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Lamb Amongst Wolves
September 15, 2009

Human Events vs. Pat Buchanan: An Insider’s View
by Kevin Lamb

MT. AIRY, MARYLAND — Charles Bloch’s recent posting on VDARE.COM about Human Events distancing itself from Pat Buchanan’s recent syndicated column “Did Hitler Really Want War?” picks away the scab that defines the American Right: the modern “conservative” establishment.

Buchanan’s column was pulled from Human Events’ website in the wake of liberal Jewish criticism. Bloch, a Jewish supporter of Buchanan, criticized the decision to remove the column.

The growing menace of political correctness and increasing political persecution from the intolerant radical Left reveal the spinelessness of Conservatism, Inc., in defending bedrock positions that once defined the political Right.

As a fixture on the Washington political scene, Human Events and other editors and owners of “conservative” publications tread carefully around “controversies” that can run afoul of the “PC” police.

The current owner and the former editor of Human Events crave political access — to political insiders on Capital Hill, executive department agencies, and the mass media — and accessibility requires acceptance. Anything that jeopardizes this fragile arrangement could sever this access.

The core beliefs that defined the Old Right were limited government, individual liberty, restraint in foreign intervention, a robust national defense, and opposition to egalitarian “social justice.” These policies are increasingly perceived as political liabilities to the conservative establishment — an institution that buckles to political correctness in order to remain in good standing with the political culture of Washington.

Access to power involves compromise and concession; principled views and beliefs are rendered expendable for political expediency. Hosting parties and schmoozing with politicians, committee chairmen, congressional staffers, political consultants, and journalists are more important than speaking candidly about politically inconvenient truths.

Pat Buchanan is one of the few exceptions to this trend on the Right. He believes in speaking freely in a “free” society and letting the chips fall where they may. Buchanan is willing to take the flak for stating unpopular truths. The fact that all too many conservative careerists require backbone replacement surgery has allowed the political adversaries of the Right to gain the moral ground in terms of what is acceptable to and what is off-limits from civil discourse.

The real irony is that Buchanan’s recent column would have fit right in with the pro-isolationist views of the founding editors of Human Events (Felix Morley and Frank Chodorov). The America First Committee (AFC) mailing list was used to build the publication’s initial subscription base in the mid-1940s. Diplomatic Historian Charles C. Tansill, Pearl Harbor author and Chicago Tribune editorial writer George Morgenstern, attorney and author John T. Flynn, financial journalist Garet Garrett, Edna Lonigan, author and Soviet Union expert William Henry Chamberlin, Major General J. F. C. Fuller, and leading anticommunist author Freda Utley were regular contributors to Human Events.

One hero of Thomas Winter, Human Events’ long-time co-owner and current editor-in-chief, is John T. Flynn. Flynn, a lawyer, author, and prominent critic of the Roosevelt administration, headed the AFC’s New York chapter and rallied the organization into effective opposition to FDR’s interventionism. He introduced aviator and conservationist Charles Lindbergh during an AFC rally at Madison Square Garden.

Winter opposed Buchanan on a number of issues and would not have published his columns had Buchanan lacked substantial appeal among grassroots conservatives. Winter disliked “think” pieces (reflections on The Bell Curve or any politically disruptive thoughts) and instead preferred boilerplate “conservative” rip-and-read diatribes, such as “Hillary Watch” and “Jihad Watch” columns. He routinely referred to critiques of multiculturalism as “boring.”

It is pathetic that Human Events, a pillar of the Old Right, has become intellectually hollowed out over the years. The publication continues to cave in to its critics and detractors. Over the years one could find on the pages of Human Events articles by southern author Richard Weaver; North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin, Jr.; awarding-winning Washington Times columnist Sam Francis; Georgia Rep. Larry MacDonald; and a number of stalwart “Old Right” luminaries. The publication — which once led the way in opposing the Martin Luther King, Jr., federal holiday and supported the dismantling of the Department of Education (DOE) — remained silent on the issue of closing down DOE in order to placate former Bush Administration “outreach” liaison Tim Goeglein.

Had Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center been a radical activist during the early years of Human Events, she would have faced astronomic phone bills — and major opposition — in her quest to sanitize the ranks of the Right and make America a safe-haven for radical egalitarianism. The fact that the “conservative” movement is filled with spineless social climbers willing to sacrifice the truth for short-term political expediency becomes more and more evident, as Charles Bloch reminds us, when fellow political colleagues become complicit in their adversary’s “Reign of Terror.”

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Lamb Amongst Wolves column by Kevin Lamb is copyright © 2009 by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfbooks.com.
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reprint if credit is given to the author and the Foundation.

Kevin Lamb, a columnist and writer, served as managing editor of Human Events from 2002-2005.

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