Brooks’s column centers on a history of the modern conservative movement — one in which towering thinkers like William F. Buckley pushed out the fringe crowd and turned the right into a sophisticated intellectual force.
“The Buckley-era establishment self-confidently enforced intellectual and moral standards,” Brooks writes. “It rebuffed the nativists like the John Birch Society, the apocalyptic polemicists who popped up with the New Right, and they exiled conspiracy-mongers and anti-Semites.”
Note that Brooks does not mention this establishment exiling the racists. That’s because the conservative establishment was itself racist.
National Review, William F. Buckley’s magazine, avowedly rejected the civil rights movement. In a 1957 editorial, the publication defended the political disenfranchisement of black people, arguing that “the White community is so entitled [to deny blacks the vote] because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.”
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