By Natalie Cronsija
The Patriot, Stony Brook University’s conservative publication, hosted a lecture given by right-wing, British-born author and blogger John Derbyshire on September 25 to elucidate the true nature of American Conservatism. His nationality aside, Derbyshire is a “true” American conservative and apart from his proud homophobia and racism, he is “mild and tolerant” in his bigotry. His claim to “see humanity plain” umbrellas his belief that homophobia and racism are “core to humanity” in the tribal/hunter-gatherer sense of what it is to be human.
It is this “plain” view, this primal, “Quest for Fire” mentality that was applied to each issue addressed. The pre-Neolithic conservatism of keeping all the nuts and berries in one pile without anyone putting their dirty, foreign hands on them is, essentially, the conservative economic policy from the dawn of time, and has since been lost to a world where even cavemen have car insurance.
This olde type of conservatism or, paleo-con, is rather infrequent now as the Republican party fluxes between “cons”—from neo-cons to theo-cons to bio-cons—and now, as The Patriot’s Alaxander Chamessian said, “I don’t know what it exactly means to be conservative.” John Derbyshire’s incarnation of conservatism, the type that apparently lies somewhere between sedimentary layers of rock, is the first and most American of them all.
The economy was the bleed-American soft spot Mr. Derbyshire began to analyze first. The prevailing economic apocalypse echoes of the ancient death of Coolidge conservatism in the 1930’s, when FDR took his big gun, took aim and shot the “last dodo bird of conservatism,” and laid it as a pagan sacrifice to save the country from death. Wall Street is, as the prophets foretold, the new Sodom with sulfur clouds on the way. The government’s big, meaty paws have never left the American purse (rather pocket, ‘cause “purse” might be too gay). Another part of the problem is the illegal immigrant population, which only takes and takes and never gives back (and of whom Mr. Derbyshire was a member from the early 1970s until 2002). America is an “assimilationist” country according to Derbyshire, who cites diversity and the public “cherishing of identity” as the chief force destroying the American social fabric. Thank you, Stony Brook Cultural Associations! You’re breaking America!
Derbyshire does believe that most Americans view the Iraq War as a mistake. He learned the hard way that the British, imperialist “blow up the Sultan’s palace” approach does not pan out as well as it did in the days of Lawrence of Arabia, old boy. This basic foreign policy, which “doesn’t take Muslims seriously,” is encouraging a worldview that brushes off Russia as a place that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin “can see from her house.”
“I need to leave…now…” said a student who identified herself as a “gay, hippie liberal” as the lecture ended. She had come to the lecture with two friends who identified themselves as moderate Republicans and expressed concern that The Patriot, would have such an “extremist” speak to students so close to an election of “change.” Of change, Mr. Derbyshire was not supportive, for how can humans change fundamental human nature, or at least resurrect Calvin Coolidge’s petrified corpse to save the day? “Liberals, they pretend [these fundamental prejudices] don’t exist, and I don’t like them.”