Charles Bloch’s article about Human Events distancing itself from Pat Buchanan’s recent column “Did Hitler Really Want War?“ picks away at the sore that blights the American Right: the modern “conservative” establishment—what has been called "Conservatism, Inc.".
The growing menace of political correctness, and increasing political persecution from the intolerant radical Left, such as the $PLC, reveals the spinelessness of Conservatism, Inc. in defending historically core positions of the political Right.
The fact that all too many conservative careerists require backbone replacement surgery has allowed the political adversaries of the Right to gain the moral high ground in terms of what is acceptable and off-limits from civil discourse.
As a fixture on the Washington political scene, Human Events and other editors and owners of “conservative” publications (including “conservative” pundits and columnists, such as the late Robert Novak) tread carefully around “controversies” that can run afoul of the “PC” police. They crave political access—accessibility to political insiders on Capital Hill and various executive department offices—and accessibility requires acceptance. Anything that jeopardizes this fragile arrangement must go. Principled viewpoints are all too easily smeared as politically incorrect. Hosting parties for congressional candidates, politicians, committee chairmen, and key staff members and journalists from the MSM are more important than speaking candidly about politically inconvenient truths.
Pat Buchanan is one of the few remaining exceptions to this trend. He believes in speaking freely in a “free” society and letting the chips fall where they may.
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, George Morgenstern, Chesly Manly, John T. Flynn, Garet Garrett, Edna Lonigan, William Henry Chamberlin, and Freda Utley were regular contributors to Human Events. Garrett, according to Wikipedia,
“was highly critical of the Roosevelt Administration’s moves toward intervention in the war then underway in Europe; he covered this topic in a series of editorials which were collected under the title Defend America First: The Antiwar Editorials of the Saturday Evening Post, 1939-1942, which was published in 2003.”
One hero of Thomas Winter, Human Events’ long-time co-owner and currently editor-in-chief, is John T. Flynn. But Flynn, one of the founders of the AFC, catapulted the organization into effective opposition to FDR’s interventionism. He introduced Charles Lindbergh during an America First Committee rally at Madison Square Garden.
Winter, in another paradoxical twist, disliked Buchanan and would not have published his columns except for Buchanan's substantial appeal among grassroots conservatives. Winter also disliked “think” pieces (reflections on The Bell Curve or any politically disruptive thoughts) and instead preferred boilerplate “conservative” diatribes, such as “Hillary Watch” and “Jihad Watch” columns. He routinely referred to critiques of multiculturalism as “boring.”
Before being fired as Managing Editor of Human Events for un-PC deviationism, I saw Winter abandon Human Events’ long-established editorial opposition to the subculture of homosexuals, apparently in deference to Eagle Publishing President Jeffrey Carneal, the chief executive of the parent company of Human Events. (Carneal’s hissy fits are legendary. For example, he threw a major tantrum over HE editor Terry Jeffrey’s decision in 2003 to publish a front-page piece defendeding former Sen. Rick Santorum’s pro-family speech that compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest, and adultery.) Similarly, the publication once led the way in calling for the dismantling of the Department of Education but decided to remain silent on the matter in order to avoid making waves with former Bush Administration “outreach” liaison Tim Goeglein.
In past years, one could find on the pages of Human Events articles by Richard Weaver, Sam Ervin, Jr., Sam Francis, Rep. Larry McDonald, and a number of stalwart “Old Right” luminaries. Norman Thomas once noted in Human Events (July 26, 1944 issue),
“For years I predicted that our entry into the Second World War would be by way of Asia, through Japan. I now predict that an entrance into a far more fatal Third World War will be by way of Asia through the revolt of colored nations and races.”
Had the SPLC's Heidi Beirich been a witch-hunting 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.