Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Former National Review Publisher Wick Allison Endorses Obama

Wick Allison, current editor-in-chief of D (Dallas) Magazine (via Daily Kos):

In 1964, at the age of 16, I organized the Dallas County Youth for Goldwater. My senior thesis at the University of Texas was on the conservative intellectual revival in America. Twenty years later, I was invited by William F. Buckley Jr. to join the board of National Review. I later became its publisher [...]

[T]oday it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.

Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth ...

I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.

Most important, Obama will be a realist. I doubt he will taunt Russia, as McCain has, at the very moment when our national interest requires it as an ally. The crucial distinction in my mind is that, unlike John McCain, I am convinced he will not impulsively take us into another war unless American national interests are directly threatened.

“Every great cause,” Eric Hoffer wrote, “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” As a cause, conservatism may be dead. But as a stance, as a way of making judgments in a complex and difficult world, I believe it is very much alive in the instincts and predispositions of a liberal named Barack Obama.

[Read Allison's whole endorsement to find out why he thinks Obama has conservative "instincts and predispositions."]


Brian said...

I would agree with those who say that it is impossible to be a libertarian and be for Obama. He is for the federal government being involved in all aspects of your life. The judicial appointments alone should cause you to rethink this. How can you be so misguided.

I'm more of a conservative with strong libertarian leanings, here's the letter I wrote to Mr. Allison:

Dear Mr. Allison,

You can't imagine how upset I was to read your editorial about your
support for Obama for president. I always thought you were a real
conservative, but now it appears you have fallen for the empty
rhetoric of Mr. Obama. How can this possibly be?

I've always defined conservatism by the principles listed by the
Heritage Foundation: free enterprise, limited government, individual
freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
Obama's views based on his voting record is the very antithesis of
these concepts.

How in the world can you think that the most liberal member of the
Senate combined with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi running the Congress
is good for our country. The judicial appointments alone should make
you reject Obama as president.

I'm almost in tears that a man of your stature and intelligence could
be so misguided. It is truly a sad day.


Brian Craig

Eric Dondero said...

This morning the Las Vegas Sun has a big article about how libertarian Sarah Palin has attracted a groundswell of volunteers for the local GOP HQ. One of the volunteers is identified as a "libertarian."

Laughing Libertarian said...

It looks like Christopher Buckley, a Libertarian satirist and the son of William F. Buckley will be casting a vote for Obama this year too: