George Will’s bow tie is aflutter with indignation at the rise of the vulgarians:
In 1950, the year before William F. Buckley burst into the national conversation, the literary critic Lionel Trilling revealed why the nation was ripe for Buckley’s high-spirited romp through its political and cultural controversies. Liberalism, Trilling declared, was “not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition” in mid-century America because conservatism was expressed merely in “irritable mental gestures.” Buckley would change that by infusing conservatism with brio, bringing elegance to its advocacy and altering the nation’s trajectory while having a grand time.
Today, conservatism is soiled by scowling primitives whose irritable gestures lack mental ingredients. America needs a reminder of conservatism before vulgarians hijacked it, and a hint of how it became susceptible to hijacking….
Buckley famously said he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by Harvard’s faculty, but he briskly defended the Council on Foreign Relations from “those American right-wingers who specialize in ignorance.”
When the Alt-Right comes to power, one of its first acts should be to dig up the corpse of William F. Buckley and burn it. He was, without question, a significant part of the problem; he was no true soldier of the Right, but rather, the treacherous captain of the Left’s Cuckservative Guard.
As for George Will, I’ve only got one thing to say: your day is done. We have moved beyond you, not just politically, but intellectually. We may be vulgar, we may be impolite and declasse, but we are considerably smarter and more perceptive than you are.
And we’re not soiling conservativism. We’re rejecting it for the useless defensive and defeatist bullshit that it has always been.