Clarity of vision and political regeneration

Sohrab Ahmari writes on the threat that the New Right will be co-opted into the old right.

In the wake of Roe v. Wade’s reversal, I think it’s worth considering what the old right has delivered culturally and politically. The answer that comes to mind is: accommodation. The reversal of Roe v. Wade was achieved for distinct and apparently unrepeatable reasons, including decades of moral clarity and political campaigning by pro-life advocates who often had to lead the political establishment reluctantly in its direction on the issue. On nearly every issue other than abortion, the old right has offered what it considers prudential accommodation to cultural and political degeneration and decay. Its institutions fought, but rarely won.

American culture has shifted markedly, and almost never due to the wishes of voters. The New Right, as far as I can tell, proposes to reverse this dynamic, and for that reason its dynamism and health should be protected from those who would wear it as a sort of costume.

This doesn’t need to mean hostility and it doesn’t need to mean suspicion of tactical alliances. But it should involve clarity and frankness about the costs of continuing to engage in the politics of accommodation on a host of issues versus recovering the politics of regeneration.