Saving our ethos Print
By Irving Kristol   
Friday, 11 January 2013

For years now, conservatives have been waiting for “the people” to rise up against the institutional elites who have imposed their culture on us. But the people can't be bothered. There are many reasons for this. They are too busy working, worrying, drinking, and watching television. Or they are simply intimidated by the learned academics who advise them to “go with the flow.” Or they really don't mind a dash of pornography in their lives. (Topless bars are full of people who vote Republican.) Or they are God-fearing folk who are so busy insulating the lives of their families – and with a fair degree of success – against this decadent culture that they have no time and energy left to fight it. . . .
So is the conservative ethos dead in America? No, it survives – often quite comfortably – defeated but not dead. There are innumerable strategies of survival that are available, most of them directed at children. Television-free or television-restricted homes become more popular every year. So do religious schools and colleges. There are millions of families who wouldnt dream of permitting their children to attend a hard-rock concert, and many millions of children who wouldnt dream of asking. As a minority, conservatives are able to lead decent and fruitful lives despite our popular culture.