Napoleon, Che Guevara both destroyed by their allegiance to fight battles of the past in a changing war. It is a familiar story repeated throughout history, a testament to the fleeting nature of power. If we are to be honest with ourselves, we must admit that the biggest reason we have not been able to tackle the more pressing issues of our time is that we have been distracted by the rehashing of battles that have already been fought. Roe v. wade, unions and robber barons, oil monopolies, pollution and global warming, colonialism (nation building): These would all be settled issues but for the fact that a certain group of people will not let go so that we can focus on moving beyond the boundaries of the 20th century.
Much of the rest of the industrialized world is transitioning toward a clean and renewable energy future while in the U.S. we are still fighting fiercely about whether man has caused global climate change. This issue is a microcosm of the wider issues thwarting progress today. In spite of all the evidence showing that humans are in fact greatly influencing climate change we are called to focus on the statistical gaps as "evidence" to the contrary. No matter that every time an advancement in research is made the data fit the general picture of human influenced climate change. We are being asked to not believe our own eyes, to set aside our own sound logic and hold judgment for just a little longer. Most importantly, we are being asked to do nothing to mitigate the results of climate change regardless of the causes. In the meantime big oil and fossil fuel interests continue the destruction of irreplaceable public resources for their own enrichment. The reasons are self evident; profit and influence.
As a microcosm, the climate change "debate" is a good example because it really has inspired the playbook for conservative obstructionism. These tactics have been applied system wide in an effort to maintain a golden age of conservatism when the government and general population unquestioningly took conservative ideas to heart. We lived the conservative lifestyle. Gays were out of sight, or at least silent. Communism was a frightening prospect to everyone. The economy and taxes were far too complicated for average citizens to understand or influence. All of these factors lead to a monopoly of influence in the workings of government and the dictation of global politics by conservatives.
Times are changing, and like hurricanes pummeling our population centers, the inadequacy of conservatism to deal with a changing world paradigm can neither be ignored nor folded into a false narrative. As a unified force in Europe defeated Napoleon and a unified force in South America overcame Che, the nature of globalism (which conservatives were influential in creating) has been the harbinger of ill fate for traditional conservative ideals. No amount of subterfuge will cloud the picture of a writhing, disintegrating mass called the GOP.
There were some good things to come from 20th century conservatism. Many of the comforts of modern life are a result of a truly free market capitalism and the firm grounding which characterizes conservatives saw us through some very tough times. But, alas that philosophy is long gone. It has been replaced by the notion that the ends justify all means. It no longer matters to the conservative establishment whom gets trampled in their stampede toward the next tactic to maintain power and influence. The infection of greed has overtaken the mind and finally choked the heart of American conservatism.
The Grande Ol' Party has expired.