Beautiful Losers

The response to last week’s show was interesting, in that I got a few queries about people I mentioned from the old days. I’ve noticed this before whenever I talk about the paleocons and their battles with the neocons in the 80’s and 90’s. Everyone knows about the neocons, at least they think they do, but the paleos seem to be fading from memory as they fade from the scene. It is a case of the winners writing the history books, so I thought a show about the paleocons would be something worth doing.

The original plan was to do a segment on the various people who made up movement, maybe read from their best work, but that would have been too long and too boring. I like doing these sorts of episodes, but this is not a history podcast. What I settled on is the formula I’ve used for other episodes. What’s interesting to me about the paleos is they were right about a lot of things, especially their own flaws, but they failed anyway. It is a great example of how having the facts on your side is not enough.

Putting the show together, what struck me is just how much overlap there is between the alt-right and the paleos. Despite this, you never hear the alt-right talk about these guys or credit them for their ideas. There is an anti-intellectualism to the alt-right that is maybe a reaction to the academic aesthetic of the paleos. We have a library full of writting by the paleocons, while the alt-right has dated livestreams and podcasts. Given how things worked out, maybe that’s a good thing, but it is something to consider.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I have been de-platformed by Spotify, because they feared I was poisoning the minds of their Millennial customers.

This Week’s Show


  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: The Origin Of The Paleocons
  • 12:00: Paleoconservatism In A Nutshell
  • 27:00: Why The Paleos Lost
  • 42:00: Learning From Failure
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)
  • Links: (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)

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85 thoughts on “Beautiful Losers

  1. Z says that the paleo conservatives used the term “Judeo-Christian.” I always thought this term only became common after 9/11, for mostly traitorous reasons.

    I did a web search and cannot find any significant usages of “Judeo-Christian” before this century.

    I want to know the truth. Can anyone provide references to paleo conservatives of the 20th century using “Judeo-Christian?”

    • Dude, it’s as common a term as “have a nice day”. Every National Review or any halfway serious magazine has been using it for 50 years or more. And I agree with Z’s explanation for why Judeo is included.

      Good to see you LineIn.

  2. Z Man;
    One Paleo-Con mistake not be repeated is failing to use the Marxian rhetoric of class exploitation against The Cloud Uni-Party Oligarchs. I know from personal experience that they *hate* being told that they *are* The Man, not The Righteous Radicals. Perhaps this fusion was not so obvious in their day. The Big-Gov Uni-Party in action was completely obvious under Speaker Ryan (spit).

    if anybody doubts that there IS a Cloud, Big G, Uni-Party here’s good evidence (via Ace of Spades):

    But how did this overclass form and how did they miss deriding it in class-warfare terms_? In the late ’50s (and I was there) there really was a pretty big difference between the D’s & R’s.* At that time The Cloud was of the Left and had largely formed but it was small, mainly confined to the NY and CA media worlds. It had to hide its face because it was foreign, even to moderate D’s.** They had yet to complete and consolidate their long march through the academy and NGO world (which were both much, much smaller then). The Old Con’s such as Taft and Goldwater were Anti-Big G American Nationalist Constitutionalists including both the middle class and old elite. They were being delegitimized by The Cloud new elite and the proto-Neocon would-be elite as anti-progress troglodytes.

    Buckley was all about fighting that delegitimization via intellectual means within the old elite and aspirants thereto when he got started. He later got on the Neo-Con Globalist train sometime after the USSR collapsed, probably on account of elite class solidarity.

    The Paleo-Cons were, as you say, the intellectual descendants of the Old Cons of the ’30s – ’50s. The Uni-Party had clearly emerged in the service of Big G under Bush I but had been forming up for some time prior and had yet to merge with The Cloud.

