Buckley in 1955: The Liberal Mind and Democratic selection of the Republican presidential candidate

When Bill Buckley started National Review he faced a situation in which both the Republican President and the Democratic opposition were Liberals. Liberals had seized all the branches of government during the New Deal era and the leadership positions in both major political parties. The conservatives that remained were represented in the public eye by John Birch society paranoids and reprobate Jim Crow Dixiecrats. It was up to Buckley and his associates to clean house and build up a body of principled thought on which to base the new conservative movement, which found its truest expression to date in Ronald Reagan, who was not just a good actor and excellent speaker, but also one of the intellectuals laboring in the trenches of the conservative project.

Early in the project, in the year of our Lord 1955, Buckley wrote The Liberal Mind in Facts Forum News. It is a 6 page plaint in small type that describes the irrationality, book-burning, mob justice, and personality cults of Liberals at the time. The most interesting thing about it is a description of how in 1952 the Liberal editors all came to support Eisenhower, the Republican, against Taft in the primary and promised to support him in the general. Not only did they keep their word, their thinking was very curious, and familiar to those who wonder how the Republicans came up with McCain in 2008.

So Arthur Krock sat down to explain a few realities to Mr. Adlai Stevenson, and he did this by reminding him of the nine calculations made by the average Liberal editor the previous spring.

1) Last spring, it had become clear to everyone that the Republican party would nominate either Eisenhower or Taft. Moreover, it was clear that Taft opposed Truman’s foreign policy.

2) On the other hand, it was clear that General Eisenhower went along with Truman’s foreign policy.

3) If Truman wanted to, he could get himself nominated by the Democratic party. He might be facing Taft, the candidate of the Republican party. And, to quote Mr. Krock, ‘signs were numerous that in a Taft-Truman contest the Senator would have an excellent chance of election.’

4) I quote “To those who . . . believed (in Truman’s foreign policy) the prospect of Taft as President was calamitous; and obviously the first and effective means of preventing this was the nomination of Eisenhower, the only other Republican who had a chance to be chosen by the party convention.”

5) But “newspapers and individuals who held this opinion would have had small influence with the Republican National Convention unless they indicated they were prepared to back Eisenhower in the campaign if nominated.”

6) Other Democratic contenders were also weak, and, 7), Stevensen was saying he was not a contender for the nomination.

Therefore, 8 ) “To those newspapers and citizens that wanted Truman’s foreign policy to be championed . . . the plain procedure was to attempt to assure this at the Republican convention (which came first) through the nomination of Eisenhower.”

And furthermore, (9) Stevensen ought to know this, as he too, surely, agrees that it would have been calamitous if Taft had got in.

This, in microcosm, is the Liberal primer on how to get your way no matter who wins. It’s the political way of saying, heads I win, tails you lose. It is also a primer on how to end the two-party system in America. It is curious how much more successful the Liberals have been in their struggle against conservatives than in their struggle against Communists.

There are many echoes in 2008 to this article from 1955. Review may prove instructive.


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Blast from the Past: Bill Buckley on the Trojan Horse of American Public Education

All the way back in 1952, before the days of Student Loans and Grants for every ordinary college student at public or private universities, Bill Buckley wrote about the plan to transform all private universities from independent entities into clients of the state.

Why should a man whose most casual asides shake the foundations of the educational world come out and say such unreasoned and unfriendly things about the men and women who support private schools and send their children there?

The answer is that Dr. Conant, along with some powerful educational confreres, is out to fashion society in his own mold . The most influential educators of our timeJohn Dewey, William Kilpatrick, George Counts, Harold Rugg, and the lot—are out to build a New Social Order. And with a realism startling in a group of longhairs, they have set about their job in the most effective fashion . They don’t dissipate their efforts on such frivolities as national elections (though they do this incidentally); they work with far more fundamental social matter, the student.

