A few weeks ago right wing grifter par excellence Jacob Wohl suggested that his fellow American Jews adopt a new holiday tradition:
“I firmly believe that every Jew in America should decorate their home with Christmas lights. It’s called assimilation. America is a Christian country,” Wohl wrote on November 4.
Wohl is of course a clownish villain, but as is so often the case the professional jokers of the American right wing are merely making a slightly less nuanced version of the same argument being put forth by the Very Serious Intellectuals of the movement. Here’s what was going on at last week’s big National Conservatism Conference, where the brightest lights of the American right wing met to plot the new order of a nation freed from the curse of Google’s cultural Marxism and Joe Biden’s wokeness:
Yoram Hazony, the chief intellectual architect of national conservatism, is an Orthodox Jew who went to Princeton before moving to Israel. He argues that you can’t have a society that embraces government neutrality and tries to relegate values to the private sphere. The public realm eventually eviscerates private values, especially when public communication is controlled by a small oligarchic elite. If conservatives want to stand up to the pseudo-religion of wokeism, they have to put traditional religion at the center of their political project.
Another Israeli political philosopher at the conference, Ofir Haivry, argued that Americans shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking that a nation is built out of high-minded liberal abstractions, like the Bill of Rights. A nation is, instead, a cultural tradition, a common language, a set of rituals and beliefs, and a religious order—a collective cultural identity.
The history of Judaism demonstrates, Haivry argues, that you don’t need a state or a political order to be a nation.
In Ohio, Josh Mandel is trying the same schtick, with some rather foreboding results.
The weird thing is that we’ve seen this movie before, so it’s not like the end is some big mystery.