    The watershed IMHO was in 1965 under Johnson after his 1964 re-election. He, waiving the bloody shirt of Kennedy (and later King), consolidated and ramified the FDR New Deal Big G in that year. Lots of cushy policy slots opened up in DC, which the old and aspirant elite’s spawn eagerly filled, thus joining The Cloud and Big G together. Not coincidentally, 1965 was the year that our immigration system was pozzed. No Boomer could vote in 1964, BTW.***

    Nixon, who followed Johnson, was cordially hated by The Cloud because he ran on breaking up the evident-by-then consolidation of Big G (aka the Great/Cloud Society). IOW, he promised to cut off The Cloud’s money as well as end their excellent adventures in SE Asia while putting the Anti-Civ-Nat hippies in their place. In office, however, Nixon achieved very few of his domestic campaign promises. To the contrary, he was apparently spooked by the merging Elite-Cloud and kept feeding them small victories in the form of expanding Big G. This, of course, bought him nothing for reasons of elite class interest and solidarity. Neither he nor his voters were part of them, did not want to be one of them and wanted them out of power. The prospect of being out of power, thus unable to realize their prosperous (for them) utopia, due to the actions of their socio-cultural inferiors was, then as now, too much of an insult for the merging Elite-Cloud to bear. Hence their visceral hatred of Nixon despite doing rather well on his watch.

    If anybody let the Paleo-Cons down it was Nixon. Nixon’s let-down voters were largely what we’d now call Civ-Nats. Some were Small Gov Nationalists (aka the Paleo-Cons) and some were Big Gov Nationalists (the so-called Moderate R’s). Very few were Utopian Globalists such as the Neo-Cons became after the collapse of the USSR. I’d say that the Palo-Cons’ heads were in the philosophical Anti-Eisenhower, Anti-Big G ’50’s. Even though the Big G ship had sailed by the time of Nixon, they stuck by Nixon on account of the hatefulness of his enemies. Sorta like some us stuck by Bush II.

    I’d classify Reagan as the last to run on Civ-Nat, Small-G aspirants but he too was neutralized domestically for the most part. After Bush I, the Paleo-Cons were relics of the past.
    *D’s were South Whites, Union Workers & Big City Machine Pols (all mostly Civ Nats) + International Soft Socialists & The Cloud (not Civ-Nats).
    R’s were North Whites, Self-Employed & Small Biz (mostly Civ Nats) + Wall St & old elite’s (Civ-Nats not so much).
    **Building Trade Unions were big Nixon supporters because Civ-Nat & Anti-Commie. Industrial Unions not so much, most particularly the teachers’ unions (because Commie) & govt. workers unions (because $$$).
    *** I know Boomer bashing is great fun and the elite Boomers clearly deserve it for their continuing pretensions. I’d say it was the stupid ones who are the insufferable. We had all been told that we were special and going to change the world (sound familiar_?). The stupid ones believed it. And those without faith in anything but their own wonderfulness, likewise. If one has a faith you realize that *nobody* is special, most particularly you.

  3. I’m currently reading a book called “Before the Storm” which is a book chronicling the rise of Goldwater. Although written by a lefty, its a good book.

    It reminds me of the fact that I never much liked that type of conservatism. Goldwater-Reagan in many ways were Big C conservatives and were the Ted Cruz of there time. Nixon, otoh, was more of a small C conservative and more pragmatic.

  4. Great podcast. Was thinking about the “beautiful loser” in connection with Christianity, the ebbing thereof, and the rise of what Heartiste calls the Maul-Right.

    Your point is well taken that the Paleocons were/are just too nice, and that a lot of it is cultural. (Mid-century vs current). My thought is that a man steeped in Christian culture is going to view turning the other cheek and loving his enemies as high virtues. So a gentleman like Pat Buchanan will stand his ground in the arena, issuing haymakers, stemwinders, and knockout blows on the pages of various publications. But if a Bill Kristol attempts character assasination, the response is guided by a WWJD sensibility. After all, JC is the model for how to behave. And if one’s career is martyred as a result, well, it’s the cross one must bear to act as a brave, honorable witness against the rising tide of evil. Christ’s followers’ enemies have done worse, after all. No one is throwing PB to the actual lions.

    But now the dissident right, et al. are fighting back. Swinging for the throat preemptively, even. I think this is partly related to the rise in secularism among the young. Our young warriors aren’t constrained by Christian pieties anymore, because they’re not Christian.

    The loss of religion and the rise of secular sensibilities has had many negative effects (abortion acceptance, hyper-individualism, etc.). But it’s not all negative. There are positives, including the gaining acceptance of the idea that refusing to defend yourself by any means sufficient, and refusing to fight dirty for your people if necessary, is a form of cowardice, not saintliness.

  5. Beautiful podcast. Please expand on what our paleo forefathers taught in future casts if you would. Our challenge is to build a society on Christian virtues – more Viking, less Victorian.

