Say what you want about Donald Trump, but the Trump phenomenon has single-handedly cut the leash that tethered conservatism to the Republican Party. Republicans are quickly losing their monopoly of influence over blue-collar conservatives as “conservative” and “republican” are no longer interchangeable terms.
Free from their republican handlers, the Right is now running wild in the world of politics and identity, attempting to make sense of the world around them as they search for answers (see the alt-right and the #nrorevolt hashtag).
The Right has finally started to question conventional republican policies on issues like trade, immigration, and war. They don’t recall voting to send all their jobs overseas or to open the border for the third world. Bloody cycles of destabilization and nation building in the Middle East isn’t what they had in mind for the endless War on Terror either.
As conservatives now run wild and free, republicans nervously wander around the political landscape holding a broken leash calling for their return. “Come here, boy!” they desperately plead. Their faithful companion is gone though, having heard the call of the wild.
In Jack London’s classic novel, The Call of the Wild, the main character is Buck, a domesticated dog that was taken away from the comfort of home and thrown into Alaska’s brutal Northlands during the Gold Rush as a sled dog.
The story chronicles Buck’s transition from a soft, domesticated pet to his roots as a wild, free animal and is reminiscent of conservatives who have broken their comfortable ties with American Republicanism to venture off into the political wild to seek more effective and instinctual answers.
And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him. In vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed, to the time the wild dogs ranged in packs through the primeval forest and killed their meat as they ran it down. – Jack London
Conservatives have taken the first step to shed their sterile, suburban, materialistic non-culture in search for their rich ancestral pasts. But just as Buck’s transition from pet to beast was not without the attempts of others to control him, conservatives in the wild also face opposition, especially from other conservatives who respect the leash and fear the wild.
They threw clubs at him. He dodged. They cursed him, and his fathers and mothers before him, and all his seed to come after him down to the remotest generation, and every hair on his body and drop of blood in his veins; and he answered curse with snarl and kept out of their reach. – Jack London
The instincts of the Right are sharpening as they run deeper into the wild. The days of guilt and suicidal compassion are fading as ancestral instincts that built and protected empires are reemerging.
They came to him without effort or discovery, as though they had been his always. And when, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolflike, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him. And his cadences were their cadences, the cadences which voiced their woe and what to them was the meaning of the stiffness, and the cold, and dark. – Jack London
The Right is running wild and neither the Left nor the old guard of The Right can stop them. The Trump phenomenon has given them a taste of blood. They sense a weakness in the opposition and feel hope for restoration. Whether Trump stabs them in the back or not in the end doesn’t really matter—the ball has already started to roll.
They are coming out from under their beds; they feel a part of something beyond themselves and sense a unity forming that has long been forbidden. They are questioning the virtue of their estrangement from one another and seek the congregation and fellowship they have lost. The individual is being challenged.
At the end of The Call of the Wild, Buck eventually separates from the dog pack and wanders alone into the woods. The narrator tells of the Yeehats, a fictitious Native-American tribe who note a change in the breed of timber wolves in the area and tell the legend of a Ghost Dog that runs at the head of the pack. An entire valley is feared by the Yeehats who have found their hunters, “with throats slashed cruelly open and with wolf prints about them in the snow greater than the prints of any wolf.”
The Yeehats are visited every summer by a lone wolf, “like, and yet unlike, all other wolves.” He comes out from the “smiling timber” and howls “once, long and mournfully” before he departs.
But he is not always alone. When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack. – Jack London
Conservatives aren’t running down meat in the valleys but they are learning the song of the pack. Some conservatives still resist the music though. They plug their ears when the song plays and then go buy another gun. They can be seen resisting the call in defiance, but with feet instinctually tapping to its tune.