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The inexorable advance of conservative and libertarian thought is tempered by opinions of zealots who utilize the aforementioned terms in an insidious nature. Recently this was brought home to the author who is in receipt of an email from a conservative champion.
First and foremost let me dispense with the notion that anyone might have that this author feels as though he has the answers. While I am sufficiently confident in my beliefs and opinions, it would be imprudent to speak to the readers of this site in a manner that leads one to believe that the author has the high ground. Instead, I realize the importance of stating opinions, realizing that they may not, in some respects, coincide with that of the learned readers here at Intellectual Conservative.com. Though different paths may be followed, we arrive at similar destinations.
That caveat aside, the cause of conservatism is under a constant barrage of invective from both the left and the right. An expectation that the left will mount offensive attacks is, of course, at the front of our minds. Just as damaging, and perhaps more so, are the enfilades from what will now be referred to as the false right. A quick definition is in order. The false right is those who feel that they, and only they, speak as true conservatives. This true conservatism champions the exclusion of anyone not coinciding with his or her vision. It is remarkable in the similarities to Nazi thought. They are quite easy to spot as they blend in about as well as a donkey with thoroughbreds.
One of the vessels through which many of these hapless souls seek refuge is in the membership of fringe groups such as the League of the South. This group, and this author’s comment about them, is the source of the email that was received. It is important to note that this group, or league, considers conservatives like Buckley as Yankee Neo-Cons bent on the destruction of our society. The notion that Buckley is not representative of modern conservative thought is indicative of the laggards of the false right. In fact, these same people also fail to acknowledge any advances in conservatism except those made by those of the same ilk.
Russell Kirk, whose writings no doubt would not fit into an extremists library, wrote in Enlivening the Conservative Mind that Not by force of arms are civilizations held together, but by subtle threads of moral and intellectual principle. What is morality? It is it hatred of those of dissimilar races or religions? The answer is a firm no. Conservatives are born of different colors, shapes, and sizes and know many different religious beliefs or, in fact, none at all. Are they to be excluded?
Is it conceivable that Providence chose to shine his light down on but one region of this great country? That would remove many luminaries of conservative thought from the fold. That is of course pure madness.
Lest you think that this author can see no good in the South, think again. As a product of the south my deep appreciation for things distinctly southern are numerous. For example the cuisine, though often bad for the arteries, is good for the palate. In fact southerners are often conservative and those that I know and respect are among the brightest people walking the earth. Yet they do not seek the exclusion of a person of like-mindedness based on their color or religion, let alone gender. So do not take from this that zealots represent the south.
In summary let me point out that addressing myself in the first person is highly unusual and it is only because of the quite rage that is felt that I do so now. To those who seek to hijack conservatism for your own selfish gain and seek credibility because you share the term with people of thought, move along to your next rock. Moreover, sleep safely and well.
Send email to J. Thomas Lowry - [email protected]