    • “Christian virtues – more Viking, less Victorian.”

      I believe that Varg Vikernes would like to have a word with you regarding “Viking” and “Christian”….

      • Funny you mentioned that. I’m not sure but I think it may have been mentioned on Heartiste recently that our society for most of it’s history has functioned along the lines of Pauline Masculinity but that for a future for The West we may have a period of Viking Masculinity to restore it. It’s interesting from a detached perspective but on both sides of the Atlantic our greatest problems are immigration and our own governments. Sad to say to our fellow hate thinkers in the U.S, but a collapse or fragmentation of the American Empire would be a boon to the Nations of Europe as it’s debateable wheter the poz can continue unchecked without it’s main sponsors.

  6. Z, what I’m not getting is what your actual moral arguments are. What is the moral case for deporting large numbers of peaceful, friendly, law abiding citizens who happen to belong to the wrong race? You can give people statistics and point out the net effect of X group is detrimental, but ultimately there are going to be an awful lot of morally blameless people who are going to be evicted from their homes and sent back to dysfunctional third world countries. Even just advocating for freedom of association means that black people will be denied access to services and become second class citizens in their country of birth.

    I’m also not sure how you intend to maintain the moral high ground when you associate yourself with people like the TRS guys, who revel in gleeful moral nihilism, cracking jokes about synagogue shootings and making themselves basically indistinguishable from genocidal neo-nazis. Good luck convincing people of your moral authority when they’re not even sure you’re not secretly planning a genocide.

    • This isn’t 1950, Walmart already slayed the mom and pop store. Amazon is demolishing the grave to put up slave labor warehouses. The idea that returning freedom of association will bring back jim crow merely displays your low intelligence and ignorance of the modern world.

      • What is this “troll alert” thing? Is that like a “trigger warning” for far Right readers? I’m not in accord with Ronald’s points, but they are the questions we get from our opponents on the morality issue. We have to be prepared with answers. Saying “troll alert” doesn’t cut it when you’re being grilled by 3 lefties at a college bar.

        • “Questions from our opponents”? You’ve got to be kidding. Our opponents call us racists/bigots/homophobes and want to destroy us. And if you can’t tell dishonest trolling and obfuscating blather from honest opinion – I can’t help you.

    • The moral case for deporting large numbers of non-whites, whatever fine qualities they may have, is that for most of them, most of the time, tribal loyalties are more powerful than professed ideology.

      Most humans are tribal and want to live in a society ruled by people of their race. Though you may have a friendly interaction with a conservative hispanic, he likely supports amnesty and massive immigration regardless of what he tells you. Almost all black conservatives voted for Obama.

      There are some outliers, but they are so few that it is not worth the work to identify them.

      • LineIn: “Though you may have a friendly interaction with…” It’s interesting how even the friendliest conversation between two racially different people still has an underlying tension. If not tension, then an awareness. Which is still tension, really. If I’m talking to a Hispanic, I have to be a bit careful not to sound condescending, because he’ll think it’s racial (my whiteness coming out). Whereas talking to a fellow white, I could say the same thing and he’d just think I was a bit bold.

  7. What’s of parallel interest is to observe the separation of the younger Alt Right from the older organizations.

    They are a lot more confrontational and not at all interested in any form of compromise. They are taking a 2 pronged approach, with 2 camps that don’t see eye to eye but are figuring out a way to get along.

    One camp’s approach is to give whites the moral high ground they seem to need in order to walk away from their lifetime of social conditioning. For the under 40 crowd it’s working. The anti-whites are providing them with all of the fuel they could ask for. They are changing the language of the left and redefining the conflict in very effective ways.

    The other camp is beginning to prepare for what they believe will be a ratcheted up attack on whites once we become locked out of the executive branch. The separation and hardening of their communities along with various forms of noncooperation.

    They have a certain respect for the Jared Taylor, Brimelow, Derb, etc. But no longer have any interest in any input they have to offer. This is now their fight. The clock is ticking. What they see as the plodding along of the older generation is something for which they no longer have any patience.

    Those of us who are older have always seen this problem from the point of view of whites still as the majority. Politics was still an option. Trump may win the next election. But after that the executive branch will become the power center of the non-whites and the anti-whites.

