Now, the alt-right hasn’t quite put its finger on what Ryanites really believe, either. Because what conservative Republicans in the Buckley-Ryan tradition stand for is less like globalism only and more like nationalism and globalism. We can have both!
It was the Cold War that first made this clear. Right-wing critics of the patriotic internationalist vision of William F. Buckley and his allies saw deep and insidious costs to the U.S. defining itself as the great all-or-nothing adversary of worldwide communism. Beyond the evident risks and burdens, they saw the Cold War as one more step down the road that changed the U.S. from a national republic to a global quasi-empire, one whose unaccountable, cosmopolitan regime would inevitably infect every aspect of life here at home, not just in the far-flung imperium.
Fatally, that change wouldn’t defeat the progressive left, but rather give it untrammeled power in the homeland. After all, it was Woodrow Wilson who first proposed that American nationalism demanded globalism — a doctrine designed to fundamentally transform America into an all-but-anti-nationalist country, a proving ground and laboratory for the global regime envisioned by the post-Wilsonian progressive elite.