Where Do We Go From Here?


Friday, October 7, 2022

We’re at the crossroads my dear

Where do we go from here?

Maybe you won’t go, maybe you’ll stay

Oh I know I’m gonna miss you either way”

While I may not miss the neoconservatives and the libertarians as much as Alicia Keys will miss her lover, we certainly are at crossroads in the conservative movement.

Last month’s National Conservatism Conference in Miami highlighted this crossroad. It leaves us with the question, as the conservative movement breaks up (into its various factions), where do we go from here?

The American Nation

If a political community is defined at the physical level as a nation…and then is defined at the metaphysical level as Christian…then that would mean the traditional political order of the United States is ‘Christian nationalism.’ Liberals hate Christian nationalism, not because it is a departure from the American political tradition, but because it is the American political tradition” according to Michael Knowles in his speech at the conference.

His statement, while directed at the liberals, applies just as much to the “right-liberals,” who have avoided public morality at all costs and have been unwilling to promote America’s traditional political and religious heritage.

The centerpiece of America is its Christian nationhood. Therefore, America must embrace both its Christian underpinning and tradition as a nation-state. This includes a recognition that America has a defined people and culture. None of this is meant to be a restatement of forty years of Republican talking points, but a call for a fundamental restructuring of the current American political order. It includes bringing back public prayer, putting the Bible back in schools, and abandoning the false notion of liberal neutrality – all things that mainstream conservatives have gone along with in the past. 

As Albert Mohler stated, “Insofar as conservatism has a future, it will be more and more based on explicit theological claims.” By having a knowledge of true right and wrong, securing its tradition on the home front, and removing itself from a hawkish and imperialist foreign policy, America will be able to effectively protect itself both domestically and globally. Then, when the government of the United States looks inward, provides for its citizens first, and upholds its traditional institutions, it will once again be Christian and a nation.

The Common Good

“The United States is a country with an economy, not the other way around,” said Governor Ron DeSantis in his keynote address to the conference.

Therefore, government begins with a commitment to the common good, which is defined as “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily” In essence, every political endeavor must be directed to the flourishing of each citizen.

The economy, in turn, must serve the interests of the family and the worker. For several decades, politicians, notably the “conservative” ones, have sold out our country under economic liberalism, including deregulation, free trade, and open borders. Not only did these positions not serve the American economy, but they gutted America’s home industries, leaving warehouses empty, and jobs shipped overseas, while only serving the financial interests of our elite.

As conservatism realigns, it requires us to remember our national history of protectionism to secure the internal interests of our nation first. Instead of focusing on GDP and capital, the primary focus of all economic activity must be directed to the family and ensuring its growth and stability.

However, the common good is not defined exclusively in economic terms. It is also defined by social structures that contribute to a flourishing society. Regrettably, conservative politicians have also been the chief proponents of individual autonomy. To reverse this, conservative political figures should use the law as a teaching instrument to establish just authority and promote a traditional ethic that upholds civic responsibility and duty. Instead of focusing on ambiguous notions of rights, an emphasis on fulfilling one’s obligations allows societies to put their individualism aside and provide for those who need it most.

Political Power

“We’re in a war… If they want to overthrow our system, we have to be prepared to overthrow theirs,” said Tom Klingenstein.

The uniparty, comprising both the liberal Democrats and the “conservative” Republicans, their controlled opposition, benefit from the appearance of a two-party system. The Democrats get their appearance of democratic opposition, and the Republicans, well… It is hard to tell what they get out of this…

We are ruled by an oligarchical elite in our country, and far from the conservatives making any attempt to stop them, they instead submit under vague appeals to “small government,” “the free marketplace of ideas,” or going along with the liberal project altogether.

Instead, Republicans and conservatives alike must be unafraid to leverage state power for the common good. As the liberals continue to promote transgenderism, base education and politics on race, and wield state power to accomplish their goals, the only thing that will stop them is power on equal terms.

A “new” conservative movement will be willing to use government for the good, the true, and the beautiful. Instead of “being principled” and “losing with dignity,” conservatives will now openly operate in the public square to bring real, substantive moral change to all areas of life, public and private. It begins with a willingness to both attack and ban activity that subverts the integrity of the nation. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, banning the censorship of “Big Technology,” regulating corporations, providing the ground to restructure America’s elite, and meaningfully taking power away from the Administrative “Deep” State that subverts the American republican order.

So, about that breakup, where do we go from here, my dear?

William Benson is an undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America pursuing a degree in politics with a concentration in political theory. He serves on the executive board of Catholic University College Republicans and is a columnist and editor at Lone Conservative.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About William Benson

William Benson is an undergraduate student at The Catholic University of America pursuing a degree in politics with a concentration in political theory. He serves on the executive board of Catholic University College Republicans and is a columnist and editor at Lone Conservative.

williamgbenson on Instagram @williamgbenson

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