Thursday, February 18, 2010

50 Years Downhill Since the Sharon Statement

The "revival of conservatism" is all the rage right now in the political media. We are told that the Tea Parties are sweeping the nation, that the Republican Party is being forced to the Right in its attempts to woo them, that they are either an independent populist force or (alternatively) controlled by the GOP and Beltway Conservatives. Pundits laugh at the lack of sophistication on the part of these tea partiers (they are inevitably compared to McCarthyites or John Birchers), but then ponder the Deeper Significance of this phenomenon. Seeking to take advantage of this explosion of grassroots vigor – and to control it – dozens of top conservative muckamucks met on February 17 at an estate that was an original part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. There they signed "The Mount Vernon Statement" with the subtitle: "Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century." A companion statement issued to the press explained that "The Sharon Statement, signed at the home of William F. Buckley, Jr., in Sharon, Connecticut in September 1960, helped launch and define the conservative movement…" Now, 50 years later, "today’s leaders will unveil and sign [a new] declaration of leadership." As someone who was there at Sharon, and voted for adoption of the Sharon Statement, I urge you to read and compare the two documents. Then put the two documents into their historical more

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