Ben Buchwalter

Christopher Buckley and Modern Conservatism
October 14, 2008, 11:30 pm
Filed under: General Politics, Republicans | Tags: , , ,

As you might have heard, Christopher Buckley has left the conservative magazine The National Review. Buckley’s father, William F. Buckley founded the magazine in 1955 and is still known as one of history’s most prolific conservative icons. Poppa Buchwalter just sent me this article about his resignation from the National Review, which was the result of his endorsement of Barack Obama for President.

Buckley’s resignation, which was accepted “rather briskly!”, says a lot about the modern conservative approach to politics. Buckley describes his father as someone who liked to take unpredictable stances and constantly challenge the standards of the Republican party and entire political system. I guess there is no room for such maverick behavior in conservative writing today. David Brooks is a great example of a conservative who is willing to challenge his party. Brooks started as a journalist for the National Review under William F. Buckley. Directly after Brooks’ famous statement calling Palin a “fatal cancer to the Republican Party” for her disdain for intellectualism, Brooks said of Buckley:

He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas and celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that.

Even if Christopher Buckley is shunned by the ultra-conservative Right, I think that his dad probably would have been very proud of his son for taking such a stand.

From Buckley’s article:

While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.


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