Today's column by Jonah Goldberg in the Left Angeles Times is absolutely required reading for conservatives and a push back against those "conservatives" that long for a different time in the conservative movement.
Mr. Goldberg's column was a direct response to a piece by David Klinghoffer that appeared in this past Sunday's Left Angeles Times. In that column, Mr. Kllinghoffer laments that today's conservatives are not like those of old.
The problem for Mr. Klinghoffer is the same thing that plagues fellow-travellers as David Frum, David Brooks and to a lesser extent, Christopher Buckley. That the die is cast and now the movement is taking charge to return the United States to a more traditional era.
Mr. Klinghoffer seems to think that raconteur Andrew Breitbart is the leader of the modern conservative movement. No, Mr. Breitbart is not the leader of the conservative movement. And no, he is not a potty-mouth either. What Mr. Breitbart is an entrepreneur of the new media. And he uses it to inform the conservative movement and to call the left out on lies that the perputrate on the American public. After all, without Mr. Breitbart, the canard that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were spat upon and called n------s would have gone unchallenged. But, and Mr. Breitbart has made the point that he made an error, did get the Shirley Sherrod video out to quickly. He may have been had. And that is no worse than the Obamawhore media making similar errors if not outright falsehoods.
I do agree with Mr. Klinghoffer that conservatism is a lifestyle, so to speak. But, it is also ideas that have to be put in place. And that means running in and winning elections. And, it means that said politicians are going to play hardball. After all, it is the way the left plays. For keeps.
That is why Mr. Goldberg's response is important.
Mr. Goldberg is around the same age as your humble blogger. As well as Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and many other conservatives that came of age during the Reagan era.
And what Mr. Goldberg is trying to remind Mr. Klinghoffer and those conservatives that seem to like getting kicked around is that winning is important. When there was William F. Buckley, Irving Kristol and the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, conservatism was starting from scratch. Then came along one Ronald Reagan that showed how a conservative politician can win elections. And set the stage for the future.
Let me digress.
Mr. Reagan was pro-life. And in his time, that was a decided minority of opinion in the United States. While Mr. Reagan did not gain any victories in the cause, his ability to write and talk about the issue has led to public opinion changing to the point the majority of Americans want to have some restrictions on abortion. A far cry from Mr. Reagan's time.
The ideas were put in motion by men like Messrs Buckley, Sen. Barry Goldwater, Kristol, the Rev. Neuhaus and Reagan.
Now, the torch is carrying on to a new kind of leadership.
And one other thing.
The ideas are timeless and some issues change.
We are no longer fighting a long war with the Soviet Union and their brand of communism. But we are fighting radical Islam. We are still fighting against the rise of big government. But, the leadership led by the Dear Leader, President Obama, is much more aggressive than we have seen in most of our lifetimes. We are also fighting against judicial tyranny, which continues to thwart representative government.
On this, Jonah Goldberg is right and David Klinghoffer is wrong. But both are well worth reading and both make important points. Do not forget who brought you to the party. And do not forget that ideas have to be put into practice.