Almost completely ignored by conservative media (never mind the mainstream media), there is a growing generation gap emerging within young conservatives that in some ways resembles the “generation gap” of the 1960s which saw the new left “hippie” generation emerge from liberal homes, as Midge Decter explained in her early book Liberal Parents, Radical Children.
Now it is happening on the right. The postwar conservative movement that we baby boomers grew up with is not attractive or relevant to the generation coming of age now. I started picking up on this story with Michael Anton’s long essay almost three years ago on the phenomenon of the underground but highly popular book Bronze Age Mindset, which, it must be said, is a very different book from The Conservative Mind or The Road to Serfdom. Then I started following a group of mostly younger conservatives who participate actively on Twitter, and sometimes in live chats on the “Spaces” platform that Twitter has launched. Most of this younger cohort participate online under a pseudonym, because in the age of cancel culture their politically incorrect views, and moreover their transgressive humor (they actually make George Floyd jokes, which is worse than Helen Keller or Anne Frank jokes), would get them instantly censored if not worse.
I reached out to one of the ring leaders of this circle, “Athenian Stranger,” on Twitter (@athens_stranger) and rounded five of these mostly younger figures to come on this podcast to explain their disgust with our “woke republic,” and their disappointment with the ineffective resistance of the established conservative movement. Since I’m a stodgy baby boomer, I recruited Glenn Ellmers, author of The Soul of Politics, to join me as the special guest-host for the episode. He and Joshua Lippincott have just this week published an important article about this topic, “Boomers, Meet the Based.”
Settle in for a long conversation. We had some technical difficulties with recording this large a group, and thus there are some abrupt edits throughout on account of sudden crashes and disconnections. But it couldn’t be helped. Glenn and I do a short “postgame show” at the end to try to tie some loose ends together.
The episode is quite long as there is a lot to cover. Do give it a try though. Think of it as what a classroom seminar with a group of bright conservative students would be like today. As always, listen here, or hobble over in your walker to our hosts at Ricochet.