Entries Tagged as 'conservatism'

Remembering Talk Radio’s Best

December 13th, 2011 at 12:06 pm 14 Comments

I first listened to David Brudnoy, the legendary talk radio host and acclaimed Boston University journalism professor, in December of 1993. His guest that night was a thirteen-year-old Framingham, Massachusetts boy who had been the focal point of local controversy: the child had attended a Boston Kwanzaa celebration hosted by a self-styled “community activist” who told the boy (whose late father was African-American) that he could stay, but that his mother (who was white) had to leave, as the Kwanzaa event was supposedly for blacks only.

Brudnoy went on a magnificent tear during that particular broadcast, condemning the addle-brained thought process that led the “community activist” to kick out the child’s mother. It was wonderful listening to Brudnoy denounce the intellectual bankruptcy of the activist’s behavior. I could tell right away that this guy was a genius, and made a point of listening to him nightly.

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On the O’Reilly Factor I’m a “Conservative Intellectual?” Ouch.

David Frum December 13th, 2011 at 9:23 am 78 Comments

It seems only yesterday that Bill O’Reilly, described me on air as a “great American.”

As I look it up, however, I see it was almost 4 years ago. I’d been stalked at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books by a 9/11 truther trying to videotape my conversations. After an escalating exchange of words, we had a final confrontation that ended with me smacking his camera.

At which point the confrontation took a Monty Python turn. The stalker – who was for the record bigger than me – called out some equivalent of “help, help I’m being repressed” and sought police protection, unsuccessfully.

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Russell Kirk Would Not Recognize These `Conservatives’

December 2nd, 2011 at 9:58 am 242 Comments

The other day, I read a disturbing column by Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal’s deputy editorial page editor, entitled “The Great Global Warming Fizzle.” In the column, Stephens compares concern about global warming to religion and characterizes such concern as “…another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.”

He goes on to say:

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate.

Mr. Stephens, in one fell swoop, is equally dismissive of religion and science. What kind of hubris causes one to have no use for either the knowledge gained from empirical evidence or the faith that has pushed mankind to rise above his base instincts?

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The Idea of Conservatism

David Frum November 17th, 2011 at 8:12 am 9 Comments

Weeks ago, I sat down for a long interview at CBC Radio. It was a deeply nostalgic experience for me. The atrium of the CBC is named for my mother, Barbara Frum. The interviewer was Max Allen, who once produced my mother’s radio show, As It Happens.

For that reason, perhaps, we had an unusually intimate talk. The talk was edited for the CBC’s “Ideas” series and can be heard or downloaded as a podcast, here.

Watch Frum Discuss Conservatism on`The Agenda’

David Frum November 8th, 2011 at 11:16 am 10 Comments

On November 7th, I joined a roundtable hosted by Steve Paikin on TVO’s The Agenda. The roundtable was joined by Phillip Blond, Jonathan Kay, Gerry Nicholls, and David Warren.

We discussed the future of conservatism, and the different brands of conservatism in America, the United Kingdom, and Canada. I delivered a warning against allowing conservatism to degenerate into the nostalgia of tiresome old people.

An Idea for Republicans, Ctd

David Frum November 1st, 2011 at 11:34 am 35 Comments

Last Friday I talked about the importance of the poverty problem to a limited-government party in a modern society.

It comes down to this: poor people are expensive. The money they don’t earn in wages they still cost society in terms of prison cells and emergency room visits.

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An Idea For Republicans

David Frum October 28th, 2011 at 1:44 pm 95 Comments

In the 1990s, many Republicans took the problem of hard-core poverty seriously. (One of those poverty-conscious Republicans was Sen. Rick Santorum, now the one presidential candidate who takes seriously the data on faltering upward mobility in America.)

In 1999 and 2000, candidate George W. Bush promised to improve educational outcomes for students from poor families. He defended the Earned Income Tax Credit. He drew attention to the problems facing the children of prisoners.

To put it mildly, poverty alleviation has not been a Republican theme in the current cycle.

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Palin: Already Almost Forgotten

David Frum October 5th, 2011 at 10:51 pm 306 Comments

“I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets…”

- From Sarah Palin’s statement announcing her decision not to run for president.


Um, probably not. Sarah Palin’s political voice had dwindled well before she announced her decision not to run. Now it will sink altogether into inaudibility. She will be no kind of force in future national discussions. She will have no sway over party debates. She will retain some starpower for a little while longer. She may for another cycle or two be able to help certain candidates for certain political offices raise some money. Even that will fade within two more years or four. Her political career was brief, bizarre, and sordid. But now at least it is definitively finished.

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Who Controls the GOP?

September 23rd, 2011 at 1:07 am 81 Comments

John Boehner’s continuing inability to manage his right flank in Congress points to the larger frustration of a generation of Republican leadership. They struggle to grasp what drives the Tea Party, patient evangelicals, viagra sale and the candidacy of Rick Perry. To begin to understand where these people came from and how they acquired so much influence relative to their numbers, perhaps we should look more closely at ‘The Stockman Effect.’

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Huntsman: The Truer Conservative

September 7th, 2011 at 1:02 am 31 Comments

Here’s a brief biography of two candidates:

One of them presided over arguably the best business climate in the nation, hospital so good that Forbes magazine ranked it as the best state for business and careers. As governor, treat he enacted free-market health care reforms, balanced the budget, and thus far is the most public advocate of the Ryan plan to reduce long-term entitlement spending.

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