Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

3/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Goldwater, Buckley, Reagan - is past, and the only dynamic forces at work on the conservative side are the Tea Party, Libertarian, and, mostly Christian, religious activists.

Why do I bring up this story about National Review?  It confirmed the direction I have been moving in for some time, one that is being guided by my Catholic understanding of the relationship between politics and culture, and particularly the impact of culture on moral convictions.  Those, like Ponnuru, who regard themselves as the champions of conservatism, no longer know who their friends are, and, thus, are no longer interested in rebuilding the movement represented by National Review. As a result, conservatives, whether religiously or philosophically inspired, are looking elsewhere for leadership and inspiration.

Aunt Lucile had been a longtime friend of Buckley's father and mother, William F. and Aliose Buckley, who were closely connected to the University of Texas in Austin, as was my great aunt.

Aunt Lucile had been a longtime friend of Buckley's father and mother, William F. and Aliose Buckley, who were closely connected to the University of Texas in Austin, as was my great aunt.

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: conservatism, social conservatism, fiscal conservatism, William F Buckley, Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Catholics, religious right, Deal W. Hudson


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - After my column arguing that "cultural conservatism" should supplant social conservatism, the man whom I regard as the most important Catholic layman in the nation emailed to say,

Agreed.the social speaks to institutions; the culture to norms and values. It's the latter that molds the former.

Another prominent layman, who for many years represented the Holy See at the United Nations, wrote in support saying the pro-life position should be seen as "caring for the most vulnerable regardless of their disenfranchisement." That perception is precisely what declaring oneself a social conservative cannot accomplish. 

Finally, an Evangelical leader, Rod Martin, wrote to say, "You have rung my bells." 

His email was quite long, filled with action items to launch an effort under the banner of cultural conservatism, saying the place to start is prison reform. Echoing the message of philanthropist Foster Friess, Martin explained,

We have the biggest prison population in the world, mostly nonviolent. How can we say we're pro-family when we're breaking up these families, even though their imprisoned family member(s) are no threat to anyone's safety?"

Food for thought, indeed, and precisely the kind of thinking that can be let loose placing the social conservative issues, on which we will not compromise, under the larger banner and larger vision of cultural conservatism.

My Evangelical friend went even further, underscoring the kind of activist network that a cultural focus would make possible:

We should go into black and Hispanic churches and communities to build support for it:  we'll find a ready audience there.  To our own crowd, we should explain that we'll be requiring these people to be productive members of society, who for the first time are expected to literally pay their debts, and who won't be living off taxpayers and getting several years of free X-Box anymore.  That should resonate if nothing else does.  We should leave the Left with nothing to say.  And we should, in the process, radically improve the human condition and life in America and around the world.

I quote that passage in full due to both its genuine probity and persuasiveness. Rod Martin and I have agreed to think more about this together, and I am certain others will want to join us. 

Note that I did not entitle this column "Is Cultural Conservatism the Future of Conservatism?"

There are several reasons, the most important being the heyday of conservatism - Goldwater, Buckley, Reagan - is past, and the only dynamic forces at work on the conservative side are the Tea Party, Libertarian, and, mostly Christian, religious activists. 

No one rallies under the banner of conservatism anymore - it's become the property of political philosophers and a few pundits who try to set the agenda, but nobody follows.  The action is elsewhere, a fact that even the GOP wants to ignore. 

I was raised on National Review. My great Aunt Lucile Morley of Austin was one of the original group of Texans who underwrote Bill Buckley's launch of the magazine in 1955. Aunt Lucile had been a longtime friend of Buckley's father and mother, William F. and Aliose Buckley, who were closely connected to the University of Texas in Austin, as was my great aunt.

She kept National Review arriving in my mailbox from my senior year of high school through my last year of graduate school.  I'll admit it was NR that showed me the error of my ways in 1972 when, as a seminary student, I volunteered for McGovern.

Given this connection to NR, I was very pleased when the then publisher, Ed Capano, offered to teach me the basics of magazine publishing when I took over Crisis Magazine in 1995.  After a series of lunches with Capano in New York City, I considered myself armed with a realistic view of the challenges ahead.  Capano was right on the money with every piece of advice. 

