The counter-counterculuture—as much a product of Vietnam and its times as the counterculture itself was—could only recognize threats from a single direction, the left. It had nothing to say about a war that the Republican Party couldn’t manage; it had nothing to say about the housing crises, beyond reflexively fingering some kind of ’60s-style racial agenda; and it had nothing to say about the Great Recession. It still has nothing to say about any of these things, and it broadcasts that “nothing” every day of the week on Rush Limbaugh’s airwaves and through the cable signals that carry Fox News.
The counter-counterculture was never conservative, although by virtue of its opposition to the counterculture it wound up occupying the space that prudent conservatives otherwise might have occupied. The counter-counterculture was not all bad, just as the counterculture itself wasn’t. But neither has any relevance to the strategic and economic problems facing the country today.