The Stiftung long argued that Bush-As-Spirit-Of-The-Age is perhaps
not entirely comically absurd. Christian Socialist Authoritarianism in
the U.S. came from somewhere. True, the Movement's various strands
took advantage of 9/11. And true, they together routed and used the
hapless Democrats as props and sock puppets until 2006. But the extent
of the regime's transformation of American social fabric, mores,
politics and destiny was not wholly imposed top down. The Joe Kleins
of the world didn't and still don't get it.
The Enlightenment was always a thin veneer in America before 2001. It
is thinner still in 2007.
Nice formulation, that: "Christian Socialist Authoritarianism" would be entirely defensible by someone like Leo Strauss, I think, as preferable to Jacksonian democracy, civil war, The Gilded Age, Progressivism, and Wilsonianism, as well as a thousand other bad ideas from the world at large.
It's been said that the American Jewish messiah looks a lot like FDR, and Strauss, a Platonist-Jew, dug him bigtime, or so I've heard.
Christian Socialist Authoritarianism certainly fits FDRism, I think, and "compassionate conservatism" seems pretty close, if only running on FDR's fumes.
Was the Founding Era America's Golden Age? Hard to tell, as things got unsettled before they got settled. Regardless, it didn't survive democracy and Andrew Jackson, so its tenability is in doubt, as Strauss and a number of others might observe [if they indulged in a bit of historicism]. Christian Socialist Authoritarianism seems to
round the bases of electorates throughout the West.
(I will put in a plug for Fred Thompson here, whose noises on federalism are the most Founder-like thing I've heard in my lifetime.)
(And I think the linked essay trickles into la-la-land a little [a lot], but I admire its boldness.)