Purity Politics Makes Nothing Happen 7

I remember the Buckley-Rangel debate well. It was one of the moments when I began to realize the Right are not always the bad guys and the Left are not always the good guys. Of course, today I would say I am both beyond left and right. I would claim both Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine as proto-anarchists. In the tradition of Nietzsche (anarchist of the right) and Stirner (egoist anarchist), I’ve also moved  beyond the concept of good and evil toward moral skepticism.

By Conor Friedersdorf

The Atlantic

Nearly 30 years ago, the PBS program Firing Line convened a debate about the War on Drugs, which has contributed more than any other criminal-justice policy to deadly street violence in Black neighborhoods and the police harassment, arrest, and mass incarceration of Black Americans. Revisiting the debate helps clarify what it will take to end that ongoing policy mistake.

Congressman Charlie Rangel led one side in the 1991 clash. Born in 1930, Rangel served in the Korean War, provided legal assistance to 1960s civil-rights activists, participated in the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, and represented Harlem for 46 years as a Democrat in the House. He was once arrested while participating in an anti-apartheid rally. Opposing him was William F. Buckley Jr., the conservative intellectual who founded National Review in 1955 and took the wrong side in some of the most significant racial-justice controversies of his day. In an infamous 1957 editorial, Buckley justified the imposition of white-supremacist racial segregation in the American South. He opposed federal civil-rights legislation in the 1960s. And he was an apologist for South Africa’s apartheid regime in the 1980s.

READ MORE

7 comments

  1. I am against most of what Buckley defended, and his form of conservatism is probably one of the reasons the US is going down. But I can actually see myself watching his show, is not for other reason, to try to not fall in to an echo chamber, this is more that I can say for most political shows these days, both from the left and from the right.

    • I am against most of what Buckley defended, and his form of conservatism is probably one of the reasons the US is going down.

      It was mostly a case of broken clock, twice a day. His form of conservatism is what gave us the neocons. Buckley’s movement was this weird mixture of throne-and-altar types and ex-Communists. I’ve written about that for some of Paul Gottfried’s compilations.

      But I can actually see myself watching his show, is not for other reason, to try to not fall in to an echo chamber, this is more that I can say for most political shows these days, both from the left and from the right.

      It was a great show. I used to like it even in my teens before I had any political ideas of my own. I used to love both Buckley and Phil Donahue. Episodes are still available on YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s