Gerald, I agree with most of what you say. Just to clarify, I don’t think that the “new nationalism” I mentioned earlier could become a a mass movement – just that those unique policy recommendations make sense together and could attract support – both at the intellectual and popular level.
I also agree with you that even the program paleos pushed in the 90s was difficult and had its dangers. Francis did believe these policies would need to be rooted in something and predicted that they would be the preferred ones of a new elite that would emerge out of his middle American revolution. Alas, the MARs were not a viable constituency.
Sure, I’d like to see a cultural revival along the lines Kirk and other traditionalists prefer: orthodox Christianity (a theological, moral, and liturgical revival in mainline churches and the Catholic Church), a return to widely distributed productive property (with a large agrarian component), a truly cosmopolitan elite that sustains high art, and a return to republican norms in American governance. Absent catastrophe (which I don’t welcome or hastily predict), this is just not in the cards for now.
In the meantime, I’ll still argue on the policy merits for a scaling back of America’s military commitments, establishing some measure of economic freedom (which includes economic independence), and halting mass immigration.