After reading Corey Robin’s book, I am pretty convinced that much of contemporary American conservatism is based on the idea of a restoration or counter-revolution. And that is indeed the reason Teahadists don’t like the idea of compromise, as Ed Kilgore puts it:
But the most important source of rigidity is conservative ideology itself, which does not aim (as do most European conservatives) at “moderating” or countering the bipartisan policies of the past or the Democratic policies of the present, but aspires to a counterrevolution that “restores” what conservatives regard as immutable principles of good government and even culture.
(Burke) I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,—glittering like the morning-star, full of life, and splendour, and joy.
(Lowry) By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.
Peggy Noonan on Reagan’s foot strikes me as similar:
I first saw President Reagan as a foot, highly polished brown cordovan wagging merrily on a hassock. I spied it through the door. It was a beautiful foot, sleek. Such casual elegance and clean lines! But not a big foot, not formidable, maybe a little …frail. I imagined cradling it in my arms, protecting it from unsmooth roads.
And here comes George Bush. You know, he’s in his flight suit, he’s striding across the deck, and he’s wearing his parachute harness, you know — and I’ve worn those because I parachute — and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those — run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman’s vote in the United States of America.
In all cases, there’s a fixation with the leader’s physical persona and its sexy/magical/Godlike qualities. Here’s my question: given that restorations were typically about putting a royal back in charge of the country, that royals have some special divine quality, is it reasonable to think that wingers who want a counter-revolution/restoration will tend to focus on their leaders’ sexy/magical/Godlike qualities?