Back when they came up with the shtick about divine right, was a time when the people were more amenable to such. If not, then they, the people, could almost always be convinced. After the monarchies, and their off-shoots the sub-monarchies of Lords and Ladies, began losing some of their divine radiance, this at about the same time that the people started to become more enlightened, the true blues realized that they needed to come up with something better. This time, they would need a more subtle way of convincing the masses of their entitle. They, the true blues, of course, did neither the coming up with nor the convincing. True to form, they found someone to do it for them. Not that finding someone would be difficult in the least. Seems there was always a few sycophants, would be court philosophers, toadying about; the George Wills, the Grover Norquists, the Bill Kristols, …, of the day, if you will.

Thus begun and so proceeded the evolution of thought on hierarchical conservatism: Those accepting of divine rights called themselves ‘Tories’. They were to be followed those who spoke of this they called conservatism, a new way of according special rights to those of wealth whilst acknowledging that sovereignty belonged to the people; rather a combination of the hierarchical and the parliamentarian. Clear as mud, no? Still and all, it was all about rationalizing the right of the wealthy to more rights than anyone else, and not about clarity. Modern political/economic, hierarchical, conservatism is still very much all about this rationalization. Those making up this support group for the better off call themselves conservatives. Call themselves what they will, there really is no other underlying philosophy other this rationalization for skewed wealth distribution. Wouldn’t do to leave off the many economists who have also served as court philosophers. Names Milton Friedman and Fred Hayek ring any bells? These hierarchical conservatives are invariably republicans.

If someone is of a bean-counter bent, chooses to see government as some kind of business, doesn’t understand Keynesian Economics nor care to do so; they might self-identify as a fiscal conservative. As such, they might, based on other core beliefs, identify politically with either the democrats or the republicans. Of either party, these folk are susceptible to being politically co-opted by the hierarchical conservatives.

There is a significant portion of the population that wants things to always stay the same; believe that if there must be change, it should be slow-paced. These are those who long for those golden days of their memory, who can’t wait to get back to ‘normal’, who fear and detest change. Often, for many in this group, religion plays a big role in their lives. Due this resistance to change, this group, also, thinks of themselves as being conservatives. Some Republican politicians would have us believe that the yearners for the past and the sycophants to wealth are one and the same. They are not; though as we have seen of late, neither is above using the other when it suits their purposes.

This clinging to, longing for, the past can have a dark side. When Richard Nixon went a hunting Barry Goldwater’s ducks/votes, he went hunting amongst the then yet southern democrats in the formerly segregated southern states, mostly. In exchange for their now disaffected votes, he offered them an alternative to their now-defunct white supremacist southern democratic party that had just abandoned them. A new political avenue to fight off integration. A way to maintain the status quo; to leave the democratic party. In many of these states of the confederacy, things hadn’t changed that much in the first hundred years since the Civil War. Nixon offered them a shot at burning through another hundred years while retaining as much white supremacy as possible. No denying, this resistance to change in re racism and white supremacy, too, was a form of conservatism. This was its ugliest form of all.

More broadly: Conservationists are nature’s conservatives in the sense that they want to maintain the status quo. A difficult task, given that nature is always in flux. It has been a good while since conservative politicians aligned themselves with conservationists.

For years and years now, those aligned with political and economic (hierarchical) Conservatism have sought and gotten the support of the fiscal, and culturally conservative, and, to their everlasting shame, the white supremacist. Now, something has gone terribly wrong. These last two election times around, now, much to the chagrin of George Will, Bill Kristol et al, the more extreme of the cultural conservatives and the white supremacy conservatives have wrested control of the republican party away from the hierarchical conservatives. Have taken over. The marriage of convenience has become a nightmare from hell. The chickens have come home to roost.