Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. - George Burns

I Don’t Want Your Civil War

In case you hadn’t noticed, lately there seems to be a civil war among conservative commentators. Nowhere has this been more evident than at The National Review, where cranks and crackpots seem to be driving away the realists. As Michael Weiss puts it:

Frum’s latest adult intervention into the playpen that is NRO’s Corner blog is to defend the excellent Ann Applebaum. A Thatcherite conservative with an independent cast of mind, Applebaum wrote a column for Slate in which she explained why she couldn’t in good conscience vote for John McCain this year. She did not technically endorse Barack Obama, but just being anti-McCain was enough to tweak the epigones of William F. Buckley, some of whom were even more strongly anti-McCain when Mitt Romney was still a nationally saleable dreamboat. 


Has the tradition of Burke and Chambers really degenerated into such hands?  Buckley, of whom I’m a lesser admirer than most of the so-called “Obamacons,” could at least keep lifelong friendships with liberals such as Murray Kempton and John Kenneth Galbraith. And Robert Conquest, I have it on excellent authority, was quite the gentleman to Susan Sontag when they were first introduced. (The author of The Great Terror, who fired a rifle on behalf of the Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War, once lived in Europe, too.)

I’m under no illusion that an Obama administration will usher in a period of American “healing.” The politics of polarization has always been with us, and it’s in no danger of expiring in the Age of Blogorrhea. But how sad that those paid to do the hard thinking about the future of conservatism should all rush to prove that they’ve got the intellects of four-year-olds, and the temperaments of Comintern agents.

Emotion has been the main driving force for the True Believers who see starbursts coming out of Sarah Palin’s rear end. The collapse of conservative intellectualism has mirrored that of the Republican Party’s integrity. The David Frums of the world have been sounding the warning bells of the coming Dark Age of conservatism. Like Midieval monks, it may be up to them to preserve the writings of William F. Buckley and George Will for future generations. For the moment, though, it looks like the barbarians are at the keyboards.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 10/31/08 at 03:20 PM (Discuss this in the forums)


Next entry: End Game

Previous entry: The Sliding Scale

<< Back to main