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In addition to working as a paid technical consultant to the Bavarian Illuminati, Ben serves as webmaster to The Oberlin Review, which sits at the very heart of the liberal media.

"When I was a boy, we burned witches" 9:05PM EST Monday, 3/21/2005 [link to this item]

A recent Seattle Post-Intelligencer guest column:
I was a Teenage Republican. Working my precinct for Barry Goldwater, I got a thorough education in what real Republicans believe. And whether I still agree with all I learned then, I will always understand and respect it. I'm just not sure the people calling themselves Republicans today do.

When I was a Teenage Republican, all Republicans knew the 10th Amendment by heart and Republicans resisted the increasing power of the central government. Now Republicans leap over one another to make the federal government ever more powerful. It is Republicans at the federal level who now want to tell states whether they can allow medical marijuana or assisted suicide, or even who can have a driver's license. They want to tell the states who can get married. Imagine a Republican of my youth thinking the federal government should dictate policy to local school boards.

When I was a boy, Republicans cherished personal liberty. Creating secret no-fly lists and spy-on-your-neighbor programs, turning medical records over to police, holding people without trial in hidden military compounds, saying it's legal to torture them -- that's how we thought only Communists would behave.

As convenient as the "they're not real conservatives" argument is for our side, I'm having trouble identifying any grounding in reality behind the "When I was a boy..." sentiment found in this and other 'Republican nostalgia' writings. The guy is holding up Barry "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" Goldwater as an example of the pre-'spy-on-your-neighbor' conservative; Goldwater, who, while preaching the anti-interventionist line (sound familiar?), simultaneously argued for intervention against powerful labor unions, journalists who exposed secret arms shipments to mujahideen (NYT), "un-American" student journalists, etc., while defending McCarthy's witch-hunts. While it is clear that the basic principles of conservatism are being violated by the modern-day Republican party, I have trouble seeing Goldwater Republicans as an example of these elusive rightwing virtues either.

-Ben | Comments
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