This guy grasps what the Intellectualoids never will. Dreher caught the essay and condenses:
...Smith says it has to do with what the Arabs call assabiya, or solidarity. He cites the medieval Islamic chronicler Ibn Khaldun’s theory that a people’s sense of solidarity and purpose (often based in religious conviction) is the true engine of history. “With it, the most primitive tribe can overturn the mightiest of civilizations; without it, a people will wither in the desert,” writes Smith....
That's not the only message Smith has for us.
...For our elite, the fall began during the tail end of the Bill Clinton presidency when Democratic Party strategists augured that they’d soon have a permanent hold on power thanks to urban intellectuals, young single women, racial and ethnic majorities, and the LGBT community. What is described as a coalition is in fact a mélange of clients with varying and sometimes opposing interests that can only be held together by stoking a communal hatred of the national majority—the white middle class....
...It was hardly a coincidence that this demographic was the source of the wealth that the establishment was busy transferring to themselves and abroad, through initiatives like the North American Free Trade Agreement. The elites rationalized their impoverishment of the white middle class by claiming that they were dying anyway. And when the American heartland didn’t die off quickly enough, the establishment credentialed themselves as progressives by calling the people who live there racists. Being racists, they deserved all the bad things the elite had decided for them. Thus, by betting on sectarianism as the path to permanent power, American elites polarized the United States....
... it was hardly surprising that much of the Republican establishment attached itself to the rising elite and reshaped its policies to fit. Take George W. Bush for instance: After 9/11 he invaded two Muslim countries for revenge and deterrence, but in time he changed the mission to promoting Middle East democracy, a pet theory of pro-Palestinian academics. When Sen. Mitt Romney marched with Black Lives Matter, and Gen. Mark Milley advocated for critical race theory, they were simply demonstrating that they had adopted the manners and belief system of the dominant power....
Part of the reason that the American heartland did not die off quickly enough is because the American heartland maintains a far stronger religious faith than do The Elites, including Bush, Romney, Graham, etc. It could be said that it maintains a stronger faith than its religious "leaders" do. I need not name names there....
"Religion" does not mean "church-going." Even Pelosi and Biden 'go to church,' whitened sepulchres as they are. And "religion" does not necessarily mean uniformity in theological details, as any Catholic believer will tell you after he's encountered a religious Calvinist.
No, it's a shared understanding of Right Order in very general terms. In America, that's derived from Locke's Four. (READ THAT!!) PJBuchanan talked and wrote about it and showed GHWBush that it meant something--but the time was not right. Remember, PJ was an "America First" culture candidate (the Christian culture) when that stance was reviled by the Beautiful People--the corrupt, morally disgraceful, Ruling Class.
The very same class that has brought us Afghanistan--from the beginning to the end.
Smith is warning all of us.
Dreher, using the example of Russia from 1891 though Stalin, brings up Totalitarianism while crapping all over Trump (again.) Maybe it will be Dreher's man J D Vance. Maybe it will be a far wiser and even more wily Trump.
It had better be somebody, and damn soon.
UPDATE: Grim has another take on the essay.
UPDATE 2: Even more on the same topic.
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