Being a smug conservative is much like being a smug Carthaginian. Both are able to watch all there once was being ground into dust, while smiling at their own virtue.
The author, Porter, goes on to observe,
The left wants the West in ruin and its daughters in infantry tents. The mainstream right wants a comfortable seat to watch the show. Thus it’s not difficult to understand why both factions feel intense enmity for those few manning the ramparts.
I myself used to despair of the right-wing intellectual types who had no fight in them, but just wanted a space to prove their own cultural and intellectual superiority over the leftist vulgarians. It was a kind of smugly self-satisfied armchair politics, unserious really.
So it's been a joy to watch the emergence of a livelier and more combative right-wing movement, one that has even notched up a few victories.
There were even fewer on the ramparts 10 years ago, far fewer. The momentum is with the defenders now, rather than the watchers.