The chagrined and frustrated parent has very little luck opposing the advances of the New Social Order. “The consumer has no rights in the educational marketplace,” Professor Henry Steele Commager puts it. Translated, this means that a parent has no right to seek reform regardless of the extent to which he disapproves of the net impact of the local school . The educator, in short, has consolidated his position as the exclusive, irresponsible regent of education. L’ecole, he says, c ‘est moi.

There is not enough room, however, for the New Social Order and religion. The New Order is philosophically wedded to the doctrine that the test of truth is its ability to win acceptance by the majority. Economically, the New Order is egalitarian ; politically, it is majoritarian ; emotionally, it is infatuated with the State, which it honors as the dispenser of all good, the unchallengeable and irreproachable steward of every human being.

It clearly won’t do, then, to foster within some schools a respect for an absolute, intractable, unbribable God, a divine Intelligence who is utterly unconcerned with other people ‘s versions of truth and humorlessly inattentive to majority opinion . It won’t do to tolerate a competitor for the allegiance of man . The State prefers a secure monopoly for itself. It is intolerably divisive to have God and the State scrapping for disciples.

Religion, then, must go.

Given the benefit to comprehension imparted by hindsight Buckley’s insight in this classic piece was prescient.

There are an awful lot of other Buckley pieces, both old and new, in the Hillsdale archive.


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Smiley Face Killers: Life Imitates Grand Theft Auto

The news today from the land of the crazies is an apparent series of murders of athletic college-age men by drowning, their bodies found near a smiley-face graffito. At least one was classified as a homicide instead of suicide, with the story being that he was abducted after drinking and tortured in a van before being drowned in a river. Does this have anything to do with the smiley face gang in the Grand Theft Auto videogames? Disclaimer: I have not played the games. They aren’t appropriate for a house with young children in it. It would appear that the gang killers in the game tag the locales where they leave victim bodies with smiley face graffiti.

The Minnesota Monitor also mentions the story of Luke Heider, who planted 16 pipe bombs in 2002 in a multi-state pattern in the shape of a smiley face.

The whole theory is far fetched. But as Lee Cowan said on NBC:

“The idea of some sinister national gang out killing young college men is a hard theory to sell. But to the parents who have lost a son, a far-fetched reason is better than no reason at all.”

It’s hard to accept this kind of horror movie serial killing going on. For one thing, who would want to murder a string of athletic young men across the Midwest and Northeast by drowning, perhaps after kidnapping and torturing them? What could the purpose be?


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Wicker on the KC-45 Contract and Boeing’s Challenge

A while back I sent Sen. Roger Wicker (the replacement for Trent Lott) a note telling him my opinion on the Northrop-Grumman/EADS KC-45 tanker contract for the new USAF aerial refueling tanker. I got a letter back from the Senator the other day concerning my letter to him. Enclosed was this open letter that he published on April 14.

Report From Congress

By Senator Roger F. Wicker


On February 28, in a decision that had major implications for Mississippi’s economy, the Air Force announced it had awarded a $40 billion contract to Northrop Grumman and EADS North America to build 179 aerial refueling tankers. The tankers, which would be assembled in Mobile, Alabama, would create up to 2,000 new jobs on the Gulf Coast, many of which would be filled by Mississippians.

Unfortunately, the contract is not yet final. The main competitor to Northrop Grumman and EADS has protested the Air Force’s decision in hopes that it will be reversed. If that were to happen, it would be bad for both our military and U.S. taxpayers and harmful to the Mississippi economy.


Hurricane Katrina’s landfall along the Gulf Coast hurt more than buildings and structures; it also hurt the economy. While the economy along the Coast has made great progress in getting back to pre-Katrina strength, there is more work to do. The construction of the Air Force’s new tanker in Mobile would have an economic impact that would be felt throughout the Gulf Coast.

Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the construction of these tankers on the Gulf Coast would benefit the entire state of Mississippi. Tanker construction on the Coast would foster a new aerospace manufacturing corridor in the southeastern United States. This would be positive news to the many defense-related businesses across Mississippi, from the Tennessee state line down to the Gulf Coast.

