Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Circularity of History

During the past few months, some of the most interesting political writing has come from conservatives. Not the hate-mongers, swift-boaters, and conspiracy theorists, but from writers who tend to be a little more philosophical. They are also writers who tend to be pretty discouraged by where the conservative movement went under Bush, and recognize that Obama was probably going to win (and in some cases even welcome it). A lot of these guys found their home in The American Conservative, the magazine run by that old racist paleocon Pat Buchanan. But what Buchanan has done is pretty much open his magazine to the dissidents and iconoclasts within the conservative movement, and it has made for some interesting reading. That's where I found the remarkable piece by Francis Fukuyama that I quoted a few days ago.

Other thoughtful conservative writers I like to read (even if I very often disagree with them) are Ross Douthat and Rod Dreher. Anyway, this has all been a lead in to a little blog post by Dreher that I thought was quite clever (if not really profound):
1. The modern conservative movement began with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race. The modern conservative movement ends with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. John McCain -- who took Goldwater's Senate seat upon his retirement -- in the 2008 presidential race.

2. Modern liberalism began its implosion with riots in Chicago's Grant Park at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Tonight, modern liberalism is reborn at Chicago's Grant Park, where a black Chicago Democrat will celebrate winning the presidency.

Interesting, huh?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's all kind of a circle jerk in the end. And just about as productive.

I had a friend who participated in the Chicago goings on in '68, while I was being born again in the USMC.

He became my friend in '70, because some of those guys were right about some things. Not all of them about all things or even some of them about all things.

Just like the "conservatives" of late. It's crazy, this merry-go-round. Fun, too, though.


9:51 PM  

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