The Trouble With Buckley

Auster’s got a bit with an old NR ad that sums up the whole trouble with modern American conservatism.

The implication of this ad is that William F. Buckley is going to tell you the uncomfortable truth. And this is the whole attitude of American conservatives since the 60’s- that leftism is moral, and good, and well-intentioned, it is just wrong. Everything conservatives say can be said to start with “Yes, but….”

Yes, welfare is good, but may keep people from working. Yes, we can educate everybody but we need to have better schools. Yes, criminals can be rehabilitated, but only with longer prison sentences.

Mainstream conservatives don’t even realize it, but they concede not just the moral high ground, but all the moral ground to leftists. Their only objections are practical.

This is probably because mainstream conservatives are just liberals who don’t want the government to go too far. I don’t like the term “neoconservative” because it is trite. Strictly speaking, “neoconservative” refers to a handful of Jewish communists who became disillusioned with liberalism. But on some level, this describes most conservatives. Most conservatives have been ex-liberals or the intellectual children of ex-liberals. Ronald Reagan was a New Deal Democrat until an advanced age. He only became a conservative while as a union president he became disgusted with communist manipulation of the Screen Actors Guild.

Modern, mainstream, neo-conservatives are the right half of the New Deal. Their issues are only over management.

I do not concede that leftism is legitimate or moral, that it is well-intentioned but sometimes naive. It is none of those things. It is an evil doctrine motivated by the desire to have total control over people and society.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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One Response to The Trouble With Buckley

  1. Red says:

    The right is less about the right wing than it’s about nationalism and empire. It sucks up the people who are traditional interested in empire, martial glory, and love of country. It’s the people who make up the fighting classes of this nation. Nationalists are often more piratical than ivy tower dreamers but they don’t really have much of a program beyond being strong and powerful, so they largely go along with the left in most things.

    FDR was smart enough to give an honored place to the nationalists within his coalition. The 70s saw an end to the nationalists being included in democratic coalition and the beginning of the resurgence of the republican party. The primary goal of the left since the 70s had been destroying the power of nationalist block of progressives and they’ve spent a great deal of time and energy trying to achieve it through immigration, regulations, ect.

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