John Derbyshire in The American Conservative: Limbaugh and company certainly entertain. But a steady diet of ideological comfort food is no substitute for hearty intellectual fare.
|Taking the conservative project as a whole — limited government, fiscal prudence, equality under law, personal liberty, patriotism, realism abroad — has talk radio helped or hurt? All those good things are plainly off the table for the next four years at least, a prospect that conservatives can only view with anguish. Did the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Savages, and Ingrahams lead us to this sorry state of affairs?|
|They surely did. At the very least, by yoking themselves to the clueless George W. Bush and his free-spending administration, they helped create the great debt bubble that has now burst so spectacularly. The big names, too, were all uncritical of the decade-long (at least) efforts to “build democracy” in no-account nations with politically primitive populations.|
I was raised by, and as, a Republican. I moved left of the whole Democratic party in college (’65-’69, during the Vietnam war, which I opposed absolutely), and stayed there for another decade or more. When I moved to California in 1985 I realized that I had become an Independent, and I’ve registered that way ever since. Voted that way too.
But I never lost my interest in the well-being of the Republican party. What Derbyshire outlines as the “conservative project” sounds right to me. Not fighting abortion and immigration. Not bringing religion into government. Not meddling in people’s lives. Not spending out the wazoo. Not military adventures abroad. Not hating “Liberals” as if they were a disease.
Anyway, good piece. Hope it helps.