So, again, the question remains what should conservatives do in the current situation, in the middle of an all-out attempt by powerful elements in the administrative state-cultural leviathan axis to nullify the 2016 Presidential election?
Remain aloof, cultivate one’s own garden of the little platoons in quietist, and often, ironic fashion; talk mostly of civility and temperament; write carefully tailored “moral equivalence” essays faulting both Trump and his critics in equal measure on issues of the day, such as the NFL national anthem or historical statues controversies; work like some center-right commentators with liberals to form a new political alignment, a “New Center”—or go on the offensive against the progressive left and renew the fighting faith of the founders of modern conservatism and their spiritual heirs: Frank Meyer; Willmoore Kendall; Jim Burnham; Bill Buckley in the first decades of National Review; Harry Jaffa and his students; and Publius Decius Mus?
I say go on the offensive.
Minervic flights and the consolations of philosophy cannot be enjoyed when the barbarians are at the gates of one's stoa.
Conservatives, especially those of them given to contemplative pursuits, need to make their peace with activism in order to secure and defend the spaces of their quietism. And this with blood and iron if need be.
The owl of Minerva is a tough old bird, but no phoenix capable of rising from its ashes.
When the world and its hopelessness are too much with us, one can and must beat a retreat into the private life. Body culture, mind culture, hobbies, family life, the various escapes (which are not necessarily escapes from reality) into chess, fiction, religion, meditation, history, pure mathematics and science, one's own biography and the pleasant particulars of one's past, music, gardening, homemaking . . . .
I pity the poor activist for whom the real is exhausted by the political. But I detest these totalitarians as well since they seek to elide the boundary between the private and the public.
So we need to battle the bastards in the very sphere they think exhausts the real. But it is and must be a part-time fight, lest we become like them. Most of life for us conservatives must be given over to the enjoyment and appreciation, in private, of the apolitical: nature, for example, and nature's God.