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April 19, 1959 - Image 3

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Most Conservative of Conservatives
The Far Right Set the Tone for American Politics in the Last Decade

By DAVID TARIi
NEARLY a decade hasepassed
since the late Sen. Joseph M-
Carthy took the podium before a
Wheeling, West Virginia, Women's s
Republican Club and made this
statement:
"I have here in my hand a list
of 205 individuals who were known
to the secretary of state as being
members of the Communist party;
and who nevertheless are still
working and shaping policy in thex
State Department.'
In this speech the era of Mc-
Carthyism was christened. In the ;
10 years since it has risen to great
power and declined, but many of
the after-effects remain.
The forces motivating and guid-
ing this creed did not spring from SENATOR McCARTHY
the Senator or even Communists '... I have here in my hand'
in America. They go further back
than the Wheeling address and cesses, civil liberties and due
are woven much more tightly into process.
the fabric of American culture. Although the ultia-onserva-
Sen. McCarthy was only the man tives haecerthefitchar-
and anti-communism only the is- tes yit e certain definte char-
sue around which rallied a seg- ctei, ite
ment of the American populussect these items.
holding an ideology of ultra-con-
servatism. IOSSITER finds in the ultra-
conservatives a mixture of so-
rTHg GROUP of thse most eon- ber conservatism, timid standat-
servative of Conservativesth ism and angry reaction. "They can
far right of the American political rally the other individualists, pro-
spectrum, is difficult to define and fessional haters, traditionalists
locate, and authoritarians," he says.
A member of this group may not The new brand of dissent in
consistently fit the description of America, Hofstadter says, "is not
the group as a whole; one noted as powerful as the liberal dissent
historian, Richard Hofstadter, says of the New Deal era, but it is pow-
the ultra-conservative can be erful enough to set the tone of
found in almost any class of so- our political life and to establish
ciety, and adds that his "ideology throughout the country a kind of
can be characterized but not punitive reaction . . . Unlike most
defined because (he) tends to be of the liberal dissent of the past
more than ordinarily incoherent the new dissent not only has no
about politics." respect for non-conformism, but is
Having dismissed the authori- based upon a relentless demand
tarians, fellow travelers of Fas- for conformity.
cism, nostalgic traditionalists and "It can most accurately be
extreme individualists as minor called pseudo-conservative
and relatively unimportant mem- because its exponents, although
bers of the right's "lunatic fringe " they believe themselves to be con-
students of American Conserva-servatives and usually employ the
tism have tended to divide the rhetorii of Conservatism, show
right into three main groups: lib- signs of a serious and restless dis-
eral. middling and ultra-conserva- satisfaction with American life,
tives. traditions and institutions."
Clinton Rossiter, one of Con-
servatism's more a r t i c u 1 a t e ONE OTHER opinion will help
spokesmen, says the middling in understanding the specific
group is the largest and finds such beliefs of the ultra-conservative.
men as former President Herbert Theodore W. Adorno in a study
Hoover and Sen. Eugene Millikin called The Authoritarian Person-
in it with the late Sen. Robert ality observes that the ultra-
Taft as its personification. But, he conservative: shows "convention-
adds, it has relatively few articu- ality and authoritarian submis-
late spokesmen and is rather easi- siveness' in his conscious thinking
ly swayed to the left or right. and "violence, anarchic impulses,
and chaotic destructiveness in the
THE LIBERAL group is more unconscious sphere.. . (He) is a
flexible in ideas and actions, is man who, in the name of uphold-
more thoughtful and more chari- ing American values and institu-
table; it includes such men as tions and defending them against
Walter Lippmann, August Heck- more or less fictitious dangers,
scher, Summer Slichter, Earl consciously or unconsciously aims
Warren and Thomas Dewey and at their abolition."
such journals as The New York One has the feeling from read-
Times and The Herald-Tribune ing ultra-conservatives' literature
and Fortune Magazine. that while they - or at least the
The distinct split between mod- entire right - have had a posi-
erate and ultra-conservatives is tion of power in the 1950's, they
evident in the bitter and sarcastic still approach issues from a posi-
attacks on The Times appearing tion of defense; still trying to beat
in most issues of The National Re- back the forces of the left even
view, the main publication of the though those forces were all but
far right today, stopped,
One sociologist, Seymour Lip- In one sense, the far right Is a
set, has defined the general beliefs reaction to the New Deal, its
of the moderates. Although people leaders, its policies and its heirs.
in a political class will often re- As an anti-Roosevelt coalition it
ject generalizations about them- is a reaction against the welfare
selves from someone outside the state, reforms at home and ad-
class, it can be said that the mod- ventures abroad,
erates tend:
to support the past within limits, ONE ultra-conservative, John
to accept various Roosevelt re- Flynn described the New Deal
forms, to tolerate the labor move- as having three elements: 1)
ment, to be internationalistic in spending money by the govern-
ideology, to accept Roosevelt's, ment to create jobs and win votes;
policies in World War II, and to 2) raising a large part of the
fully support constitutional pro- money by borrowing; and 3) a
final resort to war as the "ulti-
David Tarr is magazine mate boon-doggle when the other
editor of The Michigan Daily. - two palliatives have failed."
__________________________ On the domestic scene the ul-

SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 1959

tra-conservative opposes further THE ultra-conservative, accord- death for the Republic;" relieves
social legislation; calls for the ing to Rossiter, is ready to dis- the McCarren acts "an excellent
scrapping of many government solve TVA, reduce the scope and beginning toward purifying Amer-
agencies and programs -- espe- generosity of Social Security, ig- ican politics and society."
ally ones doing him no specific ore the problems of civil rights, It might be added that he sees
fight any proposal to improve the all the foreign policy since the
purpose; will not accept new di- nation's health as "socialized recognition of Russia as appease-
mensions in government; and op- medicine," and many would re- ment, treason and treachery; be-
poses the labor movement and peal or delimit the 16th Amend- lieves World War II was an avoid-
the income tax, ment (income tax) and return the able mistake; feels this country
Flynn sees the country "trapped country, no matter what the cost, must avoid entangling foreign
in socialist adventures which New to the gold standard. commitments; is Asia-oriented
Dealers employed to make jobs On foreign policy, the ultra- rather than Europe-oriented and
and create prosperity." He calls conservative's views correspond to is deeply suspicious of Great
the Democratic Party "the Social- his domestic opinions, Rossiter Britain,
ist Democratic Party (which) has again draws a clear and vivid
become an asylum for Commu- picture of him. THESE are the points of attack
nists and leftists, the happy hunt- He: is outspokenly hostile to the for ultra-conservatives; a sam-
ing ground for every brand of col- Un i t e d N a t i on s; would end ple of the battle cry can be found
lectivist crackpot and the partner "sa qu a n d e r in g our treasure in any issue of The National Re-
of Britain In the crusade for abroad;" considers the Bricker view and The American Mercury.
something called One World . . . Amendment "a matter of life and (Continued on Next. Page)

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