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Who are the Intelligent Conservative Commentators

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ichy

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2006
6,940
6
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Christopher Hitches was brilliant, although his conservatism was limited to a few specific issues.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,739
3,563
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Personally I think the gentle giant Glenn Beck has to be at the zenith among conservative intellectuals.
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
Christopher Hitches was brilliant, although his conservatism was limited to a few specific issues.
I was going to mention Hitchens, but limited my list to living commentators. I do not necessarily agree with a number of his opinions but he always argued them brilliantly. A great loss.

A quick comment about Levin - I sometimes listen to him on my way home after work. He is annoying, caustic and argumentative but he has many idiots calling into his show and I doubt I would have even his limited patience. Once in a while he does get as intellectual as his writing but those times are very limited.

I listed his books as those are where his intellect and influence really shine. Read the books and you will have a terrific base of understanding the conservative/libertarian position.

I've mentioned John Batchelor of The John Batchelor Show before. He is on 9P-1A EST on a number of radio stations, great for me as I often work late hours. This is about the only radio show where I actually learn something each and every time I tune in.

Batchelor might not be a strict conservative voice and he seldom expresses a personal commentary per se, but he has intellectual discussions with a wide variety of intelligent and influential guests in positions to make expert commentary. Finance and international relations are covered extensively. Politics, once in a while.

On September 12, 2001, the day after the fall of the Twin Towers, WABC-AM in New York City recruited John Batchelor to go on the air until Osama bin Laden was either killed or captured. John has been on ever since, offering insightful commentary on such issues as the war on terrorism, the presidency, the national and global economies, and defending our civilization. On March 12, 2003, one week before the attack on Iraq, ABC Radio Networks invited John to bring his expertise to syndication. Since then John has reached out nationwide, focusing his concerns on a world at war.

The John Batchelor Show is an essential tool for understanding the new order in the 21st Century. The world is now facing a dangerous and fanatical enemy determined to destroy Western civilization on both political and military fronts. In this, the first great ideological battle of the new millennium, it is imperative to know the major players and the theaters in which they operate.

The John Batchelor Show features a multitude of distinctive elements. John's themes cover every detail - from military battles, presidential campaigns, planetary exploration, and Hollywood politicos to his own international travel. John has broadcast from many corners of the world and in his program he calls out to all points, including New York, Jerusalem, Des Moines, Kazakhstan, Orlando, Manchester, Morocco, Boston, Taipei, Washington, and Baghdad.
 
Nov 30, 2006
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Personally I think the gentle giant Glenn Beck has to be at the zenith among conservative intellectuals.
This is likely true for someone who loves to make their strawmen and knock them down to illustrate to the world and themselves their intellectual/moral superiority over conservatives.
 

emperus

Diamond Member
Apr 6, 2012
7,279
749
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PJABBER's list is not bad, except for neocons like Bill Kristol (who is famous for making bad predictions and isn't really conservative), Jonah Goldberg (a childish hack) and Mark Levin (an overrated, nasty, pseudointellectual shrieker.)

I'll chime in with Bruce Bartlett.

ETA: Buchanan is also a good name. I may not agree with him on much, but he's one of the few right-wing commenters who is honest. He's one of the few conservatives who will go on Hannity's show and bluntly tell the propagandistic stooge things he doesn't want to hear.
I second all that. Kristol should be disqualified for giving us Sarah Palin and if Levin's book isn't about the revolutionary war (title) I'm not interested in reading it.

I agree about Buchanon. He always seems reasoned and honest in his beliefs (majority of the time). But his beliefs are racist so can't listen to him.
 

nextJin

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2009
1,848
0
0
I was going to mention Hitchens, but limited my list to living commentators. I do not necessarily agree with a number of his opinions but he always argued them brilliantly. A great loss.

A quick comment about Levin - I sometimes listen to him on my way home after work. He is annoying, caustic and argumentative but he has many idiots calling into his show and I doubt I would have even his limited patience. Once in a while he does get as intellectual as his writing but those times are very limited.

