If you are a social conservative and wonder what’s with the anemic pushback from the GOP, this is a thread for you. In fact, if you are a socially conservative Roman Catholic or Evangelical and think something is strangely amiss in the political order that is failing to check the social/moral/cultural chaos that is sweeping away the barriers to the barbarism that is now within the gates, this, too, is for you.
At the root of it is an article by Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor of the New York Post and a contributing editor of the Catholic Herald, who sees in David French of National Review much that is wrong with the model of the conservative engagement with the aggressive left. He basically asserts that French and those of his ilk have failed to see that the rules of engagement have changed. The left has now switched to the “win at any cost” MO – the old rules of ‘liberal proceduralism’ have been cast off. Ahmari calls conservatives (and the church) to realize civilized dialogue and debate are no longer the order of the day. As long as those like the National Review think we are in a debate guided by the rules of a cotillion society, the contest is over.
On Ahmari’s side, at least as far as cultural analysis is concerned, are Patrick Deneen and Rod Dreher. French thinks that to abandon liberal proceduralism is being unfaithful to Christ, even if the other side is smoking the conservatives.
This is a gloves off, face-off, and a necessary debate. I have put the debate links in an order so that you can follow the thread of thought with the least possible trouble. I have added the thought or Dr. Robert George, who is mostly sympathetic to French, and Rod Dreher. I tend to side with Ahmari, but like Dreher I tend to be 75% for Ahmari and 25% with French.