The January 2013  issue of Commentary asked 53 writers and conservative leaders What is the Future of Conservatism?

This is part of the response from Matthew Continetti, addressing the appeal and the gaps in the Democrat’s Life of Julia:

Julia’s relationship to government is tenuous. She attends school and enjoys federal subsidies and regulations for education, health, child-rearing, small business, and retirement, but never does she participate in the civic life of her county, state, or country. The flag appears just once in her life: on the dais at her college graduation. She is largely free of attachment. She does not encounter the “mediating institutions” of civil society described in Richard J. Neuhaus and Peter L. Berger’s 1976 classic, To Empower People. It is just herself, Zachary, and Obama.

The beginning of a conservative revival lies in addressing the gaps in Julia’s story and making them whole. How to strengthen the moral and material basis of families and communities, of associations and churches, of police and soldiers is one of the most important questions facing the United States. Unless conservatives offer an alternative that answers such questions–the life of Juanita, perhaps–the future will be left to Julia and her progeny. And that cannot be allowed to happen. Julia must be stopped.


A clever GOP could twist the life of Julia story to describe how an overbearing government limits women’s true potential the way overbearing men used to.  Did the women’s movement just exchange masters?