  8. Haven’t listened to the podcast yet. But something to give the Paleos big credit for is their foresight. At least the more salty Paleos. Not sure if foresight is the right word. Just saying they knew how bad a big government would be. And they knew how pernicious Lefty would end up being. I remember reading them in the early 90’s and thinking, “What’s SO bad about big government?”. And, “Relax Joe, liberals aren’t gonna go COMPLETELY bonkers.”

  9. The alt-right owes an enormous intellectual debt to the Paleos (and their cousins, NRx). The earliest incarnation of the alt-right could be described as Sam Francis with edgy memes. The problem with the paleos is that they never did anything. They wrote, but never organised.

  10. Z….Thank you for this. The 15 minutes on Learning from Failure hit me right on the side of the head. And I think for a lot of people, that’s what’s necessary. Tim

  11. It seems like being part of the dissident right has been a long journey. More than likely I was dissident right from birth. I almost always had a hard time reading most of the NR offering. When they canned Derb it was an easy jump to light speed. Calling them pussies is being kind.

  12. Thanks for a very balanced and cogent discussion of the history. Saw a note in the Wiki link about how three foundations: olin, bradley, and richardson-smith, pulled $700K away from Rockford Institute. Well…..the guy who ran Olin was brought over to Bradley (a Milwaukee based foundation) and Bradley was VERY nice to Charlie “3-Wives” Sykes.

    No such thing as co-incidence.

  13. I think the salient point is that paleos failed and shouldn’t be emulated. The fact that Trump sounded like a neocon sheep-dipped in a light coat of paleo for the SOTU should tell all anyone needs to know about the future of politics in the US. You are two for two there.

    Having said that, I fundamentally disagree with the parallel institution and society meme. Not because it is theoretically implausible or even undesirable, but because it is not practical. Resistance is only possible in the open, cloaked in humor, irony, subterfuge, etc, OR underground in highly decentralized and uncoordinated samizdat exchanges.

    I do agree; however, that only moral arguments can be brought to defeat other moral arguments. The counter progressive narrative will have to center around moral opposition to anti-white aggression.

    • The phrase anti-white is a good one. People need a word to allow them to think about a topic. Once normie whites realize that there is such a thing as “anti-white,” they begin to wake up to all kids of things.

  14. There’s also the simple fact that the paleo’s lost, and losing has its drawbacks in terms of people wanting to listen to you. Also, the paleos still try to operate inside the system. There’s definitely an anti-intellectual component, but it’s probably more about losing.

  15. Being able to deal with being called a racist is huge for the Dissident Right, not because any of us care but because normie whites care – and care a lot.

    I used to own it when someone called me a racist, saying that anyone with half a brain would be a racist. But I noticed that while that worked just fine for me, it didn’t work to bring normie whites to our side.

    Now, I have two responses, typically one for liberals and one for color-blind conservatives who will use that phrase against you.

    For liberals, I mock them. I love to joke that they’re like the Knights Who Say Ni. They spit out this word and hope that I cower. I always promise that I’ll find them a nice shrubbery if they just please stop saying “Ni!”

    Calling them the equivalent of medieval priests also gets their panties in a bunch since they generally hate Christianity so much.

    Liberals hate to be mocked. Don’t just ignore their calling you racist, make fun it.

    Color-blind conservatives are another matter. I challenge them. I (correctly) tell them that the word “racist” (or racism or sexist or whatever DB word) is a “coward’s word.” I look directly at him or her and say, “It’s a word used by cowards to bully people into shutting up or groveling before them. I won’t be bullied by you or anyone else.”

    I shit you not, this strike a cord. Most whites can connect with that feeling their they’re getting bullied by the PC police, even if they still believe in a lot of the propaganda that they’ve been fed.

    • This is very good. I do a similar thing, only what you say to conservatives I say to the liberals. To the conservatives I generally say something like “racism is now a term that is used to intimidate you into denying the evidence of your own eyes. Don’t fall for it.”

      My reasoning is that most liberals believe they are good people, and more importantly want public validation. To be called a bully and hypocrite for a lib is a shock because in their world view, WE’RE the bullies. As to the cons, rather than be in-your-face to a potential ally, I’d rather take the tack of “we have enemies in common. I’m on your side, only a little further down the road from where you are now. I’ll show you how to get here with your life and honor intact.”

  16. Good podcast. I wished you had gone more into the biographies and thoughts and careers of the specific Paleocon figures.

