I haven’t had as much opportunity to write as I would have liked in 2017 and I am looking forward to remedying that. Here are the top 5 essays, as ranked by you, the dear readers of Musings On The Right;
- On Selling Your Soul
This was yet another marker that signifies why I am a politically homeless conservative (more on that in a later essay). It wasn’t just that the activist base of the Republican Party actively chose to believe a less likelier story in favor of an absurd conspiracy to avoid the hard truth (that they had nominated a child molester and sexual deviant). It was that a not insignificant part of the American Right from altrighters like Heartiste to boomer conservatives engaged in covert and overt excuse making for a man sexually targeting young teenage girls for the vain hopes of a little more political power. Don’t sign me up for a political project that engages in this self debasement.
“Not one senate seat worth putting the American Church into deeper moral bankruptcy. We already live in a time where the young are leaving the Church in droves in large part due to these episodes of blatant hypocrisy. Any Roman Catholic can tell you the power of what such hypocrisy can do to drive people out of the Church. Is 1% of one half of one branch of the American federal government worth even one soul?”
A decent part of the reason why I stopped caring how the GOP does is that I am far more interested in the state of the American Church. All politics is downstream of culture and what is culture but religion externalized?
- Now Let Us Praise Tragic Men
Maximiliano of the Second Mexican Empire has got to be the most tragic figure in Mexican history right after Cuauhtémoc and certainly the most underappreciated after Augustin de Iturbide. Had the Second Empire succeeded, undoubtedly Mexican and American history would be irrevocably changed.
“As the violence heightened, Juarez fled to Texas and imperial generals executed Juaristas summarily, Maximiliano offered a truce. In one of the least studied “What Ifs” of Mexican history, he offered Juarez to be his prime minister. Maximiliano had already enforced most of the Liberal reforms, only reversing the land confiscations and moderating their stance on the Church. What if Juarez had accepted?”
- In defensa de español
The simultaneous rise of Trumpian Anglo identity politics and Latino/Chicano leftism had me thinking on the status of Spanish in the U.S. One side castigates it as foreign, the other mangles it with unintelligible innovations. Both are wrong.
“The American Southwest is different from the Midwest, like New England is different from the American South. Rooting out what makes these regions unique doesn’t retain or restore American culture. It won’t make America great again. It will only diminish her. America without Spanish isn’t America as she developed, grew and matured. An America without Spanish would be a lesser one than she was before.”
- Reactionary Thoughts on America
This is a piece I’ve been mulling over for a time. America’s founding often gets put down by European conservatives and their colonial cousins, yet I think there is a good case to be made that America has its own indigenous conservative tradition that is not simply right-wing classical liberalism.
“Instead of an egalitarian world revolution, the American experience was a local affair, rooted in our British context. Kirk called it, ‘…a preventive movement, intended to preserve an old constitutional structure for the most part. Its limited objectives attained, order was restored.’ As he says, it was a revolution made but one prevented.”
Like my essays on the Second Mexican Empire and the Spanish language in the U.S. this piece was ever so graciously boosted by the folks over at Social Matter. I often disagree with both their diagnosis and prescriptions but they are often talented writers dealing with serious issues.
- On the Rohingya Crisis
I don’t have too much to say about this piece other than it was written in a fit of pique after reading the dumbest damn thing I have ever had the misfortune to peruse on The Federalist. It is a crying shame how a decent internet publication has utterly prostituted itself into clickbait crankishness.
Furthermore it annoys me how we manipulate facts on the ground to suit our politics. The writers and readers over at The American Conservative fall into this error all the time. Burnt by the Iraqi experiment they wisely forgo American military intervention but then descend into quackery by denying the odiousness of various regimes and their proxies (the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ba’athist Syria, Hezbollah, Putin’s Russia) all the while working themselves into fits that America has a close relationship with a particular Near Eastern state of unique religious heritage (curious how that so often is).
The Federalist did the same with Myanmar. A verifiable and monstrous crime is being committed and they printed borderline genocide apologia. Disgraceful.
“Skepticism over the usefulness of liberal humanitarian intervention is good thing and probably would have saved us all a lot of trouble lately. However it should not be tainted with winks and insinuations regarding an ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign. The Federalist should not retract the piece as its monument to editorial imbecility should be maintained for posterity.”
I thank you for all the reading you’ve done of this humble blog and look forward to many more interesting conversations this year. Happy New Year everyone (and Merry Christmas as we technically have 2 more days left in the season).