Every day around noon, a white pickup truck comes barreling down my street. It’s one of those big-boy toys: jacked-up suspension, aftermarket muffler, turbo…the works. It’s the kind of truck only a single man could love (or afford). You can hear it for a good ten seconds before it passes the house, and another ten seconds after. Without fail, it comes by when my daughter is napping. And without fail, it wakes her up.

As a bonus, our friend also has a “F—k Biden” flag flying from the bed. My daughter is too young to read,...

Every day around noon, a white pickup truck comes barreling down my street. It’s one of those big-boy toys: jacked-up suspension, aftermarket muffler, turbo…the works. It’s the kind of truck only a single man could love (or afford). You can hear it for a good ten seconds before it passes the house, and another ten seconds after. Without fail, it comes by when my daughter is napping. And without fail, it wakes her up.

As a bonus, our friend also has a “F—k Biden” flag flying from the bed. My daughter is too young to read, but I doubt if the local moms are too thrilled with their kids’ surprise vocab lesson.

I hate to sound like an old fogey but back in my day Republicans were the pro-family party. The praxis of conservatism didn’t include waking up and/or swearing at children. I mean, in the greater scheme of things, progressive Democrats (or “libtards,” if you prefer) might pose a bigger threat to our storied Republic. But when they drive by in their Priuses, drinking their kale-and-beetroot smoothies on their way to teach Woke Studies to kindergarteners, they do it quietly.

This is part of the strange, ongoing shift underway on the right. As church attendance and fertility rates continue to decline, so do the foundations of social conservatism. It’s not just that Republicans are now basically okay with socially liberal programs like gay marriage. The whole culture of the GOP is also changing.

The party, like the nation, is increasingly made up of childless, propertyless singles. They have fewer responsibilities, fewer attachments. Gone are the folks Patrick J. Buchanan once called conservatives of the heart. “They don’t read Adam Smith or Edmund Burke,” Pat said, “but they come from the same schoolyards and the same playgrounds and towns as we come from. They share our beliefs and convictions, our hopes and our dreams.”

Does that mean the right’s future belongs to star-spangled manbabies? Will the Republican Party seek a new fusionism, joining fratty “Barstool conservatives” with dorky NEETs (while, male welfare queens)?

Maybe.

It’s not hard to imagine a post-conservative GOP. Ever since Ronald Reagan left office, they’ve been anxious to jettison the family values stuff, and Donald Trump gave them the excuse they needed. This elderly playboy, who spent most of his term in office fighting a lawsuit brought by a mistress-cum-porn star, reasonably claims to have been the most pro-gay president in history. Yet Mr. Trump was even more popular with the party’s evangelical base than the Gipper.

Then came Caitlyn Jenner’s quixotic bid for the California governorship. While Republicans couldn’t care less about Mr. Jenner or his platform, they were very excited to take to Facebook and declare that Democrats are the real transphobes. We can now say definitively that Republicans will happily try to outflank Democrats on their left if it means winning elections — or even losing elections, so long as we get in a few dank memes.

Now, the Republican Party has officially launched an “RNC Pride Coalition,” hoping to win over LGBT voters for the 2022 midterms. Social conservatives kicked up a stink, with some calling for Ronna Romney McDaniel’s resignation as Grand Old Poohbah.

In 2012, that would have been a given. In 2021, it’s obviously not going to happen. Which goes to show just how weak the Christian right has become during the Trump-era GOP.

But all is not lost. There may be just one thing standing between the Republican Party and its takeover by angry loners. It’s a group I’ve taken to calling the New Stoics.

The New Stoics are really into the idea of manhood, but not in the butch drag sort of way. Some are Christian, and the Christians are mostly traditional Catholics. Most are fairly secular. In any case, they’re not motivated by a sense of moral panic — not like the old Christian right was. They’re driven by the idea of virtue, in the old Roman sense of virtus, or the qualities possessed by excellent men. They got their start reading Jordan Peterson and The Art of Manliness, and went from there.

Mary Harrington of UnHerd spotted a pack of New Stoics at the recent National Conservatism Conference. She refers to them as “Conservatism Ink” (as opposed to the establishment, “Conservatism Inc.”). Conservatism Ink is younger. They sport beards and tattoos. They like to lift weights and drink whisky. And they’re not thrilled about cozying up with anti-woke liberals like Bari Weiss and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Why? Because they are, in a sense, deeply conservative. They’re one of the few factions on the right that takes seriously the idea of decadence: a moral decline that eventually leads to cultural and social collapse.

For instance — if you’ll pardon me mentioning it, ladies — we’re currently at the end of No-Nut November. That’s when men try to go a month without masturbating. It’s popular with today’s mainstream conservatives, but the idea originated with Gavin McInnes. From the beginning, #NoWanks has been a pillar of the Proud Boys, which Mr. McInnes founded in 2016, though Marcus Aurelius has him beat by a couple centuries.

Why would the least religious generation in American history be drawn to this idea of virtus — particularly in the genital sense? Maybe because their parents weren’t. Half of them grew up in homes torn apart by divorce, and porn use is now cited as a factor in the majority of divorce cases. It makes sense that so many young people would strive for sexual continence.

It’s also not a wholly personal decision. Sociologists have long known that children who are raised by single or divorced parents are far more likely to engage in all sorts of illegal and dangerous behaviors. Broken men create broken families; broken families create broken men. These broken men, in turn, disrupt the civil order. Soon the whole nation is caught up in these cycles of dysfunction.

The New Stoics realize that, ultimately, it’s a choice between decadence and discipline. They see that political solutions are worthless unless the ordinary American is willing to live differently. Before we can transform the nation, we have to transform ourselves. Unlike factions favored think-tankers and magazine editors — national conservatives, integralists, etc. — they’re unwilling to dilute their message by teaming up with anti-woke liberals and establishment Republicans (but I repeat myself).

The New Stoics will form the core of social conservatism once the Millennials and Zoomers come into their own. And I can’t say that I mind. I’m happy to see our morally and theologically bankrupt evangelical friends pass the torch. I won’t miss the phony pearl-clutching. I won’t miss the Republicans pandering to a certain kind of suburban dad who worships the trinity of Donald Trump, Joel Osteen and Tim Tebow.

As Christians inch ever closer towards minority status, a conservatism not totally dependent on deep religious conviction will soon prove indispensable. Of course, as a Catholic, I hope the New Stoics rediscover fides along with virtus. But as a conservative, I’ll take Marcus Aurelius over Sean Hannity any day.

Michael Warren Davis is author of The Reactionary Mind. Subscribe to his newsletter, “The Common Man.”