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The Confederate Lawyer
March 11, 2013

"Conservative" Republicans
by Charles G. Mills
fitzgerald griffin foundation

GLEN COVE, NY — The media often quote pundits who claim that the Republican Party has moved too far to the right. The contrary is true; it has moved too far to the left.

In the mid-1960s, the bulk of Southern conservatives moved from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. At the same time, left-wing Republicans like John Lindsay and Nelson Rockefeller lost control of the Republican Party. By 1964, the country had a conservative Republican Party and a liberal Democratic Party. The left-wing Republicans threw one last tantrum of anti-Goldwaterism, but they did not regain control as liberals, leftists, or moderates.

  ...the enemies of conservative principles began to infiltrate the party as "neo-conservatives," "big government conservatives," "pragmatic conservatives," and "compassionate conservatives." They have dragged the Republican Party so far to its left that people now have trouble distinguishing between the parties     What happened instead was that the enemies of conservative principles began to infiltrate the party as "neo-conservatives," "big government conservatives," "pragmatic conservatives," and "compassionate conservatives." They have dragged the Republican Party so far to its left that people now have trouble distinguishing between the parties, just as they did during the Eisenhower years, when the Republicans threw away their 1952 victory.

The conservative Republican Party of the mid-1960s had its roots in the opposition to the New Deal, the resentment of the Democratic Party's mistreatment of Southerners, the determination to win the Cold War, the opposition to the Supreme Court's trashing of the Constitution, the reaction against the Eisenhower years' blurring of party lines, the desire to restore the rights of the states, and patriotism.

Its intellectual foundation was laid by men like L. Brent Bozell, Russell Kirk, and Frank Meyer. Strom Thurmond, Barry Goldwater, William Knowland, and others provided political leadership. William F. Buckley helped to bring them together. By 1964, Ronald Reagan began to provide inspiration.

 

Bozell and

L. Brent Bozell (left) and William F. Buckley, Jr. discussing their book, McCarthy and His Enemies (1954).

 

It is a tribute to the success of this conservative republicanism that scoundrels like neo-conservatives and big government conservatives began to call themselves "conservative."

By March 1969, L. Brent Bozell had identified four areas in which the "conservative" Republicans had repudiated key principles of the conservative movement. In his words, these areas were "anti-statism," "nationalism," "anti-communism," and "constitutionalism." Today, the list would be longer, but the same four entries would still be on it.

Big government conservatives have given us national control over a wide area of everyday activities: accommodations for the disabled, airplanes travel, hotel room reservations, rifle or pistol purchases, large bank deposits, college tuition financing, the petroleum industry, student testing, safety standards for everything from step ladders to cribs, drivers' license photographs, prescription drug sales, and too many other areas of our life to count. Far from receding, the powerful state has grown at breakneck speed under "conservative Republicans."

Our foreign policy has forsaken the national interest as a goal. We seem determined to promote democracy in every corner of the globe. As a result, prosperous Rhodesia has become impoverished Zimbabwe, one of the world's basket cases. And too many Moslem countries have devolved from authoritarian but stable governments to unstable, anti-American, and anti-Christian tyrannies.

In the European theater, the West in general and conservative Republicans in particular won a spectacular victory over communism. This did not happen in the Pacific theater or in Cuba. One of the major forces in the conservative movement of the 1960s was The Committee of One Million Against the Admission of Communist China to the United Nations. This was a group of one million to two million Americans who opposed recognition of the communists as the legitimate government of China or that government's admission to the United Nations. Henry Kissinger and Republicans betrayed the free Chinese and established relations with the communists. Wars in Korea and Viet-Nam were only fought to standstills, and Western victories in the Pacific were small and rare.

Although the mainland Chinese communists have one of the most brutal tyrannies in human history, one could look for days to find a Republican leader who is still loyal to the free Chinese. Republicans of all factions acclaim our victory over the Soviet Union, but this does not mean that all Republicans who call themselves "conservative" are really anti-communist. How many of them are still nostalgic for the Stalinists in the Spanish Civil war? How many neo-conservatives are yet willing to admit that Franklin Delano Roosevelt planted dozens of communists, Soviet spies, and collaborators in the U. S. State Department?

We are making some progress in appointing lovers of the Constitution to the courts, but we must not forget that it was a Republican who gave us Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun, and Lewis F. Powell. Supreme Court Justice, David Souter, was supported by false conservatives.

In retrospect, conservatives retreated far too much in 1968, and L. Brent Bozell's criticism is vindicated. We must not repeat the mistake. Instead, we must return to the ideals of L. Brent Bozell, Frank Meyer, and Russell Kirk. On the domestic front, we must advocate the dismantling of all of the unconstitutional federal programs and the vindication of state sovereignty. On the international front, we must advocate a foreign policy founded on American national interests, including victory over the communists in China and Cuba.

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The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2013 by Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com. All rights reserved.

This column may be forwarded, posted, or published if credit is given to Charles Mills and fgfBooks.com.

Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles about the law.

See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.

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