The national economy would also benefit. In addition to the 2,000 jobs along the Gulf Coast, the Northrop Grumman tanker would create an additional 46,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide. The project would cast a wide economic net, calling on 230 companies in 49 states to help build the tankers.


The competition to win this contract has been spirited, but it has energized a high level of misinformation that is not helpful to the process. Some have suggested that the contract competition was not fair. This is simply false. The Air Force and Defense Department presided over perhaps the most fair and transparent acquisition process in history.

There has also been a high level of misinformation regarding American jobs being lost overseas if Northrop Grumman is awarded this contract. This, too, could not be further from the truth. The Northrop Grumman tanker will be an American tanker built by American workers. With the utilization of suppliers in 49 states and the ability to create nearly 50,000 American jobs, it is clear this is a winning situation for our economy and American workers.


The protest over the Air Force’s decision to award this contract to Northrop Grumman is unhelpful for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it puts at risk the men and women who are flying the current fleet of tankers – planes that are more than 45 years old and which have been the Air Force’s top modernization priority for several years.

In making its decision on the tanker contract, the Air Force made an objective judgment based on the merits of the two competing proposals. The facts should be allowed to speak for themselves, and this contract should be allowed to move forward. For the good of our military, taxpayers and the Mississippi economy, I am optimistic that will happen.

Me too.


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Elevator Ride to Hell

Nick Paumgarten at the New Yorker tells the tale of Nicholas White’s 41-hour ordeal in an elevator that led him to ruin his life. Watch the video then read the story for what White did afterwards.


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Is texting the same as writing? ROFLMAO :)

According to a new Pew internet poll

  • 85% of teens ages 12-17 engage at least occasionally in some form of electronic personal communication, which includes text messaging, sending email or instant messages, or posting comments on social networking sites.
  • 60% of teens do not think of these electronic texts as “writing.”

About half of the students polled occasionally use informal writing styles in their school assignments. Somewhat fewer have used internet slang text acronyms like LOL, ROFLMAO, IIRC, FWIW, BRB, IRL, and BFF in school work. About a quarter have used emoticons such as 🙂 , 😦 and 😛 in school work.

Funnily enough, the Seattle PI which writes up this story seems to find it necessary to include a table of emoticons. See the right side.


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Interesting Articles on Education 4/25/08

The Left’s Theft of the Open Society and the Scientific Method
by Jonathan David Carson

The Left misappropriates intellectual capital for perverse ends, in order to lend itself a veneer of respectability and befuddle its critics. According to the website of the Open Society Institute, the George Soros funded nerve-center of today’s Left, “The term ‘open society’ was popularized by the philosopher Karl Popper in his 1945 book Open Society and Its Enemies. Popper’s work deeply influenced George Soros, the founder of the Open Society Institute, and it is upon the concept of an open society that Soros bases his philanthropic activity.”

Obama’s Real Bill Ayers Problem
by Sol Stern

Barack Obama complains that he’s been unfairly attacked for a casual political and social relationship with his neighbor, former Weatherman Bill Ayers. Obama has a point. In the ultraliberal Hyde Park community where the presidential candidate first earned his political spurs, Ayers is widely regarded as a member in good standing of the city’s civic establishment, not an unrepentant domestic terrorist. But Obama and his critics are arguing about the wrong moral question. The more pressing issue is not the damage done by the Weather Underground 40 years ago, but the far greater harm inflicted on the nation’s schoolchildren by the political and educational movement in which Ayers plays a leading role today.

The Pope’s Challenge to Conservatives
by Christopher Chantrill

Pope Benedict XVI is a role model for conservatives. He shows that you can engage with the German tradition [of relativism as in Kant, Marx, and Nietzsche] and not just survive but come out drenched in Christian love and faith.

He’s not the only conservative to have engaged German relativism. British conservative Roger Scruton, author of a book on Kant, has also dared to engage the German philosophers and lived to tell the tale. Jewish conservative Jonah Goldberg had to study the German canon to be able to annoy liberals with his Liberal Fascism.

