To the late Brent Bozell and Triumph magazine from neoconservatism, which movement seems to be groping towards the same conclusions on America reached by Bozell and Triumph – only some 45 years later:
“The End of American Civic Christianity” by Rod Dreher (see also the First Things discussion to which it refers)
There is much that is sensible written in these essays. However, the conclusion of George Weigel’s contribution – which returns to the same First Things cliches – demonstrates that the neoconservative movement still has to pass through a long process of understanding:
“The answer in America is to revitalize a civil society rooted in the moral truths embodied in human nature. Only a civil society so rooted is capable of sustaining pluralist democracy without imploding into chaos or sinking into the dictatorship of relativism. And it is likely that only the Church, among American civil-society institutions, can lead in that long process of national civic renewal.”
Today, of course, Catholic neoconservatism must face not only complete rejection by American Civil Society but also specific repudiation of all its main points by the Bishop of Rome. Here too an apology is due. In this case the mea culpa should be directed to the many traditionalists, true conservatives and “palaeocons” of the post-Triumph decades who were the target of neoconservative abuse on ecclesiastical and liturgical issues. But, as recent exchanges reveal, not everyone at First Things has come as far in his understanding of Francis as have the participants in the above exchanges in their assessment of American civil society.