“Red Tory” was never a well-defined term, and it never described a particularly influential trend in our political life. It has come to mean the opposite of what Grant or Taylor intended. Today it is commonly used to refer to someone who has no trouble either with the global market or Trudeau’s attempted erasure of traditional English Canada, someone pleased both with Trudeau’s Charter of Rights and Mulroney’s free trade agreements, a libertarian lite. Crombie fits in with this more contemporary meaning of red Tory, but there is little evidence that he (or Stanfield) ever wanted to take some doomed Grantian stand on behalf of “our own” against the twin evils of corporate capitalism and post-ethnic post-Christian “rights-talk” liberalism. ~Pithlord
For the sake of clarity, let me say first that when I use the term Red Tory, I am always using it as it related to George Grant’s views.
The “doomed Grantian stand” doesn’t sound so bad to me, but then I think everyone already knew that. If there are two points where I think paleoconservatives diverge most from the present “movement” (or rather, where they diverge from us!) it is in our critical and often hostile view of the negative effects corporations have on real communities and our tendency to roll our eyes when people start talking about “rights.” In the latter case, this is not because we think that secure protections against government abuse are a bad idea (sometimes it feels as if we are among the last conservatives who think they are a good idea!), but because, inter alia, rights-talk encourages the growth of state power and the breakdown of social bonds. It may not exactly cause either of these things, but it certainly doesn’t help combat them. Perhaps I am only speaking for myself on these points, but all I can say is that when I read George Grant I find that I am usually nodding in agreement with everything I read. There must be something to ideas that seem so very sensible, and if they have some truth in them they cannot ever be entirely doomed.
So I don’t know that the Grantian stand is necessarily all that doomed of a stand to take. Someone clever said something about there being no such thing as lost causes, and I am inclined to agree. Is a Grantian stand an insanely unpopular position to take on the American right nowadays? You better believe it, and it would have been pretty unpopular 50 years ago, too. Is it necessarily and certainly doomed because of that? I am less sure.