Now that Karl Rove & Co., have drunk their own kool-aid and come out of the shadows with their super PAC to muzzle the TEA Party, it’s time for true conservatives to have a good sized reality check on the last sixty years or so…and maybe turn our disappointment into an advantage.
Prior to Dwight D. Eisenhower being president, American conservatism, if there ever was such an influential animal after John Quincy Adams died, was largely dormant as a political movement. There were bits and pieces that would surface now and again, like Senator Joe McCarthy and his smoking out of communists, and a handful of national publications that had a conservative bent with fairly small circulations, but not much else. And certainly, as a lifestyle entity driving elections, there was no such thing as asking “Who is the conservative candidate?” For the most part, national political candidates were all the same, just progressive to different degrees. Conservatism existed, but, it was not a cohesive ideology by any means, not really traditional and therefore no sort of threat to the progressives of the day (until Barry Goldwater grew to be somewhat powerful).
Then, in 1953, Russell Kirk published The Conservative Mind inspiring William F. Buckley to found National Review. At the same time, Barry Goldwater ran for senate. The ball started to roll. The giant started to wake. [insert favorite euphemism for Rip Van Winklism here] Conservatism suddenly had names and faces. It wasn’t just an idea one read in the pages of little magazines few people read. It wasn’t just on paper anymore.But, that could not have happened without this little thing called capital, or in the simplest word: money. CONTINUE READING