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The Timely Resurgence of Refined Paleoconservatism

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Most people considered Donald J. Trump’s successful 2016 bid for the Republican nomination a monumental intra-party shift. In one respect, this holds merit. Trump’s unique modus operandi did set him apart, as he gained popularity by neglecting to use a politician’s filter, and “telling things how they were.” He said (and still says) whatever he wants, whenever he wants. His policy prescriptions, however, do not wield the same pristine originality. In fact, his political orientation resembles that of Patrick J. Buchanan, a wildly influential former Nixon aide (among other accolades), and lifelong “Paleocon.” Paleoconservatism is a political stance that posits the importance of strong borders, economic protectionism, and vehement anti-interventionism. Does this sound familiar? That’s because it’s made a return of Lazarus-scale proportions.        


For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is, of course, an axiom of Newtonian physics — but also an oddly consistent phenomenon in the political sphere. Moderation and polarization have mirrored each other across party lines for decades, and our current predicament follows suit. The contemporary political scene is one of partisan dipoles in gladiatorial combat, both seeking to reinvent themselves in a time of identity crisis and contention. For the Democrats, this (so far) involves careening towards sinistral madness. Hollow promises of “free everything!” fused with deafening shrieks for impeachment are just two elements of the Left’s rhetorical cacophony. Even Barack Obama, Messiah not long ago, is an anachronism in the eyes of the emergent radical faction. Obamacare? Why not do away with private insurance altogether, as Senator Warren (D-MA), Senator Sanders (D-VT), and NYC Mayor de Blasio have all suggested? Deportation of illegal immigrants? No, no, Barry, per Julian Castro. That’s how fascists operate a country! In fact, ICE needs to be abolished, pronto, as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asserts.

While it’s true that the mirroring effect mentioned earlier is a clear chicken vs. egg dilemma, one thing arises as certain: the Democratic Party’s leftward skid is being catalyzed in the face of an unfamiliar beast that had been dormant for over forty years pre-Trump — a refined resurgence of Paleoconservatism headed by the blunt and unapologetic 45th President. The Republican votership has abandoned the failed doctrine of John Bolton and Bill Kristol for a rejuvenated Pat Buchanan-style philosophy. Neoconservatism is in the midst of a long-overdue swan song. Gone are the days of shortsighted yet perpetual intervention; of mindless adherence to globalism under the appeasement guise of Laissez-Faire capitalism; of timid behavior in the face of career liars and charlatans. The time is optimal for conservatives, and all Americans for that matter, to embrace the patriotism, peace, and prosperity that Trump’s distilled Paleoconservatism strives to offer. These are ideals worth protecting, and long-standing pillars of the American identity, all of which serve to combat the dismal dogma of the modern Left. 


The American Left of today is hellbent on monopolizing the past, present, and future. They revise and scrutinize our history, reminding us constantly of our nation’s past moral missteps. Yet, somehow, the present is also worse than ever! Ideologues like Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) tell us that we are currently living under “the most corrupt president in modern American history.” Not even the future is spared from the Democrats’ doomsday outlook. Remember, if we don’t fork over more of our income, the planet will implode in 12...10...5...1 year(s)! The pigtailed prophet, Greta of Stockholm, warned us! Were Bill Nye’s propaganda clips not enough to sway you stubborn fools? Alas, it’s time to trust the folks who brought you San Francisco and its feces-paved boulevards with saving the planet! 

Spare me… I’d sooner trust Edward Scissorhands to give me a back massage. 

This all-tense-encompassing negativity corrodes our national pride and cohesion, blow by blow. If our Founding Fathers are presented as nothing but racists and subjugators, then why are the nation’s founding documents even worth reading? If our president is a despotic traitor, then why should anyone be satisfied with the present state of affairs? And if our planet is on the brink of catastrophe, then what’s the point of raising children? Aren’t they destined to drown in a tidal surge, or be burned to a crisp by a raging solar flare? 


This is nothing but a coercion effort — one which the Left hopes will convince us to cede freedoms in exchange for vaguely defined progress, and “disaster prevention.” President Trump, despite his crude nature and Twitter addiction, offers a fresh brand of Paleoconservatism that lacks the religious sanctimony and fundamentalist undertones of prior decades, countering this power grab in utero. It is a philosophy which allows us to take pride in our country’s history; to recognize and appreciate the timeless values enshrined in our Constitution; to cherish our many freedoms; to realize our potential, and contribute confidently towards our nation’s economic might; to enjoy peace through strength while avoiding costly foreign conflicts; to perhaps create, love, and care for a family without imposed guilt; and finally, to look into the future with wide-eyes and the internal assurance that things will turn out just fine. 

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