Prospects for Reclaiming Intellectual Conservatism



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

Related Post Roulette

23 Responses

  1. “Immediately derided as … out of touch” for basically making this point:

    “Of course, the movement can always use more intellectuals. We need fewer elitists. Milton Friedman is a perfect example of an intellectual who was not an elitist.”

    Doesn’t sound like deriding to me. Sounds like disagreeing. Doing so in a non-Sullivan way is still okay, right?

    I know it’s like “the narrative” and all that conservatism is in, you know, “disarray” or whatever some such. But, in case the hobby horse has made folks blind, we have a president and a controlling party in Congress that are crafting arguably quite harmful legislation in the guise of “compassion” and “science”. Maybe more work unpacking all the rhetoric they use to “frame” what they are doing and less on conservatism’s supposed demise? I wouldn’t expect the ordinary Lefties here to do that, but perhaps the others?

    What percentage of the entries by you ordinary gentlemen actually shine a critical light on how Obama sells, what he is selling, and the actual consequences to our Republic? What percentage about Reid, and Pelosi? What percentage, versus the Sullivan-approved messaging of how bad the Right is, how silly we are to listen to Limbaugh, et cetera?

    And then you write: “But if people aren’t willing to give someone like Hayward a respectful hearing”

    You know, specifically how, that people are or are not doing so. A couple web links?Report

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    “…I wonder what it will take to convince the base that following Levin, Limbaugh and Beck off a cliff isn’t a blueprint for conservative revival.”

    I appreciate your vision, and would happily stand at cliff’s edge and hand LL&B an anvil, a bon voyage gift. However, I’m not convinced that trip is booked.

    Midterm elections are thirteen months off and I expect* Republicans will do quite well thereby giving new life to the message offered by LL&B.

    *I reserve the right to disown this prediction.Report

  3. Avatar Sam M says:

    On the other hand… Tomlinson might have a point with regard to “impact.” The conservative “elite,” whatever that means, have been crying and moaning about ACORN and radical environmentalists forever. But did nothing at all to expose Van Jones or the ACORN folks. That was Glenn Beck. And regardless of what you think about “media bias,” it helps the Glenn Beck crowd when the NYT doesn’t even cover these stories. At all.

    What strikes me as odd about this is that this defense of Beck and his crew is EXACTLY the same as the liverl defense of Rep. Grayson, who took to the floor of the House to say people opposed to health care reform WANT people to die. People like Matthew Yglesias basically said, well, finally, someone is saying the truth. Or that someone on THEIR side is finally getting down into the trenches, where the OTHER side has been wallowing (so effectively!) for decades.

    So we have both sides wallowing, and saying they HAVE to because the other side does it.

    Old story, it seems to me.Report

  4. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    But…Beck’s inspiration aren’t Hayek and Burke…..the 912 project is wholly Willard Skousen…..Hayward kinda neglects any mention of him.

    Whatever the circumstances, Beck really began touting Skousen in the latter half of 2007. The first brief mention of Skousen in the online archives of Beck’s radio show is Sept. 24, 2007. Less than two months later, Beck interviewed conservative pundit David Horowitz on his radio program. He asked him, “Have you ever read any Skousen? Have you read — do you remember ‘The Naked Communist’? I went back and reread that, it was printed in the 1950s. I reread that recently. You look at all the things the communists wanted to accomplish. It’s all been done.” Horowitz agreed.

    The very next week, Bill Bennett appeared on Beck’s radio program and received the same question. “Are you familiar with Skousen?” asked Beck. When Bennett replied yes, Beck gushed. “He’s fantastic,” he said. “I went back and I read ‘The Naked Communist’ and at the end of that Skousen predicted [that] someday soon you won’t be able to find the truth in schools or in libraries or anywhere else because it won’t be in print anymore. So you must collect those books. It’s an idea I read from Cleon Skousen from his book in the 1950s, ‘The Naked Communist,’ and where he talked about someday the history of this country’s going to be lost because it’s going to be hijacked by intellectuals and communists and everything else. And I think we’re there.”

    Hmmm…I wonder if that glaring ommission on Haywards part is laziness……..or actual dishonesty?Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My problem with the Erick Erikson approach is that it allows for stuff like Bush getting away with what Bush got away with. When one says “he’s driving all of the right people crazy, he’s got to be doing something right”, one can find oneself in a situation where all of one’s political capital is spent and asking “how dare you question my bona fides?” ceases to be a reasonable question to any but one’s own most stalwart supporters… and one can find oneself in an echo chamber.

    (Full disclosure: I have been banned from Redstate.)Report

  6. Avatar Nob Akimoto says:

    “Intellectual” and Weekly Standard no longer belong in the same sentence unless there’s a negating word in the middle.Report

  7. Avatar alainL says:

    Do you think Steven Hayward is truly concerned about the conservative movement or has he succumbed to the most diabolical weapon the liberals have deployed yet in their war against conservatives and that is sex? If you don’t believe me google: true love waits for a Democrat. I think Mr. Hayward is hoping for some hot sex with the cute blonde in the video. Andy Sullivan, I guess he likes the guy with the ripped abs. This weapon is laying waste to the conservatives as more and more become Democrats-lite in hopes of getting sex with Democrat babes.
    Mr. Hayward should realize that even after a night of torrid sex with a Democrat, she still won’t respect him in the morning. Eventually, he will return to true conservatism i.e. smaller government, low taxes and more freedom. At least that is what I am hoping.Report

  8. Avatar Sam M says:

    While poking fun at The Right for not tolerating dissent might be fun stuff… I always go back to John Derbyshire. Sure, he’s a hardcore winger on some issues. But on some of the core issues, wow. He’s completely off the reservation. And yet he maintains a spot at NR.

    I am not sure that the Left has an in-house critic as openly hostile to, say, universal healthcare, as Derb is to religion or empire.

    Just saying.Report

  9. Avatar Bayesian says:

    @Sam M 12:25 –

    Regarding The Derb, yeah, it’s kinda surprising that somebody as openly anti-religion is he is tolerated at NR, and you have a good point there. Closest I can come to as heterodox a semi-lefty is Mickey Kaus.

    Derb may be hostile to “empire”, but he’s all in favor of blowing up swarthy people either wholesale or retail. I suspect if he went all out noninterventionist/antimilitarist a la AmCon he’d be thrown off.Report

  10. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    I would say your prospects are pretty darned dim, Will.
    Consider what 40 years of memetic selection for individuals either too IQ-challenged or too uneducated to understand theory of evolution has done to the conservative base.
    A kind of inverse social darwinism (heh) or selection for stupid.
    And given that GOP is essentially enslaved (double heh) to the religious (mormon/evangelical christian) base and can only run religious candidates (1 mormon and two evangelical xians) on a platform of evangelical doctrine (LIFE!, chattel slavery of women and children, homophobia, racism, jesus-love and neocon intervensionism as a sort of militarized missionariism)……your chances are pretty damn poor.

    I would say “intellectual conservatism” has lim [negative infinity] probability of making a comeback.

    Mouse over the black “college student” in sully’s hathos pic.
    He is holding Glenn Beck’s favorite book!!!!

    The GOP is now the party of Low-IQ Religious White People.
    You’re as dead as the dinosaurs, but the tiny little brains in your hips don’t know it yet.Report