I listed his books as those are where his intellect and influence really shine. Read the books and you will have a terrific base of understanding the conservative/libertarian position.

I've mentioned John Batchelor of The John Batchelor Show before. He is on 9P-1A EST on a number of radio stations, great for me as I often work late hours. This is about the only radio show where I actually learn something each and every time I tune in.

Batchelor might not be a strict conservative voice and he seldom expresses a personal commentary per se, but he has intellectual discussions with a wide variety of intelligent and influential guests in positions to make expert commentary. Finance and international relations are covered extensively. Politics, once in a while.
Where in his books did you read of his libertarian positions? The man slams libertarians every night on his show. He got owned by Tom Woods hard and went on his program saying he won the debate and left it at that never once willing to debate instead just shoving shit in his listeners faces.

I listen to him when I have to work late and it's pretty damn painful to sit through it.

There are excellent commentators on the left and right and people who can have honest debate at high levels. Levin most certainly is not anywhere near that field. He tries to sell the word "Liberty" like it's a whore on a corner.

www.tomwoods.com/levin/
 
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emperus

Diamond Member
Apr 6, 2012
7,279
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Andrew Sullivan. Very well reasoned

And I agree with Anarchist, those 3 are hyperbolic demagogs.

Frum's not bad either, at least when he writes in Canadian media :)
Would you argue Andrew Sullivan is a conservative? Our positions generally align (outside of Homosexuality).
 

emperus

Diamond Member
Apr 6, 2012
7,279
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From what I've seen from him David Frum deserves a mention.
It's hard for me to take him aseriously as he was one of the economic (I believe) speech writers for Bush. And we all know what Bush did.

But maybe that is what conservative thought offers.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,739
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This is likely true for someone who loves to make their strawmen and knock them down to illustrate to the world and themselves their intellectual/moral superiority over conservatives.
Good point. However, can you point to any other liberal that posts here that states over and over that conservatives aren't stupid and act from more moral positions than liberals do? I don't think you can, but then again, another of my points is that conservatives are profoundly defensive and uninterested in object reality. Conservatives, therefore, hear that piece of information, an unadorned fact, as a call out that they are stupid and morally inferior. This phenomenon is what makes you deaf.

I have fun, therefore, thinking like a conservative so you can see how you look to me, not intellectually inferior or stupid, but delusional.

And don't forget that I also point out the adaptive advantage and good such delusional thinking can have under the right conditions. The problem is that those conditions do not currently exist.

But let me ask you, if you could see that conservative thinking is destroying the nation, even if good for the conservative cause, what would you propose to do about it. I did already look at myself and I discovered that's what you need. Please do so. How do you convince a trapped wild animal you want to set him free?
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
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Good point. However, can you point to any other liberal that posts here that states over and over that conservatives aren't stupid and act from more moral positions than liberals do? I don't think you can, but then again, another of my points is that conservatives are profoundly defensive and uninterested in object reality. Conservatives, therefore, hear that piece of information, an unadorned fact, as a call out that they are stupid and morally inferior. This phenomenon is what makes you deaf.

I have fun, therefore, thinking like a conservative so you can see how you look to me, not intellectually inferior or stupid, but delusional.

And don't forget that I also point out the adaptive advantage and good such delusional thinking can have under the right conditions. The problem is that those conditions do not currently exist.

But let me ask you, if you could see that conservative thinking is destroying the nation, even if good for the conservative cause, what would you propose to do about it. I did already look at myself and I discovered that's what you need. Please do so. How do you convince a trapped wild animal you want to set him free?
Good to see you still hanging out here, Moonbeam.

There is a wide spectrum of thought and players than can be considered "conservative," as there is on the "liberal" side of the spectrum. You already know my contention that the extremes on both sides are so similar that only the labels are different.