    I want to propose a model, which I admit may be too extreme, but it’s what I theorize explains all this. Please correct me where I’m wrong. Neoconservatives represent Jewish power, in a continuum with their power on the far left. There is no real divide. It’s spectrum hegemony. The power emanates from media access, money, and control of the academy, but also simply high iq and racial loyalty which trumps other considerations. The paleocons, which represented the last vestige of racial identity politics for white Americans, were a small group who never really had a chance against the neocons, no matter how they played it. If they had taken the gloves off, they would be ugly losers and not beautiful losers. By being respectful good sports they probably extended their unlife, zombie life for longer than they would have otherwise. Heck Buchanan was still on tv in the 00s.

    Is this too extreme to say? Is there greater nuance?

    • I’m not trying to be anti Semitic, I know the paleocons have their gottfrieds and the left their chomskys. I’m saying in general

    • Oh, so being a “good loser” was the only option? No it wasn’t. Like Z man stated, the Paleo’s took pride in losing, they didn’t even want to win! God, listen to Derbyshire, even after being driven out of respectable society – he’s primarily interested in drinking tea, making sardonic comments and showing how he’s keeping his stiff upper lip. And look at their dumb name “paleo-con” what the hell does it even mean? Its just an in-joke. Try selling that to anybody. Beautiful losers is the perfect title.

      Look, the Neo-Cons made it quite clear in the 80s they weren’t interested in debate, they wanted to destroy anyone who opposed them. But the Paleo-cons didn’t want to fight. Some of them tried to debate, some of them fled, and some of the got destroyed and then laughed about it. They kept thinking they were showing how “above it all” they were, but all they were doing is making anyone who followed them feel like a fool.

      • What is it you wanted Derb to do? He’s had a weekly podcast for the past 15 years or so. Still writes articles. Wrote a book. And he goes on any media outlet that will have him. I suggest you search Youtube for videos with Derb in them.

        Derb has been on the outs a long time, but after that “letter to his son” article at Taki’s he was unpersoned hard.

  17. Maybe it’s always been this way and I’m just a grump for bracketing the present instead of all human history. Buuuut…

    The big problem, which seems well-nigh insoluble, is that nobody in the formal public discourse which we’re supposed to understand to be “grown-up talk” can or will tell the truth about anything. Some simply don’t know what the truth is, some are incapable of recognizing it, some know part of it but are too cowardly or too compromised to say it aloud, some don’t have the conceptual or perceptual skills to allow the truth to become pronounceable. But one way or another this society is asphyxiating from a lack of truth.

    Clown cars like NR or HuffPo (same thing really; tell me it ain’t) are not to be taken seriously, not even to be complained about; effectively, they don’t exist. Kvetching about the stupidity and venom of Jonah Goldberg is like complaining that Broom-Hilda stopped being funny in, I don’t know, 1978? I believe I was about ten when I realized that Beetle Bailey wasn’t actually funny — but I just read it anyway, because, I’unno, morning funny pages. Nowadays a 9-year should be able to conclude that Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowry and that other guy are not even real people. I doubt Rich Lowry could pass a Turing test with his own wife. Assuming he’s got one.

    How it might be possible to tell the truth in a formally recognized public forum, and have it actually be debated and discussed with seriousness, rather than point-and-shrieked straight out of town, is beyond me. But nothing’s gonna get fixed until somebody cracks that ‘ere nut.

    • Everything is framed for appropriate consumption by the masses. Look at how this “Green New Deal” is being shopped around. Movies have a “fourth wall”, which is the occasional direct communication by the actors to the audience, apart from the story on the stage. Trump does bits and pieces of this. But most of what we get is staged and fake. Bezos sends dick pix, and now there are government investigations of the people who published the existence of them? When there is so much real and important crap to be dealt with?

      Unfortunately, Mencken is right, and we get what we deserve, good and hard. If most people are comfortable with the staged narrative, it’s going to be difficult to move them away from it.

  18. Great podcast. One thing that kept coming to my mind is the futility that Buchanan and others were working with. The entire 20th Century was set up to be what it was in 1913 with the 17th Amendment. The only people securing our freedom (real freedom, not George W., securin’ the homeland freedom, so sad that the word freedom itself has been bastardized) were crusty, whiskey soaked old Senators, appointed by governors, in the cigar smoke filled libraries of the governors’ mansions. Once the brakes were removed and direct election was up and running in the upper chamber, the country changed and future politics became based only on sentiment, which liberals are far, far better at fomenting.

