One of the Many Reasons I Like the American Conservative…

One of the Many Reasons I Like the American Conservative… February 26, 2014

is that they have the guts to run absolutely brilliant and perceptive pieces like this one, not to mention this one.

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  • Daniel G. Fink

    “Indeed, the Catholic magazine Crisis recently published an article proposing just that, that Muslims should be regarded as the “natural allies” of Catholics and other traditional conservatives.”

    On the contrary, what William Kilpatrick was “proposing” in the “Crisis” article was that great caution be observed by Catholic intellectuals when opposing militant secularism by allying with Islam. Can I trust Leon Hadar on his other points?

    • Mary E.

      Hadar does significantly misread Kilpatrick’s article, as some of the comments to the article have pointed out, and that’s unfortunate because he could make his points without it. I admire his effort to sort through a confusing range of attitudes toward Putin, but I think he gets tangled up at a few places. This is because like many American commentators, he falls into the habit of using the familiar terms of American “conservative vs. liberal” political discourse to frame his arguments, although they fit the Russian situation awkwardly.

      This is particularly noticeable when he describes Putin as a right-wing nationalist. It’s difficult to fit Putin into the standard “right wing” versus “left wing” political discourse because he could be described as either, or neither, depending on the particular issue. I doubt Hadar is thinking of Putin’s authoritarism here, as a liberal-progressive commentator might, because as he makes clear elsewhere, he views Communist states like China and Russia as essentially authoritarian in nature, and few would characterize them as “right wing.” So Hadar must be thinking of Putin’s purported “nationalism.”

      Yet this is problematic within the context of Russia because Putin is not really a Russian nationalist. Russian nationalism is rooted in promoting ethnic Russian identity over other ethnic and cultural groups, for its own sake, because of a belief in its inherent superiority. Putin, conversely, believes in a powerful Russian state. Although he uses aspects of ethnic Russian identity to further his goals, if groups other than ethnic Russians will support (or at minimum, not oppose) his vision of an ascendant Russia, he will accommodate them. Some Russian nationalists dislike him for this very reason. As such, he is more of a “statehood” than a nationalist, so if nationalism is why Hadar assigns the “right wing” label, it is not accurate. It can be a difficult distinction for Americans to grasp because we do not have an “ethnic American” identity comparable to an ethnic Russian identity.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    If there were more conservatives like Campbell in the GOP, there would be fewer former memebers of the GOP like me.

  • Paxton Reis

    “Every great cause,” Tyrrell quotes Eric Hoffer in After the Hangover,
    “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates
    into a racket.” The conservative movement underwent this
    transmogrification with blazing speed.”

    Interesting observation. Too much of our political institutions–at the local and state level too–come across as rackets for those in the know and close to the power brokers.

  • Dan

    It was an interesting read but sounded suspiciously like what Jones was saying back during the Sam Francis (deathbed convert) days when his involvement in the Paleocon mov’t led to its demise

  • Balin

    “There is no war these chicken hawks are not eager to fight, as long as somebody else’s sons and daughters do the dying.” Phil Ochs’ “Draft Dodger Rag” came to mind.

  • Elmwood

    Wish Catholics could move beyond “conservative” and “liberal” and if we must label ourselves instead use “sinner”.

  • Dave G.

    I read this and it dawned on me, do teams that win the Super Bowl ever spend the following days blaming their teammates? Or teams that win the Wold Series? National Championship? I never thought about it. I’m curious.