Add to the mix a healthy dose of libertarian thought, if that can actually be considered all that much separated from conservatism, and I am not sure the typical definitions identify who is "destroying the nation."

From my perspective, the closer we get to a nanny state or authoritarianism, the further astray we go from originalism and therefore can argue that those influences are most destructive of the nation.

Even if we rely on original interpretations from the Enlightenment, etc., those were hard fought battles for balance as well.

Mental imbalances are certainly part and parcel of welfare liberalism, particularly the abject refusal to consider contrary argument that is so characteristic of so-called "progressives."

In general, I find the more a certain person is focused on achieving a utopia, the more likely they are to accept authoritarianism as a means to an end, the more likely they are to advocate for policies and programs that will result in very high body counts and the likelier they are to find anyone in opposition to be seriously flawed, even to the point of claiming they are subhuman or insane.

The rest of us wish they would invest in a mirror.
 
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MooseNSquirrel

Platinum Member
Feb 26, 2009
2,567
295
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Would you argue Andrew Sullivan is a conservative? Our positions generally align (outside of Homosexuality).
Absolutely.

He's just very pratical and one of the few who really does try and look at both sides of an argument when it merits it.

Which puts him completely at odds with the modern American conservative (aka chritianist) movement.
 

MooseNSquirrel

Platinum Member
Feb 26, 2009
2,567
295
126
Good to see you still hanging out here, Moonbeam.

There is a wide spectrum of thought and players than can be considered "conservative," as there is on the "liberal" side of the spectrum. You already know my contention that the extremes on both sides are so similar that only the labels are different.

Add to the mix a healthy dose of libertarian thought, if that can actually be considered all that much separated than conservatism, and I am not sure the typical definitions identify who is "destroying the nation."

From my perspective, the closer we get to a nanny state or authoritarianism, the further astray we go from originalism and therefore can argue that those influences are most destructive of the nation.

Even if we rely on original interpretations from the Enlightenment, etc., those were hard fought battles for balance as well.

Mental imbalances are certainly part and parcel of welfare liberalism, particularly the abject refusal to consider contrary argument that is so characteristic of so-called "progressives."

In general, I find the more a certain person is focused on achieving a utopia, the more likely they are to accept authoritarianism as a means to an end, the more likely they are to advocate for policies and programs that will result in very high body counts and the likelier they are to find anyone in opposition to be seriously flawed, even to the point of claiming they are subhuman or insane.

The rest of us wish they would invest in a mirror.
See when you write crap like that, you really damage your attempts at discussion. Belittling your opposition ("mental imbalances") followed by unproveable tenets ("refuses contrary argument" & "accept authoritarianism") are no replacements for arguing the merits of what you believe in.
 

Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
11,814
1,131
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OP: I have exactly the same take on Joe Scarborough as you do. Most of the time I find his personality insufferable, especially in the early morning (my wife insists on watching his show-they frequently have great guests, but when Joe opens his mouth it's usually time for me to leave). A perfect show would be teaming him with Lawrence O'Donnell-two insufferable bastards who can regale their audience with unending stories about their time in Congress.

My view on names some others have put forth:

William Buckley-the dean of conservative thought, but dead so disqualified

Pat Buchanan-a past vicious racist with whom I disagree about nearly any issue, but I recognize him as a brillant political tactician-he knows what to do and when to win. BTW he gets along well with Rachel Maddow, when they are on together be prepared for some first class political analysis

David Frum & David Brooks-probably the two conservative intellectuals I consistently respect the most and am most likely to read

George Will: was pretty sharp a decade or two back, now he tends to be a Johnny One Note without much intellectual content. I assume he still writes eloquently about baseball

Cal Thomas-this fits into my "you've got to be kidding me category." A true lightweight flake in my book

Jesse Ventura: surely that was a joke suggestion, but probably the top end of the former professional wrestler group. See kids, brain injuries and performance enhancing drugs will turn your brains to mush. BTW I don't characterize him so much as a conservative but more of an opportunist-he will say whatever drives his ratings and profits.

