OCALA, Fla., June 4, 2014 — The Right is on the rise across the Old Continent.
During last month’s European Union parliamentary elections, boldly right to far-right parties scored stunning victories. Chief amongst these are the United Kingdom Independence Party, a no-holds-barred foe of the EU, and France’s paleoconservative Front National.
The established order of center-right and center-left stands in jeopardy. Not since the postwar era have things been left so far up in the air. Above all else, this can be chalked up to public anger over mass immigration, free trade, declining wages, dishonest politicians, and undue influence wielded by special interest groups.
Here in the United States, popular concerns are none too different. The chief difference is that we have no serious will to look beyond the two party system.
“I don’t see the Tea Party turning around the GOP,” Dr. Paul Gottfried explains to me.
An outspoken paleoconservative intellectual, he is the recently retired Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Lancaster’s Elizabethtown College. His observations of the human condition have generated both accolades and animosity. Having befriended such figures as Richard Nixon and Herbert Marcuse, the Doctor’s views are not always easy to pin down. Perhaps the only constant is that he calls the shots as he sees them — with no
“From where I stand, TP partisans have at their disposal neither the GOP donor base nor the ‘conservative’ media, which are securely in neoconservative hands,” Gottfried continues. “I also can’t imagine that libertarians will take over the GOP nor that they will manage to get Rand Paul nominated as the GOP presidential candidate. Libertarians just don’t have that kind of reach, and the Republican establishment and the neocon press will finish their work of defaming RP as a racist or anti-Semite if his campaign seems to be taking off.
“About two months ago a number of major newspapers and neoconservative magazines unleashed an attack on Paul as someone who had inappropriate reservations about certain aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and as someone who might not give Israel foreign aid that it needs if (Heaven forbid!) he became president. The journalistic bombardiers would come back to finish their mission if Paul looks like he might be going somewhere in the presidential primaries.”
While this might answer questions about why UKIP’s libertarianism hasn’t gained traction stateside, why is FN’s stalwart traditionalism an alien presence here?
Gottfried says that “social traditionalists are likely to see their exiguous influence diminish even further in the years to come, at least in this country but certainly not everywhere in Europe. In France, Hungary, Italy and other European countries the Right is generally on the rise, partly because of the reaction against Islamic immigration but also because there are genuine rightwing constituencies in those places. In the US the Republican Party and the neoconservative media have done a good job controlling whatever traces of a real Right we have and getting conservatives….to focus on Obamacare, deregulation, and the need for an aggressively liberal internationalist foreign policy.”
Just how important is neoconservatism for the modern-day American Right?
“Talking about the current American conservatism without stressing the pivotal position held by the neoconservative ruling class is like analyzing the former Warsaw Pact without noticing that it was controlled by the Soviet Union,” Gottfried states. “One reason the neoconservatives do so well as a bogus opposition is that they isolate the real Right while building up relations with the left center. This is exactly what the patrons of the neoconservatives, such as Rupert Murdoch and the casino billionaire Sheldon Adelman, wish to see happen.
“Needless to say, the zealous Zionism that the neocons conspicuously push day-in and day-out yields enormous dividends. It brings them support from Jewish philanthropists and the indulgence of some Jewish liberals and the endorsement of the Religious Right. Let’s not forget that tens of millions of Christian Zionists, who identify with the GOP, adore the neocons because they’re friends of Israel and because they want to fight ‘America’s enemies’ abroad”.