Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Vanishing TraditionPerspectives on American Conservatism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Gottfried

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749858

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749858.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 03 July 2022

Big Conservatism and American Exceptionalism

Big Conservatism and American Exceptionalism

(p.9) 1 Big Conservatism and American Exceptionalism
(p.iii) The Vanishing Tradition

Jack Kerwick

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses “Big Conservatism,” or “the Big Con,” and the doctrine of American exceptionalism (AE). What is known as the conservative movement in America is not conservative in any traditional or historical sense. The present conservative movement is largely a creation of neoconservatism, which gained effective control of establishment conservative media in the 1980s. The Big Conservatism that emerged from this takeover is a recognizable form of the Rationalist, progressivist, imperialist Left, against which classical conservatives and later the interwar American Right were once furiously opposed. The movers and shakers of Big Conservatism, true to their ideological pedigree, anchor their political vision in a metaphysical abstraction, American exceptionalism. From the perspective of American exceptionalism, America is an Idea and perhaps the only nation in all of human history that is imagined to transcend history. It is on the basis of this equation of America with a concept—a borderless, immaterial, universal concept—that those in the Big Con seek to justify their policy prescriptions, particularly their linkage of idealistic military intervention abroaexceptionalism with unrelenting immigration at home.

Keywords:   Big Conservatism, American exceptionalism, American conservative movement, neoconservatism, conservative media, American Right, military intervention, immigration

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.