    So it was really the Victorian Paleocons who let us down, Buchanan may as well have been a grandkid looking for his squandered inheritance. The Victorian era Paleocons let themselves be castrated by Victorian scorns. The cat ladies of that era, which had an outsized influence on public schooling (brainwashing) of multiple generations by 1910.

    Many hands were involved in today’s culture and those hands were at work long before Buchanan’s rear guard actions.

    Another thing that came to mind during this podcast was Mark Stein’s opinion that a country of 320+ million people with a government as centralized as it is doesn’t work, and the country is destined to break up based on the current centralization. It’s just too big to work. Typical that this comes from a Canadian. When I’m up there I think of the smallness of the country, despite its massive size. Just a thin strip of people from Vancouver to Montreal, which can barely keep itself together.

  19. Looking forward to the podcast, having come of age around Pat Buchanan’s heyday. Always struck me why the Paleos did not have more success given how much sense they made, so particularly curious to hear your take on that. Here’s to hoping “Neo-Paleos” have more success.

  20. In respect of the “R” word, a possible analogy. I was at schoolboy in the 1970s at an all-boy state school in London. Insulting each other was practically a 24/7 activity and no big deal. However, there was one glaring exception. One boy could call another boy every name under the sun except for one accusation which was verboten: Queer.

    If you called another boy “Queer” you had better be prepared to put up your dukes and fight. No one could call anyone a queer without expecting immediate fisticuffs and no boy could suffer being called a queer because, if he suffered it without punching you in response, then he accepted that he was queer and that, back then, meant social death.

    Fast forward a few years. I recall watching a documentary sometime in the 1990s about post-war British history. There was a segment on the gay rights movement during which one of these campaigners explained that one of the reasons for their success is that they “took back the word queer”, proudly adopting it into the lexicon of their movement and as a label in which they took pride, not shame. It became a rallying cry:

    “We’re here. We’re Queer. We’re not going backwards”

    It was a brilliant political move because, overnight, all the stigma that had been attached to the word disappeared. Instead, it became a badge of honour; a political totem.

    Forward a few more years and now we have LGBTQ (whatever) which is, arguably, the most successful political movement of the 21st century and which has now morphed seamlessly, and almost without objection, into trannyism. LGBTQ is to globohomo what SPQR was to Rome; the banner that they carry into battle as they conquer new territories and sweep away all before them.

    I think there’s a lesson in that.

  21. What is the song in the end?

    You might think about making a mix CD with all your closing songs. I’d buy it

  22. When I am in a discussion with leftist and the term “racism” is used, I say to them that all humans are by nature “corrupted”/biased towards the familiar and they with the term “racism” tries to make nature into nurture; That human nature is learnt and can be undone with intimidations like “racism”. The next point I go to is the paradox that the cultures they claim we shall be open to have the same biases. In most non-western cultures “the stranger” is a non-related with same religion and ethnicity. They don’t marry each other because they see each other as strangers, there is no civil society because they don’t interact with non-related. So, we are “racists” if we are not open to and share the utopia of humanity as one family with cultures that are highly closed and xenophobic to non-related. I mostly never get a reply. They really don’t know nothing of other cultures or test their ideas for validity. Their would-view is purely based on utopian dreams and moral assumption. To some of them I have recently make a link to this 10.min video from China that shows that the Chinese sees each others “strangers”- they don’t care about other Chinese . Do, they really think that ethnic groups in a diverse west with many ethnicities and races will be more open to others. No, everybody will become more tribal;

  23. Buchanan and Derbyshire are often mentioned by Alt-Right types, but the overall attitude of many on the Alt-Right is that, after all, the Paleos lost, so there’s nothing to learn from them. Also, many Paleos were hated Boomers, so well, that’s that, then. Both of these attitudes are understandable, and I would hate Boomers too, if I was 25 years old, but the “Boomer Man Bad!” attitude doesn’t really get you anywhere. There’s a lot to learn from both Paleos and BoomerCons, if only what not to do…

    • Conservatism died when Buckley kicked the John Birch Society out from “mainstream conservatism.” The JBS was “Alt Right” before there was an Alt Right.

      Reagan was a great leader but when it came right down to it, he did exactly what the Deep State told him to.

