Sunday, August 06, 2006

Misunderstood conservatives

The Los Angeles Times reports that ABC is unveiling a new sitcom starring Calista Flockhart as a conservative television pundit.
Indeed, the point of the show seems to be casting conservatives in a sympathetic and understanding light. As Jon Robin Baitz, a writer for the show, explained: "It's very, very interesting and compelling to us to try and understand this, to leave behind some of the smug presuppositions of the two coasts … to look at evolving patriotism and evolving traditionalism."
. . .
Flockhart's character is not merely non-insane, she's thoughtful, Baitz explained. "She's ideologically, in some respects, very much in mind with the older parts of the party, the sort of Eisenhower Republican, the William Buckley conservative."

If you didn't smack your forehead with the palm of your hand when you read that sentence, let me explain why you should have. Buckley was a staunch critic of Eisenhower. Indeed, he founded National Review in no small part to organize conservatives in opposition to Ike. As he wrote at one point: "It has been the dominating ambition of Eisenhower's Modern Republicanism to govern in such a fashion as to more or less please everybody. Such governments must shrink from principle."

The author provides other examples before asking, But where are the right's efforts at outreach? You don't hear conservatives mourning their lack of common ground with the English department at Columbia University. In fact, it's incredibly rare to find a conservative who understands liberalism as anything other than hatred for the rich and a desire to hand over our foreign policy to the United Nations.

In fact, how many of us know our political opponents merely as caricatures of themselves? The entire article is here. We at Albany Catholic hope that each of our readers will make the effort to understand those of differing political opinions as our brothers and sisters.