Pin It
Favorite

De-Based Conservative 

by Robert Stokes & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & M & lt;/span & y first conservative hero was William F. Buckley. I was 12 when he launched The National Review in 1955. I have read that journal and Buckley's writing ever since. As I learned more about conservatism, I realized my childhood attachment was part of a much larger movement within my (now graying) generation.


During the cold war, Buckley had the courage to face reality while retaining principle. Questioned about the implications of deterring Soviet expansion with nuclear weapons, he said, "We do what we must do -- if we die, we die."


I don't remember exactly when he said that. But it had particular impact because I was then one of the doers. My little part in the Cold War was that of a junior officer in the U.S. Army Special (nuclear) Ammunition Support Command. We were the other end of the President's "nuclear button."


My list of conservative heroes has shortened since then, especially since 9/11 and the Iraq war. Writers I once respected for independence of thought and principle turned out to be toadies to presidential power, Republican hack politics, and the brainless paranoia and jingoism of the post-9/11 American public. Robert Novak and William Kristol come immediately to mind, but there are many others.


My hopes for conservatism hit rock bottom when presidential political advisor Karl Rove announced (almost casually) that he intended to run George Bush as the "Warrior President." We all remember the sickening campaign that followed, made worse by John Kerry's pandering to the same base public impulses.


Spring is here and my hero is back. I quote William F. Buckley Jr. on the Iraq war.


& lockquote & "Mr. Bush['s] ... challenge is to persuade himself that he can submit to a historical reality without forswearing basic commitments in foreign policy ... [He must] ... face the current development as military leaders are expected to. ...They are called upon to acknowledge a tactical setback, but to insist on the survival of strategic policies ... different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat." & lockquote &





For Buckley's commentary, visit www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-2_25_06_WB.html.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Odds And Ends
  • Odds And Ends

    Idaho lawmakers are pulled in lots of directions; plus, SPD weighs a "culture audit"
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • Four Days A Week
  • Four Days A Week

    Idaho schools that dropped one day a week from their schedule are saving a little money — but at what cost?
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • A County Ombudsman?
  • A County Ombudsman?

    Weighing the costs and benefits of oversight at the Spokane County Sheriff's Office
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Playing in the Mud

Playing in the Mud @ Gizmo-cda

Wednesdays, 4-5:30 p.m. Continues through April 8

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Why Idaho kids don't go to college

    And what that means for the Gem State
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • New Blood

    Candidates are launching bids for Spokane City Council and could bring big changes to city government
    • Mar 18, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


Comment


marijuana


Publisher's Note


long reads


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation