(The New American) -- by William F. Jasper --
Item: In the November 14 segment of its five-part series The Right All Along: The Rise, Fall and Future of Conservatism, hosted by Brit Hume, Fox News leveled a sustained blast at The John Birch Society, laying accolades on the late William F. Buckley for “expelling” the Birchers from the conservative movement.
Fox narrator Brit Hume informed viewers: “In the mid 1960s the loudest anti-communist voice in American belonged to Robert Welch, the candy mogul who invented the Sugar Daddy and who started the John Birch Society in 1958.” But, averred Hume, “the organization soon became labeled as kooks when Welch claimed that the U.S. was dominated by a communist conspiracy and that President Eisenhower was actually abetting it.”
The program then featured a video clip of William F. Buckley stating: “The John Birch Society was only, quote, conservative, in the sense that it was anti-communist, but it did the best that Mr. Welch could to discredit Conservatism.” Hume notes that in October of 1965, “Buckley dedicated an entire issue of his magazine [National Review] to savaging Welch and his followers.” Then, in succession, the program provided a series of bludgeons by Buckley’s fellow attack dogs. One of them, William Rusher, former publisher of National Review and sidekick of Buckley, states: “I think that Bill was right, that in the long run The John Birch Society was a foreign substance that simply had to be extruded from healthy conservatism.”
After more of the same from Rich Lowry, Norman Podhoretz, and others, narrator Hume opined: “By pruning the branches of conservatism, Buckley eventually helped the tree grow fuller.”
Correction: While Lowry, Rusher, Podhoretz, Hume, and company are positioning themselves as the new commanders of a seemingly ascendant conservative wave, the recent Republican landslide is anything but an affirmation of the philosophy and policies they have championed. In fact, the historic sea-change in this November’s congressional elections was a clear rejection not only of the Big Government policies of Obama and the Democrats, but also, in large measure, a continuing repudiation of the Big Government policies of George W. Bush and the neoconservatives roosting at Fox and National Review. Genuinely conservative Republicans, as well as Tea Partiers, Libertarians, and Independents of varied hues, have come to realize that George W. and his GOP enablers in Congress are but the latest in a long line of Republicans stretching back to Eisenhower and Nixon who talked the talk but never walked the walk when it came to fulfilling GOP campaign pledges and party platforms concerning rolling back the statist accretions that have been plaguing our Republic, eroding our freedoms, and destroying our prosperity since (at least) FDR’s New Deal. Through the past half century, Buckley and National Review have been the chief enablers of this “revolution within the form” inside the Republican Party and the establishment-approved “conservative movement.”
In one of his earliest public essays, “A Young Republican’s View,” Buckley proffered a very unconservative (even anti-conservative) argument. Since America and the West were faced with a dire existential threat from the Soviet Union and communism, said Buckley, “We have to accept Big Government for the duration — for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged … except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.”
In order to fight communist totalitarianism, according to Buckley, one must accept Big Government and adopt totalitarian ways. Which is precisely what Arthur Schlesinger and other members of FDR’s brain trust and the enlightened dons of Harvard and the New York Times had been arguing, albeit in a “liberal” idiom to liberal-Left audiences. This, of course, was anathema to the “Old Right” Conservatives as represented by Senators Robert Taft, Pat McCarran, and Joseph McCarthy, as well as intellectual pillars such as John T. Flynn, Garet Garret, Frank Chodorov, and Robert Welch.
Robert Welch was indeed an anti-communist, but contrary to Buckley’s statement above, that wasn’t the only attribute that qualified him as a conservative. Welch was more comfortable with the label “Americanist,” rather than “conservative,” since the conservative-liberal dichotomy was, and is, a nebulous and relative one that is constantly changing. Welch was passionately interested in conserving the United States Constitution, the American free enterprise system, morality, and, as he put it, “Christian-style civilization.”
He recognized that the external Soviet menace was not the only — or even the chief — existential threat to America; immorality, irresponsibility, and the steady promotion of Big Government — whether under the label of communism, socialism, fascism, New Dealism, etc. — presented perils as great as the Red Army or Soviet missiles.