      • That’s a popular line on the alt-right, but the JBS people were quite nuts. They claimed Eisenhower was a Soviet agent. Buckley did not have much choice but to sever ties with them.

        • Buckley cut ties with JBS because they opposed the Vietnam war -which they saw as a “Fake War” that the Liberal establishment had no intention of winning. And they were correct – nuts or not. The real problem with the JBS is they had no real political power and their leaders were political idiots with no idea how to present their views to the public. I remember reading their magazine and wondering who would support their weird Hoover type economics and 1950s God talk.

          • I have always thought that the Birchers were a Deep-State crab trap, and Buckley, as a former CIA guy, may have known this. And yeah, the rank and file Birchers had their hearts in the right place, and some of their suspicions were true, but as pointed out above, their leadership was either nuts or co-opted.

          • The split between Buckley and Welsh was not about Vietnam, at least not according to people at the time. Buckley launched his attack on Welch and the JBS in 1963 and it was specifically over the claim that Eisenhower was a Soviet agent. But, the general cause of the breach was Buckley decided that Welch was a kook and was making him look bad. Buckley actually encouraged the JBS to dump Welch, but that did not happen.

            The amusing thing to me about the JBS stuff is the alt-right picked this narrative up from the old WN 1.0 guys, who claimed conservatism went down hill when Buckley purged the Birchers. That’s when the Jews took over. What makes that funny is the Birchers were quite progressive on the race issue. They had black members in the early 60’s and were generally supportive of Civil Rights.

          • JBS sounds a bit like a 1960s version of Infowars: good intentions, some truth and a lot of nutty craziness mixed up into a chaotic, confusing mess.

          • opposed the Vietnam war -which they saw as a “Fake War” that the Liberal establishment had no intention of winning. And they were correct

            Every 30 years or so, the military-industrial bunch needs to test its latest weapons systems. So you can plan on another war around 2050, whether we need it or not.

        • Be that as it may, but the JBS billboards displayed all over SoCal in the early 1960’s had a sane message: “US Out Of The United Nations.”

          Today SoCal is a region in Socialist Mexifornia, Buckley and GOPe Conservatism is as dead as a hammer, and the JBS’ message is as true as ever.

          • Yeah, they were certainly right about some things, but calling obvious non-Communists Commies was the quickest way to discredit anti-Communism – which it did. By the way, the gang over at Counter-Currents think that the JBS was a Jewish front, created to channel the far right away from any sort of anti-Semitism. Of course, they think that everything is a Jewish front of some kind, but they aren’t seeing nothing. As Z-Man points out above, the JBS ran and hid under the table when it came to the race question.

        • Z Man;
          Agreed re JBS. I saw a few of their movies in the late ’50s. Re Eisenhower, the JBS clearly conflated being a Big Govt. guy with being a Commie. Ike was a Civ-Nat Big Gov guy. Not the same then. Now_???

          • Ike most certainly had his flaws, but he was the last president to really take border protection seriously, and he established the strategy that eventually defeated the USSR. He overestimated the overseas Communist threat, and underestimated the domestic Communist threat, but he certainly wasn’t alone in that. An under-rated president

  24. The end of the Paleo-Cons was Reagan picking Bush. He could have picked Buchanan or DuPont. He felt like he needed to shore up his support with the moderates, but destroyed actual conservatism in the process.

    • That’s a good point, I think. I’d take it further and say Reagan set the precedent of the conservative a) negotiating with themselves and b) giving the “moderates” a veto. The last part has created this permanent fifth column on the Right. They can always be relied upon to sell out when it matters.

      It’s one reason I say the conventional conservatives are the first target. You can’t have two authentic alternatives. if you do, the left will simply pick the one they like the best.

      • Reagan was forced to take Bush as VP in 1980, or the Establishment would’ve torpedoed him. Of course, Reagan could’ve dumped Bush in ’84 or supported a real conservative in ’88 but he didn’t care enough. OTOH, who knew Bush was such a liar and a fraud? Imagine campaigning as “Mr. No New Taxes” and “Mr. Social Conservative” and then signing a quota bill, appointing Souter, and raising taxes. That kind of RINO duplicity was new to Conservatives. Of course, after Bush II, Mccain and Romney its now more or less expected.

        • The Establishment would have tried to torpedo him – they still hated him for his run in ’76. In retrospect, it would most likely have failed badly, but that’s hindsight.

