My Monday column in the Washington Examiner, “Technology Powers the Conservative Renaissance,” looks out over the explosion in new and important work from the conservative intellectual class as well as the rapidly growing methods of distributing that work and concludes that the battle for the virtual intellectual commons is over and that our side has won.
I don’t expect any of my friends and none of my opponents on the left to agree with this, but their agreement is not required. The cost of President Obama’s tenure has been extraordinarily high and continues to rise, but one of the (very few) good things it has bought about is a renaissance in conservative thought and a flowering of the online means of its distribution. Conservatives were late to the online revolution, but because their ideas are right, their arrival online in full force has turned into a rout of the left, which is reduced to Think Progress, Media Matters and a shattered pretense of an agenda. They have plenty of power right now, but nothing to do with it and no agenda to propose and defend.
I wrote the piece after spending Friday talking on air with Yuval Levin about the new book he has co-edited (see below) and after reading the new books by Arthur Brooks, The Road to Freedom, and by Jonah Goldberg, The Tyranny of Cliches, on back-to-back cross-country plane rides on Friday and Saturday. Quick, give me two brand new books detailing all that is right with the Obama years and the ideology driving it. They aren’t there. They can’t be written because the failure is so complete. The autopsies are beginning to arrive, and with them the recipes for recovery and renewal. We are on the edge of a great era in America, even as 1981-1985 was a complete turnaround from 1977-19980.
It is hard to see it because of the enormity of the problems and the immense challenge of defeating the president facing the center-right in the fall, but if Mitt Romney wins –and I think all the signs are pointing in that direction– the outpouring of conservative thought sparked by the past four years of disastrous choices and failed experiments will provide the new president and his administration with a huge burst of creativity and innovation, as well as the online networks necessary to press for them and pass them, and once passed, to implement them with great speed.
Getting to the starting line of renewal, however, requires a Romney win and a GOP Senate as well as House, so please, dig deep and continue to contribute here.