Thus, it was with some sadness that I was the target of an attack in National Review not long ago, authored by Ramesh Pannuru.

Why do I bring up this story about National Review?  It confirmed the direction I have been moving in for some time, one that is being guided by my Catholic understanding of the relationship between politics and culture, and particularly the impact of culture on moral convictions. 

Those, like Ponnuru, who regard themselves as the champions of conservatism, no longer know who their friends are, and, thus, are no longer interested in rebuilding the movement represented by National Review. As a result, conservatives, whether religiously or philosophically inspired, are looking elsewhere for leadership and inspiration.

© Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, is heard on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

ICE gets more money, deports fewer illegals. Where's the money going? Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants cross the border with little risk of repercussion.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Where is the money going? Congress continues to allocate money to get people who don't belong in our country back home, but deportations are dropping according to new numbers. So, where is the money going? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Breitbart News has ... continue reading


New report finds religious freedom on the decline Watch

Image of Coptic Christians are among the most persecuted group in the world, and nobody is attempting to help them.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Religious freedom worldwide is "under serious and sustained assault." This finding is the work of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF). LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A new report which examines religious oppression around ... continue reading


'He deserves what he gets:' Latino youths violently protest Donald Trump in Orange County Watch

Image of Trump protestors broke out in a violent riot during his Orange County rally (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands attended Donald Trump's Orange County rally - then broke out in violent protest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Trump rally in Costa Mesa's Orange County Amphitheater was overflowing with supporters. There were several supporters who couldn't fit ... continue reading


New White House rules leave religious groups open to government abuse Watch

Image of Religious groups question the government's new regulations (Shutterstock).

By Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

The Obama administration's new rule for faith-based partnerships has drawn various reactions: one observer warned they could cause problems for partnering religious groups, while another said the action also strengthens these groups' protections against government ... continue reading


EXCLUSIVE - America, King of Propaganda: U.S. government spends billions to spew LIES to the American people. And guess what you foolish Americans, Congress made it all perfectly legal without your vote Watch

Image of

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Have we won the ground war in Afghanistan? According to the government reports and the media, we sure have. However, this is not what one whistleblower has said, warning as early as 2012 that the American people are being deceived by the government. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Bill De Blasio's ongoing investigation scandal fails to stop him from new fundraising efforts Watch

Image of Mayor Bill de Blasio won't talk - but his staff will (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's closest aides have been issued subpoenas to aid the investigation into his shady fundraising strategies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scandal surrounding de Blasio's fundraising has made headlines since 2014, when a leaked ... continue reading


Trump delivers first foreign policy speech, and sounds like a president should! (FULL TEXT) Watch

Image of Donald Trump's first full foreign policy speech sounded relatively presidential, and while short of specifics, was still worth listening to.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump delivered his first full speech on foreign policy and he sounded fairly presidential while doing so. Trump is not a politician by trade, but he may make an excellent president thanks to his extensive business acumen. Trump is on the path to the Republican ... continue reading


The olive branch and the barb: Clinton vs. Trump Watch

Image of Trump and Clinton came out on top (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The race for the presidential nominee has been full of surprises as history-making events, claims of foul play, dirty dealings and controversial statements have cropped up in abundance. Candidates have, at times, been caught up in a tight race, but Tuesday's primary ... continue reading


Trump will be president! Real estate mogul outpacing Romney by whopping 25 percent Watch

Image of Mitt Romney was friendly with Trump when he needed a campaign donation.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump is on track to win both the primary and the election, according to the numbers. He is on a better trajectory than Mitt Romney was in 2008. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, while winning her primary, is losing support. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Desperate Cruz and Kasich agree to stop competing, will focus on Trump Watch

Image of Cruz and Kasich are teaming up to block Trump, but their chances of success are slim.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have teamed up to block Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination. The rivals have agreed to divide upcoming primary states, so they can efficiently spend resources attacking Trump instead of each other. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'Our warriors are everywhere': ISIS uses CHILDREN to threaten Europe
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 5th, 2016 HD Video
  • St. Florian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: I fear no evil!
  • Captain James Cook wreckage discovered!
  • St. Matthew HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-8
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:6-14
6 Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 3rd, 2016 Image

St. James the Lesser
May 3: St. James the Less, the author of the first ... Read More