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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Black Panther attack - John Lewis is a hypocrite, a liar, and an illegitimate Congressman Watch

Image of John Lewis is being called out for failing to help fellow blacks.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mason Weaver, a former Black Panther had some harsh words for Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Weaver accused Lewis of enriching himself while presiding over the "destruction of black America." LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- John Lewis is a former civil rights activist ... continue reading


A king's advice to the president Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

I believe it is no mere coincidence that the U.S. national holiday celebrating the inspiring life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan. 16) is positioned within the same week as the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration of Donald J. Trump.    I believe a ... continue reading


Senate report reveals disgusting child trafficking coverup Watch

Image of Backpage.com provided a cover for child sex traffickers, new Senate report alleges.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

As a new Senate report alleges that the advertising site Backpage.com covered for child sex traffickers, Backpage defends its record of working with law enforcement against trafficking. Washington, D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "How could such a horrific, morally bankrupt ... continue reading


'I am asking you to believe' - Obama delivers final speech to the American People Watch

Image of Barack Obama made his farewell address in Chicago.

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Barack Obama delivered his farewell address Tuesday night on January 10, 2017 before a massive crowd of supporters who refused to settle as he stepped on stage. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a speech he wrote himself, the President of the United States spoke ... continue reading


Obama's legacy? Good riddance to the most anti-Catholic president in decades Watch

Image of Catholics are likely to remember Obama's legacy as one of conflict with the Church.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nobody knows what is going to happen to Obama's legacy. He is credited with Obamacare, with saving the auto industry, and with creating jobs, and a resurgent economy. Osama bin Laden was killed on his watch. But much of his work was accomplished through executive ... continue reading


Congressman Chris Smith begs U.S. to help Iraq's Christians Watch

Image of Congressman Chris Smith begs on behalf of Iraqi Christians.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Christian survivors of the ISIS genocide have serious humanitarian needs, but their faith remains strong, one congressman said after his visit to displaced Christians in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Washington, D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - The faith of Christians, "every ... continue reading


GOV. JERRY BROWN - KING OF PIMPS: California becomes the world's largest CHILD sex trafficker with new law SB 1322 Watch

Image of Something that was illegal on 12.31.16 is NOW LEGAL on 1.1.17. That's called LEGALIZATION. That's how legalization works.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The California legislature has legalized child prostitution. This move is the natural product of the culture of death brought about by liberal secularism. It is also a look into how fake news is born, and the human cost associated with a media that lies to promote an ... continue reading


House panel accuses Planned Parenthood of major abuse Watch

Image of Planned Parenthood's court battle is not going well.

By Matt Hedro (CNA/EWTN News)

Abuses and possibly criminal violations are occurring in the fetal tissue trade between abortion clinics and tissue harvesters, concluded the special House panel investigating the matter on Wednesday. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It is my hope that our ... continue reading


INSANE - California liberals legalize child prostitution Watch

Image of California has legalized child sex prostitution.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

California has legalized child prostitution. A new law, SB 1322 prohibits police from arresting minors engaged in prostitution. Critics say the law will be a disaster for children, and a boon for sex traffickers. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Sex traffickers ... continue reading


Donald Trump boasts impressive inauguration lineup with SIX big names, including Cardinal Dolan Watch

Image of Cardinal Dolan will be reading from the Bible at Donald Trump's inauguration.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump is a big name in the business and political world. Those invited to speak at his presidential inauguration next month are just as impressive. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six well-known clergy members of different religious backgrounds will be ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 7:25--8:6
25 It follows, then, that his power to save those who come to God through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 40:7-8, 8-9, 10, 17
7 then I said, 'Here I am, I am coming.' In the scroll of the book it is ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:7-12
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 19th, 2017 Image

St. Fillan
January 19: Fillan, son of Feriach and St. Kentigerna, was ... Read More