Krauthammer: a patisan hack.

I take some pleasure that apparently noone sees Rush as an intellectual. There is hope.
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
See when you write crap like that, you really damage your attempts at discussion. Belittling your opposition ("mental imbalances") followed by unproveable tenets ("refuses contrary argument" & "accept authoritarianism") are no replacements for arguing the merits of what you believe in.
Do you think the "liberal" and "progressive" voices here and elsewhere are not subject to the same descriptive characterizations that Moonie makes targeting conservatives?

I found the following Bill Moyers interview to be interesting -

How Do Conservatives and Liberals See the World?
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,739
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See when you write crap like that, you really damage your attempts at discussion. Belittling your opposition ("mental imbalances") followed by unproveable tenets ("refuses contrary argument" & "accept authoritarianism") are no replacements for arguing the merits of what you believe in.
That is only so if you feel insulted by being mentally unbalanced. I happen to agree with his contention that, in the area of welfare, liberals tend to be imbalanced. I take if as a fact and not an insult. It, of course, is something that's easier for me to admit to since I long ago rejected my liberal beliefs about welfare. I call my position a third way, or progressive, regardless of what others call progressive. I do that freely also, because I am a real progressive, in my opinion, and self define what the term means.

The imbalances between the left and right are these: The left has a morality that scales very high on fairness and feel it is unfair that some folk are left behind. The right also scales very high on fairness, but see it in a different way. They believe in karma, that poor people are poor because they deserve to be. They buy into the story of the grasshopper and the ants. Most people think this way.

The third way, the way of the progressive, is to help people without them knowing it, because people secretly hate others that help them, by providing an environment that rewards positive action and not sloth, but in a way that ignores market forces. The idea here is to replace a dependent mentality with a real world environment in which emotionally defeated folk can learn to feel the meaning of success.

The idea here is that we start by rewarding positive attitude rather than economic competence. One can't achieve the latter without the former, and the only way to have the former is to create it with real world success. It does not matter what kind of success. Recycling centers are a perfect example of a means to build an industry among the poor. I see industrial titans riding their bikes around where I live, bedecked with huge bundles of bottles and cans.

Micro-loan folk are doing the same things around the world, advancing just a little money to folk who want to work but must eat what they make in a day. This allows them to still buy tomorrows sales after they eat that day. And the loans get larger with the records of success.

There can be no doubt at all that humans are happiest when they can take care of themselves.

So liberals are evil when they support defeat by not doing anything to counter it, but humanitarian at least by keeping many who would otherwise die alive. But they must improve on the nature of how they help past emergency stabilization, and conservatives are evil because they think they are gifted and others are congenital failures who deserve their poverty, that it's just that the poor suffer.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,739
3,563
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Do you think the "liberal" and "progressive" voices here and elsewhere are not subject to the same descriptive characterizations that Moonie makes targeting conservatives?

I found the following Bill Moyers interview to be interesting -

How Do Conservatives and Liberals See the World?
That interview is far far more than just interesting. And I have used exactly the information conveyed in it in my description of conservatives. The whole point of the interview is to show liberals that conservatives see the world differently, that they live in an altered reality which liberal reason can't reach. I, of course, have no idea what the hell you thought you saw in it.

I used my favorite example of altered reality thinking with Glenn Beck, hehe.

You do understand, I hope, that conservatives today can't be reached and are sensitive as hell to information that points to it. Liberals are not like that. There is no equivalency between conservative and liberal thinking when it comes to the altered reality thingi. Were liberals go nuts is when they get pissed off that conservatives are impervious to rational thinking. But it's a hard thing to ignore since it's destroying the country. The blind have seized the steering wheel and are headed for the cliff. Even Boehner is calling some of his party knuckle draggers. It's not a very nice thing to say, but it does point to an altered reality way of thinking, like, oh say backward.
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
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That is only so if you feel insulted by being mentally unbalanced. I happen to agree with his contention that, in the area of welfare, liberals tend to be imbalanced. I take if as a fact and not an insult. It, of course, is something that's easier for me to admit to since I long ago rejected my liberal beliefs about welfare. I call my position a third way, or progressive, regardless of what others call progressive. I do that freely also, because I am a real progressive, in my opinion, and self define what the term means.