Although Robert Welch has been the recipient of the most vicious and sustained attack from Buckley’s Politburo at National Review, other conservatives, including many of that magazine’s former top-drawer writers and editors — L. Brent Bozell, Ayn Rand, Medford Evans, M.E. Bradford, Sam Francis, Joseph Sobran, Paul Gottfried, Peter Brimelow, John O’Sullivan, Pat Buchanan, and Murray Rothbard — were similarly purged. They were replaced by neoconservatives (some of whom have migrated to the far liberal-Left) such as Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Peter Rodman, Garry Wills, Michael Lind, Joan Didion, William Bennett, Karl Rove, Paul Gigot, Richard Lowry, Kate O’Beirne, Jonah Goldberg, and Ramesh Ponnuru.
For this service, as well as his support for key liberal positions and institutions (gay rights, “pro-choice” on abortion, gun control, the United Nations, the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, WTO, UN treaties, etc.), Buckley became the favorite “conservative” of the New York Times and the liberal-Left establishment in America. The Buckleyite neocons at Fox and National Review continue to serve in the same capacity...LINK
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2 days ago
This article is confusing. On one hand it complains about the Big Govt of GW, nice to see a conservative daring to do that, but then it goes on to shower praise on the likes of McCarthy, a KGB commie elitist if there ever was one. McCarthy was no different than any fasco-communist who despises freedom of will, freedom from utter obedience to BIG GOVT or even FOX News overlords. McCarthy had no problem of using BIG GOVT to put boot to neck, destroying lives on the flimsiest of evidence.
As for the glowing review of Welch, where in the Constitution says we are a Christian state? Just as government should not be in the business of controlling the means of production, communism, they should not be in the business of controlling the means of religion, theocratic fascism. Its none of BIG GOVT's business what I worship, how I worship, and what about Welch's "moral" statement? Does that mean its honorable to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, our rights, but cannabis should remain illegal in spite of its less dangerous side effects? Who is the government to tell me or anyone what is moral? What benchmark do they use? What about the CIA kidnapping and torturing innocent civilians of other countries? Is that moral because its under the guise of "pro-Americanism" Americanism is shorthand for nationalism.
Conservatives have nary a libertarian bone in their body. The following allegory illustrates my point.
A man is walking down the sidewalk, falls and skins his knee.
The liberal government rushes over and washes his knee, puts a bandaid on the scrape and kisses the booboo all better.
The conservative government immediately sends a team of cops over and beats the guy with a billy club and throws him in jail for bleeding on the sidewalk.
The libertarian government doesn't notice, partly because there is no sidewalk.
I know this may come off as liberalism, but in order to have a prosperous nation, a balance between the three schools of thought needs to happen. We can't have a functioning society if any of the three camps take complete control.
What we do know is that there should be an impenetrable wall between government and business, and government and religion. Business controls the means of production, but when business runs government, that means government also controls the means of production, fasco-communist slippery slope. We have our US government catering to Halliburton, an Islamic nation based company, to a greater degree than government is catering to We the People who pay the taxes for Halliburton's no bid contracts. We let the Pharma industry order government to outlaw buying medicine from other countries, a slap in the face of capitalism. Now we have the private Prison Industry writing legislation designed to throw human beings into prison for as long as possible to make more money, money garnered from taxes. That is like letting Mercedes write laws in Nazi Germany to legalize burning Jews in Mercedes ovens, and its happening here in the USA.
Conservatism in America is by far and away the largest government of the three, striving to manage every aspect of every human being's existence, to what God they worship, what religious place can be built, to allowed sexual positions to the myriad of draconian measures designed to punish what they see as vice.
So a man walks down the sidewalk, falls and skins his knee.
While the Liberal agent washes his knee, a baby somewhere dies of dehydration as thousands of gallons of water spill from the carelessly opened hydrant. Further, the kiss turns into a full TSA "patdown" progressing into obligatory date-rape, as commitments for services rendered require nonmonetary consideration.
Following the liberal, always behind, the conservative lays waste to several houses nearby, loudly proclaiming that people need to accept responsibility for their actions to be allowed true freedom of the jungle. Proving their case and demonstrating the undesirability of such a state of nature, they impose a pragmatic excise tax on the neighborhood to help the small business soon to flourish there, as always happens following stimulatory disaster.
Next door, a small baby skins her knee crawling from the flood of hydrant and blood, laced with the occasional #6 shot. Unrealistic libertarians, two neighbors of the dozen left alive rush her to safety, seemingly without your help or coercion. But that last part would never happen without good samaritan laws, right?
No wonder you pragmatic statists who are as different as sunrise and sunset never really see the light of day.
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