An interview with Decius Mus

American Greatness interviews the author of the Flight 93 article:

AG: Michael Walsh, the PJMedia columnist and author of The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, notes that the most vociferous in the conservative NeverTrump camp tend to be those under 50. Do you think there is a generation gap among conservatives and, if so, what accounts for it?

It does seem that, the younger a (nominal) conservative is, the more likely he is to be against Trump. I think this is owing to two things, at least. This will sound like an old man being cranky, so take it with due allowances.

The first is that the young are not educated. Not that I got the greatest education, but it was pretty good. Still the people who taught me were far more educated than I am now, and the oldest ones were the best educated of the bunch. And my sense is that their teachers—most of whom I never met, or were even dead before I was born—were better educated than even they were. So in terms of education and knowledge, we’re on a downward trend and have been for a while.

What that means is that young conservatives learn conservatism as a checklist. They don’t really read books, except recent “conservative” bestsellers. They read excerpts from the Federalist at a summer fellowship and think that’s an education. Not to knock summer fellowships, but they are supposed to be gateways, not complete educations. And they don’t really read anything harder or deeper than the Federalist (not to knock it, either, but the Founders read Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, Montesquieu and more).

So on the basis of a rather flimsy education, they think they know what conservatism is, but it’s just a catechism for them, a hymnal. And they compare Trump’s policy positions to their hymnal and they see discrepancies and they just default to “Heretic! Not conservative!”

Which points to the second, which is that older conservative intellectuals tend to have better educations and read more widely so they have a broader perspective. They also have the benefit of hard-won experience and an understanding that compromise, course changes, tactical adjustments and so on are sometimes necessary. They’re less “idealistic” in the sense of uncompromisingly foolish. And—speculating here—they have seen America at its best, or when it was much better, so they know we’ve fallen and they don’t want to see us fall further.

The kidlets, as I call them, were raised on a diet of racism-this and equality-that and that’s-not-who-we-are, so they can’t process anything that seems to contradict the narrative. To them “conservatism” is the 1980 campaign’s economic platform spot-welded to Millennial identity politics and sexual libertarianism. Freedom!

He’s absolutely correct. As John Red Eagle and I have demonstrated, conservatism is something very different than most self-described conservatives believe. Conservatives don’t have an ideology and they don’t even understand what it is they are supposedly trying to conserve. It’s little more than an attitude and a pose; they can’t even reasonably describe themselves as Constitutionalists because they oppose the very purpose of the U.S. Constitution, not that they are aware of that.

Anyhow, it’s a really good interview. Read the whole thing.