Great days ahead for conservatives. What would Don Draper do?
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 11/20/10
One of my more interesting life assignments was to ride to the airport with William F. Buckley, Jr. to keep him entertained. Conversation touched on state sovereignty on a variety of issues to whether or not Russia would be better off with a tsar (Buckley said yes). Soaring, fearless and graceful he was, and without his omniscient overview, conservatism has become stratified and intellectually timid. There is stress now among traditional conservatives about the new energy that is the Tea Party but there should not be. In terms ad man Don Draper might have used decades back, yes, the new Volkswagen bug has arrived on the streets of America. Yes, it is disturbing. Yes, it will change America. The elderly Bert Coopers might have a hard time adjusting. But the Republicans already have the account. This burgeoning, young conservative movement today has Old Temple v. New Temple features virtually identical to those which Jack Kennedy, scorned by Eleanor Roosevelt and the liberal Protestant gentry, faced in 1960. The franchise ran for 50 years.
The egregious groping behavior of the TSA will trigger now a psychological change in the mainstream of America unprecedented in this country. What started with the Tea Party will spread by degree to every non-zombie who flies over the holidays; that is, anyone with a pulse. Because as Mike Huckabee said to Judge Andrew Napolitano on his “Freedom Watch” show the other night, The Tea Party is the most important political movement in America in his lifetime. Now it will metabolize to a greater realm.
The zombie craze today suggests that America has become a soulless horde, just as it suggested when the craze first appeared in the late 1950s. Then it was prelude to a vast cultural awakening just ahead and it will be this time again. So the new conservative Congress should not be considered the equivalence of 1994, when America reacted to the incompetence of the Clintons in the health care debacle and the Clintons in general and returned power in the Congress to Republicans. What did the Republicans have going forward into 1996? Bob Dole, the weakest and least attractive Republican to run for high office in post war. But what do the Democrats face in 2012? Possibly the most dynamic, competent and creative group since post war: Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Huckabee, Rick Perry, Mike Pence, Chris Christie and expanding the paradigm to an entirely new realm of state sovereignty and Austrian economics, possibly Ron Paul and potentially Joe Miller of Alaska. The rising, creative vision of the century ahead could well open at the 2012 Republican convention.
The Hapsburgian elders still pitch Jeb Bush and his mother today joins the haunted bipartisan chorus which sings: “Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more! Go away, go away and please don’t slam the door . . . (slam!).”
But I think I still see Sarah Palin upon the stair. She wasn’t there again today.