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 SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Globalism is a demonic agenda and Hillary Clinton is a globalist. No good Christian can support an evil movement Watch

Image of Bill Clinton is an avowed globalist. The Clinton Foundation operates with a globalist philosophy and Hillary Clinton will continue to promote her globalist agenda as president.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A major difference in the presidential election is the never-discussed, but all important clash between globalism and nationalism. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Hillary Clinton is a globalist. Her husband, Bill Clinton was legendary for introducing America to ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood prepares to attack Gov. McCrory and state Republicans Watch

Image of Planned Parenthood is attacking the people and governor of North Carolina in hopes of winning the state for Clinton.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

North Carolina is a battleground state and Planned Parenthood is about to spend millions on a media blitz intended to give Hillary Clinton the lead. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Planned Parenthood wants to be inside your womb and your restroom. The anti-life ... continue reading


Faith was barely mentioned at the debate - Should Catholics be worried? Watch

Image of Why wasn't faith mentioned during the debate?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

There were few direct statements about faith by the two presidential candidates in Monday's debate. But that is not necessarily a cause for worry, Catholic analysts said. Washington D.C. (CNA) - Monday's event was only "the first of three presidential debates," noted ... continue reading


DEVELOPING: Was Clinton wearing a secret device during the debate? Evidence emerges Watch

Image of Was Hillary Clinton still using a hearing device or something else during the debate?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Was Hillary Clinton wearing a medical device during her debate with Donald Trump? A series of pictures has emerged that show her wearing a device of some sort. The device appears to be a microphone, but there are some questions that can be raised. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Clinton and Trump clash in first debate - and a BIG prediction is made Watch

Image of Both candidates were cordial the before and after the debate, but these exchanged sharp accusations during the debate. Trump appeared more reserved than his usual self.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Clinton and Trump faced off in their first presidential debate. Most experts are saying Clinton won the debate, but the informal online polls all award the debate to Donald Trump. Trump appeared strong yet angry, while Clinton appeared poised. The debate is the first ... continue reading


A Catholic guide to Clinton and Trump - which candidate is closer to the Church in their stated positions? Watch

Image of With 20 percent of the population, Catholics represent a major voting bloc in the United States.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Tonight Hillary Clinton will debate against Donald Trump in the first of three presidential debates. There are plenty of debate previews to read, but none are tailored for Catholics. What should Catholics look for in tonight's debate? LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


SMART MOVE: Donald Trump appoints 33 Catholic leaders to advise him on policy matters Watch

Image of

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump has named a list of 33 Catholics to a Catholic Advisory Group to offer him ongoing policy recommendations on matters of concern to Catholics and other Christians. Included on the list is Deacon Keith Fournier, the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online. LOS ... continue reading


Donald Trump commits to fight abortion! Letter sent to Pro-Life leaders Watch

Image of Donald Trump has described his position as

By Catholic Online

Donald Trump has issued a statement to pro-life leaders explaining his plans to protect and preserve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. As leaders in this fight, we would like to share his words with you in our community. Please keep the unborn in mind ... continue reading


What Wells Fargo did to you, how Senator Warren is defending you, and why the Law Code of Hammurabi is better than our pathetic system of justice today Watch

Image of Elizabeth Warren skewered Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during a Senate inquiry over the massive fraud perpetrated by the company.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Senator Elizabeth Warren tore into Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who claims he is "accountable" for a massive scam that impacted millions of the bank's customers. However, Stumpf has not resigned, returned any money, or faced criminal prosecution. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Why did George H.W. Bush say he is voting for Clinton? Because he's part of the globalist establishment, that's why Watch

Image of Is George H.W. Bush voting for Clinton? According to Kennedy-Townsend, yes.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

George Herbert Walker Bush is a Clinton lover. It doesn't matter that Bill Clinton trashed him in the polls in 1991, his vote is going to Hillary Clinton. The reason behind the surprising endorsement is simple: globalism. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... 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, Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-16
1 This was the answer Job gave to Yahweh:2 I know that you are ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:66, 71, 75, 91, 125, 130
66 Teach me judgement and knowledge, for I rely on your ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:17-24
17 The seventy-two came back rejoicing. 'Lord,' they said, 'even the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2016 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young ... Read More