Just one look at today’s lineup on Congress, immigration, and immigration punditry makes it clear as a polished dagger that a profound disgust has gathered in America. It is not only the disgust of Conservatives, but I believe it is a thoroughly conservative disgust.
One way of thinking about this difference is to read Peggy Noonan’s meditation on the possibility of a third-party revival in 2008. This kind of talk has never been really infrequent in modern American politics, but that it even can be taken half-seriously now is nothing short of astounding. “It wasn’t meant to be this way,” one feels — but then again, that’s the coda of feeling that embodies our whole problem.
I think we have an intellectual and emotional duty to nail down the source of our profound disgust. I disagree flat out with Noonan that the source is best characterized as the political elite. I think the source is a certain social culture, one in which some elites in politics, business, war, and entertainment have learned to enjoy a high-rolling group grope that is deadly to what the conservative spirit holds dear. My thoughts here seek to come to grips with why we are where we are. Unless we know the true nature of what assails us we are simply crying out at the blows.