Conservatism A-la 1970

( Survivor of the "Teaching Tour".) Before the GOP succumbed to the lunatic fringe, becoming a burned out shell of its former self, there was somet

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( Survivor of the "Teaching Tour".)

Before the GOP succumbed to the lunatic fringe, becoming a burned out shell of its former self, there was something of a broader definition of who a conservative actually was - and it ran the gamut from staunch isolationist to downright left-leaning. The concept of "the big tent" seemed apt back then. But that was "back then"- 1970. Another whole lifetime ago. Even though the seeds of lunacy were being sown in abundance as early as 1958, they wouldn't make their full-fledged appearance for a few more years.

In May of 1970, NET (forerunner of PBS) had a weekly program called NET Journal where they ran a panel discussion featuring several prominent conservatives of the day, M. Stanton Evans, Russell Kirk, William Rusher and Milton Friedman, a sort of sampling of the gamut. The talk was remarkably civil by today's standards. But even so, you can tell where that freight train was eventually heading.

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