Some notes on the “conservatives” and the Civil Rights Act.
In an earlier tweet, I said that the Birchers supported the Civil Rights movement. This isn’t accurate. (I might be guilty of buying into the myth JBS tells about itself.) JBS opposed the Civil Rights movement because its leaders worried that it was filled with Communists.
JBS did, however, explicitly claim to support “civil rights.” This is a typical stance among 20th-century “conservatives”—to agree with the essence of Left while opposing the means of its enforcement, or worrying that the Left’s agenda might be implemented too quickly.
JBS’s stance wasn’t too dissimilar to William F. Buckley’s. Buckley supported White’s suppressing the Black vote in the South because “for the time being, it is the more advanced race.” But Buckley sought to “equip the cast an enlightened and responsible vote.”
A decade later, both JBS and NR supported the Civil Rights Act. Some quarter century later, both orgs would claim that civil rights were a “conservatives cause.”
Anyway, my point still remains. Buckley did not purge the Birchers for their “racism,” “anti-Semitism,” or even their looney conspiracy theories. He purged them account of the one time this goofy organization actually got it right—when it opposed the Vietnam War.
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