Conservative is the new counterculture

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There’s Glenn Beck, explaining that progressivism is just revolutionary socialism, only with gradual change instead of sudden upheaval, effort within the existing system instead of violence, and consensus-building instead of dictatorial fiat. So it’s like, um, American democracy. Still, when you really think* about it, progressivism is just radical communism by another name, the same way your uncle is just your aunt with testicles. We can forgive Glenn Beck for confusing an established political idea with its complement, or for decrying the abuses of progressivism even as he praises his local library, since he is speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where up is down, black is white, white is also white, and conservatism—that age-old defender of institutions and tradition—has finally become the counterculture.

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The Summer of Hate: Counterculture in 2009

Apparently if you go Hot Topic it's all Glenn Beck CDs and copies of The Wealth of Nations now.

Apparently if you go to Hot Topic it's all Glenn Beck CDs and copies of The Wealth of Nations now.

I was going to be angry about these kids, but one look at the profoundly sixteen-year-old-girl expression on that sixteen-year-old girl’s face and I didn’t have the heart. (If you’d like to get real sad, you can read a blog written by that poor girl’s mother, in which she calls Barbara Boxer a “moronic twit.” The badge on the right side indicates that she’s made the list of “best conservative blogs on the net,” which is apparently determined by total word count.) That’s her boyfriend on the left, proving again that teenage boys will do anything under certain conditions. And what are these desperate youths and the ragtag band behind them protesting for? Lower taxes on the rich, reduced social services, deregulation of business and conservative fiscal policy.

To hear Frank Rich tell it, protests like these are harbingers of a new era of cultural and political upheaval. Last weekend was the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock, which television raised me to believe was the most important moment of the 20th century. It turns out that was all to promote The Wonder Years, though, because this year’s commemoration was overshadowed by the season premiere of Mad Men. First of all, if you don’t watch Mad Men, you should start immediately. It is the Cadillac of television shows, or the Combat! blog of television shows in that Frank Rich and I agree with it more than anyone else in America. Second of all, Frank Rich is right. The year that resonates with our present cultural moment isn’t 1969; it’s 1963.

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