the last decade. Their language manages that rare feat, to be at once clinical and pornographic; our policymakers talk of families they are about to decimate with no more feeling than auctioneers used when hawking slaves.
ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at: ANTHONY.GANCARSKI@ATTBI.COM