For the last several decades, many on the right kept their view of social and political conflict confined to the frame of market versus government, a viewpoint perhaps best embodied by President Reagan.
While conservative skepticism of this obsolete, Cold War-era framework has certainly been mounting, its tone-deafness in the modern day has never been more obvious. Just last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the quiet part out loud and admitted that the federal government is colluding with big tech oligarchs by “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread this disinformation.”
The @PressSec says that the White House is "flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread this disinformation."
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) July 15, 2021
The administration is already hard at work on this front, with the White House citing a report from a foreign dark money group the Center for Countering Digital Hate that focused on 12 people who allegedly spread misinformation. The CCDH previously failed in an attempt to deplatform The Federalist.
This blatant collusion to silence Americans is just the latest in a multi-decade string of left-wing attempts to subjugate average Americans to the will of multinationals. Once the vanguard of the working class, the Democratic Party long ago abandoned its previous base, instead facilitating the offshoring of American industry while importing foreign workers who displace American workers and lower American wages under the thin moralist patina of diversity.
Now, the current Democratic administration boasts of its coordination with corporate power to silence those who share what they deem to be “disinformation,” making their stance on tech censorship and corporate overreach all the more evident. Any pretense that the left checks corporate power is decidedly dead, with the two working hand in hand to erode the liberty, cultural identity, and economic prospects of America’s middle and working classes.
The market versus government dichotomy that undergirds Reaganite Republicanism is wholly incapable of answering the crises we face today as big corporate has moved fully to the left. Although it might be the most obvious example, it isn’t only the tech oligopoly of Silicon Valley that threatens the right and its priorities.
There’s also Major League Baseball, Delta Air, and Coca-Cola who threatened to boycott the state of Georgia in an attempt to kill an election integrity bill. At least 279 companies also backed the violent Black Lives Matter movement. Coca-Cola told its workers to “be less white” in a diversity training, while Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has pledged to refuse support to companies that are too white or too male.
The LGBT movement, which is now endeavoring even more blatantly to sexualize your children, is backed by a wide array of corporations from a variety of sectors. Netflix, which depicted Jesus Christ as a closeted homosexual and created an entire series dedicated to villainizing white people, is also in the business of sexualizing children.
Meanwhile, the massive multinational investment firm Blackrock is paying above market price to buy up entire neighborhoods to turn us into a nation of renters, a development that will only further impede millennial homeownership and family formation, which works to suppress an already abysmal U.S. fertility rate. In the words of the World Economic Forum, “You will own nothing and be happy.”
Several other multinationals are intent on tearing down borders to facilitate the unmitigated flow of people and capital for the sake of their profit, despite the disastrous consequences globalization has for workers and all who wish to preserve their respective cultures.
The outdated conservative impulse to defend corporations as if they serve as a bulwark against either the left or the government isn’t simply out of touch but horribly counterproductive, only entrenching a false dichotomy that renders conservatism little more than a vessel of controlled opposition.
Our current paradigm has made it exceedingly clear that the defining fault lines in American politics are not between the government and the market but between the elites and common people. Any form of conservatism that doesn’t understand the power structure that opposes it will remain impotent, unable to contend with that which it can’t accurately identify.
Elites, whether they’re on corporate boards, in the government, or in establishment media newsrooms, have time and time again displayed their utter contempt for average Americans. Whether they occupy positions of power in the public or private sector is of little consequence. The attack on Middle America comes in the form of a private-public partnership, with both working in tandem to culturally and economically dispossess the backbone of this country, largely through loose immigration policies and free trade.
Thankfully, many on the right have recognized that the market and the government are not two diametrically opposed sectors, with many of these corporations having an active interest in eroding the values, norms, and institutions that the right holds so dear. Perhaps even more significant, this emergent force on the right has also provided a much-needed counterbalance to so-called free market absolutists, instead proposing that the wellbeing of families, communities, and our nation must come before dogmatic support for ideology.
While Tucker Carlson has been one of the loudest voices advocating for this renewed vision of conservatism, the Trump presidency ignited a populist movement that has outlived his administration and is gaining power in Washington. In his maiden speech, Sen. Josh Hawley spoke on behalf of a growing number of Americans when he said “millions of Americans are left with the sense that the people who run this country view them with nothing but contempt, and value them as nothing more than consumers.”
Earlier this year Hawley gave a well-received speech at CPAC, where he noted that the biggest threat to the right comes from “an unprecedented alliance of radical liberals and the biggest, most powerful corporations in the history of the world.” A new class of like-minded Republican hopefuls is now campaigning to join Hawley in the House and Senate, including J.D. Vance, Joe Kent, and Blake Masters.
The populist movement is not confined to electoral politics, however, with a wealth of young organizations cropping up to provide the support and intellectual capital needed to back the nascent movement. Oren Cass’s think tank American Compass notes that part of its mission is to reorient politics “from growth for its own sake to widely shared economic development that sustains vital social institutions,” while Republicans for National Renewal “strives for a new conservatism that combines traditional conservative values with nationalist and populist ideas just as President Trump did.”
Several other populist organizations are focused on youth engagement, with conservative non-profit American Moment working to credential young Americans in the public policy sphere and noting on their priority list that “The power of multinational corporations must be curtailed,” while the recently founded American Populist Union describe themselves as “conservatives standing for American Workers and Families over the interests of Big Business, Globalist Elites, and Foreign Nations,” and just hosted their inaugural summit.
The College Republicans Patriot Coalition, a coalition of which my chapter is a part, has been working to provide a conservative, populist vision that challenges out of touch establishment organizations like the College Republicans National Committee, which has recently become embroiled in a scandal after enacting procedural revisions that were likely intended to influence the outcome of their election.
Conservatives in electoral politics, the public policy world, and on college campuses are increasingly realizing that the state and the corporate world have joined forces to threaten our liberties, families, culture, and values, and that any legitimate defense of that which we hold dear must begin with an honest appraisal of the preeminent fault line in American society.
The right’s success will be contingent on its ability to confront elites of both the public and private sector that threaten the everyday people who make up its base, not on its ability to rehash the policy prescriptions and philosophical tenets of free-market absolutism, an ideology that has provided economic incentives for gutting American industry, the erasure of American culture, and the delayal, if not outright abandonment, of American family formation.