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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Buckley, I've Got a Job For You

Bill Buckley's National Review did a great service for the conservative movement by reading out anti-Semites, over-zealous John Birchers (who thought Eisenhower was red -- a Commie for you teeny boppers who think red is right-wing), and Ayn Rand (for whom the dollar sign was a holy symbol). It's time for someone to do the same with Michael Savage.

He's on my drive time radio and his brand of conservative talk just leaves me feeling dirty. He plays on racial fears and punches the immigration button with way too much enthusiasm. He's also not exactly polite when it comes to discussing the questions of sexual orientation. This is the guy who told a critical gay caller that he "should get AIDS and die."

If we are going to have any chance of preserving the best of our culture, we'll do it by engaging in what Robert George calls "the strongest possible lines of argument." That would rule out constant resort to demagoguery. Let's be done with this character.


Jay D. Homnick said...

Most days I agree with you, but the guy does have a certain perverse charm.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Speaking of Buckley and his greatness in dispatching anti-Semites, I cannot help but recall the tragic collapse of Joseph Sobran. The man was my favorite writer for a span of about a decade, and I used to read the essays in his book, Single Issues, over and over and over again.

It was a personal tragedy for me to witness the meltdown of this great writer in gradual stages from a perfectly reasonable thinker into a card-carrying anti-Semite. And Buckley really loved the guy and gave him a lot of chances to redeem himself. But he dug his heels in and Bill finally gave him a gentle push into oblivion. A sad, sad episode.

Hunter Baker said...

Very interesting that you mention Sobran. I once asked a significant fellow in conservative publishing who his favorite writers were. His number one was Sobran before his meltdown.

I'd like to know how a guy like Sobran makes his way in the world after exiting paying journalism. He has a website where he publishes columns, but who runs them. Where's the cashflow? I don't imagine he got rich at NR.