        • I’ll go one step further – Bush Sr was probably behind the assassination attempt of Reagan and largely reigned Reagan in most of his presidency. Yes I know that is crazy hat territory. Doesn’t mean it is not likely true. Not any different from what we saw in JFK’s days, or what we see going on today.

    • A few years ago, a post like that would have had 500+ comments. Today it gets 50. It’s hard to see how NR staggers on much longer. As we saw with the Weekly Standard, eventually even the donors wise up.

      • They purged a looooot of the main drivers of their comments. I’m a boomer and got banned for making fun of myself (and by extension, other boomers).

        • Yes, with Derbyshire and Steyn gone, what’s the point? Robert Ver Bruggen is still pretty good on Gun Rights, and Victor Davis Hanson is still pretty good, but of course, VDH will be the next to go – just watch.

          The quicker NR joins The Weekly Standard in magazine Purgatory, and makes room for something more useful, the better.

          • Steyn quit NRO over their handling of the suit by the Hockey Stick hoaxter. VDH said his articles were much in demand by Lowry in the runup to the 2016 election, but he is porting himself to American Greatness without anyway waiting to be kicked. Deroy Murdock is usually sound, and Krikorian and McCarthy are useful despite NeverTrumpian brainstorms.

        • NR went from Disqus comments (anon) to Facebook comments (real name), to what I presume now is a subscriber only comments system. These days I have to wonder if there’s anyone still going on the cruises. The allegations are that Google or another Silicon Don is providing the bulk of their income.

          • In 2016 they had 7.7 million in revenue. In 2017 it was 4.8 million. In fairness, that 2016 number was an outlier. Still, they still have enough donors to keep the lights on. The trouble is they have no readers. The subscriber base has to be around 70K, but it could be lower. Donors eventually notice that their money is having no impact. Rumor around Washington is NR has lost some big boosters over the last year.

            The funny thing about the Google thing is slimeballs like Goldberg never denied it. They just tried to slime the people reporting it.

          • Lowrey is working for Politico, French is writing for Atlantic, Goldberg has some Think-tank gig & writes for LA Times. Williams TRIED to write for Altlantic. Others are getting paid by Bulwark, etc. National Review just seems to be a half-way house and a name to put on the resume.

          • “The allegations are that Google or another Silicon Don is providing the bulk of their income.”

            The running presumption is none of these rags, lib or con, make any profit, so I think there is a good case to be made NR has been handed off a few times; if it wasn’t an outright asset for some entity or another from the outset.

          • When Buckley was alive, he owned the publication and subsidized its operations, but he relied on rich donors to cover most of the losses. Some people claimed he never put a cent into it, but rather skimmed from the donations to subsidize his lifestyle.

            Toward the end of his life, he set up a 501(c)(3) so donors could get tax breaks. National Review Institute is the 501(c)(3) that owns NR. According to their tax forms, they take in about five million and have two million in salaries. As long as they can keep the donor money coming in, they will stay in business.

      • A few years ago commenting at NRO was free using Disqus, then they switched to Facebook, and now you have to subscribe to NRPlus to comment at NRO (but you can still comment for free on NRO at qwicket, again using disqus). So there’s more to the drop in commenting there than a drop in traffic.

    • I notice that Jim Geraghty over there calls Trump’s SOTU speech a “home run.” Sheesh, these guys, man…

    • DeBeers, I don’t know if I should thank you for enlightening me or curse you for getting me to look at this.

      As bad as I thought the comments were going to be, they’re far worse than I could have imagined.

      • Comments in most places are far worse than what I could have imagined. I hope and pray they represent some small sector of crazy people which the normies completely ignore. But I have my doubts, this stuff is being deliberately mainstreamed.

    • I skipped the boomercon era and moved right to neo-nazism by 1975. It’s been much easier on my psyche. Hey, we’re among friends.

      • We who know you Epa are glad your family was so supportive of you in your transition to neo-Nazism.

        Follow your bliss. Be the best you that you can be. Self actualize.

        Have you seen Kyle? He’s about this tall.

        • My family are too busy being fundamentalists to even know the difference between fascism and communism. Or care.

    • At least National Review is now OPENLY supporting open borders. Before, they would dishonestly pretend to be “open minded” on illegal immigration, or “against it, but….”

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