The imbalances between the left and right are these: The left has a morality that scales very high on fairness and feel it is unfair that some folk are left behind. The right also scales very high on fairness, but see it in a different way. They believe in karma, that poor people are poor because they deserve to be. They buy into the story of the grasshopper and the ants. Most people think this way.

The third way, the way of the progressive, is to help people without them knowing it, because people secretly hate others that help them, by providing an environment that rewards positive action and not sloth, but in a way that ignores market forces. The idea here is to replace a dependent mentality with a real world environment in which emotionally defeated folk can learn to feel the meaning of success.

The idea here is that we start by rewarding positive attitude rather than economic competence. One can't achieve the latter without the former, and the only way to have the former is to create it with real world success. It does not matter what kind of success. Recycling centers are a perfect example of a means to build an industry among the poor. I see industrial titans riding their bikes around where I live, bedecked with huge bundles of bottles and cans.

Micro-loan folk are doing the same things around the world, advancing just a little money to folk who want to work but must eat what they make in a day. This allows them to still buy tomorrows sales after they eat that day. And the loans get larger with the records of success.

There can be no doubt at all that humans are happiest when they can take care of themselves.

So liberals are evil when they support defeat by not doing anything to counter it, but humanitarian at least by keeping many who would otherwise die alive. But they must improve on the nature of how they help past emergency stabilization, and conservatives are evil because they think they are gifted and others are congenital failures who deserve their poverty, that it's just that the poor suffer.
Great post, Moon!

There is great value in at least recognizing that we all come from a different starting point, much as the Moyers interview brought out.

I am getting to the point of rejecting the typical labels we rely on as being misleading on so many levels. But, as humans, we can't help but label everything in our inadequate ways of describing something.

What is really, really hard is to put ourselves into another's shoes long enough to make a cognitive difference. The attempt is such a challenge and for most it hurts so much that most of our egos can't begin to cope.

I still have hope that our "feet" will eventually adjust or that the "shoe" will stretch instead of breaking at the seams. But it is quite the challenge.
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
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That interview is far far more than just interesting. And I have used exactly the information conveyed in it in my description of conservatives. The whole point of the interview is to show liberals that conservatives see the world differently, that they live in an altered reality which liberal reason can't reach. I, of course, have no idea what the hell you thought you saw in it.

I used my favorite example of altered reality thinking with Glenn Beck, hehe.

You do understand, I hope, that conservatives today can't be reached and are sensitive as hell to information that points to it. Liberals are not like that. There is no equivalency between conservative and liberal thinking when it comes to the altered reality thingi. Were liberals go nuts is when they get pissed off that conservatives are impervious to rational thinking. But it's a hard thing to ignore since it's destroying the country. The blind have seized the steering wheel and are headed for the cliff. Even Boehner is calling some of his party knuckle draggers. It's not a very nice thing to say, but it does point to an altered reality way of thinking, like, oh say backward.
You are comfortable in your "liberal" shoes, or maybe better said your "progressive" shoes (which are quite a bit different than what most here would associate with the word "progressive.")

If I use the definitions found in the interview, I am quite comfortable enough to wear "conservative" shoes.

What you say about my kind of folks is close enough to what my kind of folks say about you and yours.

And that is the problem we all face.

It is like the Hatfields and the McCoys or one of the circles of hell that Dante describes.

An outsider would be prone to say, what's the difference whether you crack your eggs on the narrow end or the wider end?

Is our fate to repeat ad infinitum or is it to make the necessary breakthrough to end such a boring but vicious circle?
 

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