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Unified Patriots by Vassar Bushmills

It was just the last spade of dirt.

(Actually, RedState, the brand, isn’t dead, but I’ll discuss that last. There are other lessons to learn first.)

Before #NeverTrump there was #NoRonPaulNoTime, #NeverPalin and #NeverHermanCain.

In the end, the likely cause of RedState’s demise was hubris and bad manners sandwiched between two slices of stale elitist and class envy sour dough.

“The Jewel in the Crown” was a great PBS drama series based on Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet, about the last days of the British Empire in India. It’s theme was how lower-middle class English could come to India and land jobs in the civil service, then take on airs of genuine British aristocracy, both to each other and the bottom-dwelling native Indian population. It was not a comedy. The “star” of the series was a Capt Ronald Merrick, the police superintendent, who was just such a “grammar school” graduate who saw in his posting to India a chance to rise up the ladder.

In a race-baiting exchange Merrick once asked an English gentleman, “Are you one of those people who think that if you teach an Indian the rules of cricket he’ll become an English gentleman?” To which the man replied, “Hardly sir. I know quite a few English gentlemen who play cricket brilliantly but are absolute shits.”

Played brilliantly by Tim Pigot-Smith, I found elements of Ronald Merrick in nearly everyone I came across at RedState, some from their posts, others in their interactions with commenters on RedState, others from private emails, and a few even in face-to-face conversation. The Good at RedState were easy to identify as they wore badges of life achievements before they entered the world of political polemics, while the Bad and the Ugly were almost uniformly separated from the Good by 20-25 years and a Rho Sigma Phi, PΣΦ. fraternity membership card,

The Good were outnumbered and didn’t live in the frat house, where every fault-line in conservatism could be found, only, when I first visited RedState, no one had any idea that such fault-lines existed. “Republican” and “conservative” were largely believed to have many points of commonality. It was inferred that taking up the call of conservatism involved study and fealty to a core set of principles, where some disagreement might exist only along the edges, but never at its core. That there might be conservative poseurs out there, with totally mercenary purposes, never crossed anyone’s mind. Now they are everywhere[…]

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