Conservative Crackup Redux

Has Donald Trump exposed an essential weakness at the core of the conservative movement?

The Culture War ended. We lost.

The primary lesson gleaned from the defeat, as well as from the Right’s white flags thrown up against the onslaught of big government, directs conservatives to pick fights with other conservatives rather than liberals. They’re easier to beat.

Jonah Goldberg this week called for the excommunication of the Alt-Right from the ranks of the respectable Right. National Review’s animating principle of “stand[ing] athwart history yelling Stop” sounds like a plaintive cry against contemporary conservatism when juxtaposed with Goldberg’s column. For better and worse, it’s not 1955. No longer the flagship publication of the American Right, National Review sees (or doesn’t) its influence wane as Breitbart, The Blaze, The Daily Caller, and other venues attract more eyes. A pope issuing excommunications without people filling his pews does not wield power. He advertises his powerlessness.