Originally posted on July 8, 2020.
At The American Conservative, Patrick J. Deneen explains why conservatism is the natural home for America’s working class. He writes (abridged):
The allegiance of the working classes is increasingly aligned with conservative parties around the world, fully recognizing the deep hostility of both “progressives” and “neoliberal conservatives” to their way of life.
The abandonment of working classes from progressive parties is the deepest underlying source of their panic over populism—the mask has been lifted.
The loss of residual working-class support reveals the emperor has been wearing the finest clothes, bought with assets strip-mined from ordinary people.
Conservatism wandered in the wilderness in its alignment with classical liberalism, but as that ideology has been discredited and its influence over conservative parties has diminished, there is—arguably for the first time—a genuine possibility of a conservative moment in America.
Conservatism rightly seeks to protect the main aims of a well-lived life for ordinary people—family, home, honest work, production over consumption, decent places, stability, and a nation that protects these goods.
Today, conservatism increasingly enjoys the support of the working classes.
The next thing most needful is to replace the current corrupt elite of faux egalitarians with a genuinely conservative leadership who will actively protect, support, and promote the goods of life that should and can be widely enjoyed, regardless of one’s wealth, social status, or ranking of one’s alma mater.
Patrick J. Deneen is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.
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