Only Love Can Rebuild the GOP
A Post-Trump Republican Party Needs People Who Care About the Party to lead it after the horror of Donald Trump.
I’ve always been a bit of a squish when it comes to being on the center right. In Canada and the UK, I would probably be considered a “Red Tory” since I tend to have a more communitarian and paternalistic view of government that doesn’t always jive with the more libertarian nature of conservatism in America.
It was in that mindset that I remember reading A Conservatism Revisted by Peter Viereck. Viereck is considered one of the early intellectual leaders of the modern conservative movement beginning in the 1940s until the early 60s. In the book, he used the Austrian Prince Klemens Von Metternich as his quintessential conservative. Viereck was more in favor of a “liberal conservatism” that is found in European conservative parties like the Conservatives in the UK or the Christian Democrats in Germany. I remember reading the book and felt I was reading the diary of a long-lost relative. This was someone who was conservative but shared some of my beliefs on the role of government.
Ghost of a Chance
It seems pointless to Hope the GOP can change from its current trajectory. But what other choice is there?
I decided to re-read the book last year hoping to recapture the feeling I felt 20 years ago. But when I read the book this time, it felt different. What I noticed more and more was how much Viereck didn’t seem to like conservatives or the modern Republican Party. He defended the New Deal, which wasn’t so odd for a book written in the 1950s, but it felt like he had nothing but contempt for the party. He tried to paint Adalai Stevenson as the true conservative over Dwight Eisenhower, who in many ways espoused the kind of conservatism Vierieck wanted to see in America.
By the time the 1960s roll around, Vierieck has left the conservative movement. He stops writing about politics and focuses on poetry until his death in 2005 at the age of 89.
Viereck had ideas that American conservatism needed to hear. His warnings in many ways foresaw the rise of Trump…