The Economics of College, parts 1, 2, and 3
By Thomas Sowell

Follow the logic to understand the stratospheric costs of higher education today.

In a normal market situation, each competing enterprise has an incentive to lower prices if that would attract business away from competitors and increase its profits.

Unfortunately, the academic world is not a normal market situation.

Some of the ways of cutting costs that a business might use are not available to a college or university because of restrictions by the accrediting agencies and the American Association of University Professors.

There was a time, back in the early 1960s, when my academic career began, when many — if not most — colleges had their faculty teaching 12 semester hours and a few had teaching loads of 15 semester hours.

Spending even 15 hours a week in a classroom may not seem like a lot to people who spend 35 or 40 hours a week on the job. However, there is also the time required to prepare lectures, grade tests and do other miscellaneous campus chores.

Even so, 12 hours a week in a classroom is not a killing pace, especially for professors who have taught a few years and have their lecture notes from previous years to help prepare for the current year’s classes.

But that was then and this is now. Today, a teaching load of more than 6 semester hours is considered sweatshop labor on many campuses.

Incidentally, since academic class hours are 50 minutes long, 6 semester hours mean actually 5 hours a week in the classroom.

Why was it considered necessary to cut the teaching load in half? Mainly because professors were expected to do more research.

Why was more research considered necessary? Because research brings in more money from the government, from foundations and from other sources.

On many campuses, a beginning faculty member cannot expect to be promoted to a tenure position unless he or she brings research money into the campus coffers.

Once 6 semester hours of teaching becomes the norm, an individual college that tried to economize by having its faculty teach 9 or 12 semester hours could run into trouble with the American Association of University Professors and the accrediting agencies.

The University of Colorado law school had its accreditation by the American Bar Association put in jeopardy simply because they did not spend enough money on books for their law library — even though their students passed the bar exam on the first try at a higher rate than the law students at Harvard and Yale.


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Bruce Walker praises Ben Stein’s new movie, Expelled, highly.

Perhaps only Stein could properly portray the Kafkaesque persecution of scientists, journalists and other professionals who challenge the increasingly untenable proposition that an almost incomprehensibly complex mechanism — the living cell — could have evolved through the oafish mechanism of natural selection.

The object of hatred by the automatons of hoary Darwinism are not just those honest and open minded thinkers — some of whom are Christians, some of whom are Jewish, some of whom are agnostics — but also hated is the very idea of a Blessed Creator. Not only are these haters clear about the necessity of Darwinism to be true, even if it is not true, but they are equally clear about their lust to deconstruct morality and to reduce life itself to a meaningless treadmill.

Though the trailer on television is humorous enough, with Stein sitting in short pants outside the principal’s office, the online trailer is much more ominous.

Based on this trailer, the movie looks great! Can you imagine this, cultural conservatives and free-thinking research scientists turned into allies who must rebel against the soul-crushing forces of enforced uniformity in the universities and colleges? How did conservatives become the new counter-culture?

It’s not as unbelievable as it seems at first glance. I’m going to see it, and I’ll take my nine year old.


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Computer Trouble

Sorry for not writing for a while. I’ve been having computer trouble with this box. I’m seriously thinking about using Puppy or some other Linux instead of the Windoze I’m using now. My concern is that photos might not download as cleanly and upload to our photo service as cleanly.

Any thoughts?


What is victory in Iraq?

Think Progress quotes Robert Wexler (D-FL)

And if I will, when Mr. Burton asks for a definition of what is failure, we get a litany of items. But when Mr. Ackerman asks what’s the definition of victory, we get little. Please tell us, general, what is winning?

Elsewhere, Max Boot responds:

Victory — defined as a democratic state that does not oppress its own people, provide a haven for terrorists, proliferate weapons of mass destruction or threaten its neighbors

Boot’s definition is basically the same as the definition the US Government published in the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq way back in 2005 (maybe 2003).

Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages

  • Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
  • Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
  • Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.

Who says they still don’t know what victory means?

h/t: memeorandum


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