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 BlogviewPaul Gottfried Archive

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Yesterday afternoon I heard a black civic leader in Columbia, South Carolina being interviewed about the just completed removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the statehouse grounds. The lady from FOX who did the interview wanted to know about the satisfaction experienced by the black leader in light of the events that had just... Read More
Since the Charleston shootings, GOP officials have been scrambling to complywith Leftist demands that Southern Whites be stripped of visible signs of their Confederate heritage. The GOP has actually been downplaying the Confederacyfor years—Jeb Bush conspicuously removed Confederate banners and insignias from the Florida statehouse back in 2001. [Jeb Bush Ordered The Confederate Flag Removed... Read More
For some time now I’ve been intrigued by the bizarre length to which conservatism, inc. goes in trying to woo minority groups that vote consistently Democratic. I’ve heard from Republican journalists that the Democrats, and especially Obama, are abusing blacks by not lending enough support to charter schools. Before that I recall being serenaded (especially... Read More
In response to a speech by President Obama at Ohio State on May 5 criticizing those who warn about “tyranny,” there was a lively exchange last night by the Fox All-Stars about allowing the “state” to micromanage our lives. Kirsten Powers defended the Obama Administration’s interest in our well-being and the need for expanding this... Read More
Although I’ve been critical of my state's current governor, it’s usually been to twit him for not cutting budgets sufficiently. While Tom Corbett is spot on in wanting to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor monopoly, he should not be trying to feather the nests of other public employees by promising to pay off teachers with the proceeds... Read More
After the recent electoral debacle, Republican journalists and neocon news pundits have been discussing the roads to recovery for their battered party. One path that I’m sure will never be taken is trying to win back the libertarian and/or traditionalist right, both of which Romney managed to piss off. The evangelical inhabitants of central and... Read More
For once in a blue moon, I find myself agreeing with Dana Milbank of the Washington Post (October 18) when he observes that "conservatives are mum about Mitt’s moderation." Making allowances for Milbank’s ideologically colored view, when he says that in recent weeks the Republican presidential candidate "sprinted toward the center," this columnist is correct... Read More
GOP efforts to suppress the Constitution Party have a postwar German parallel.
Lately I’ve been gathering information that has made me dislike the GOP more than ever. The Constitution Party (CP), which is a small-government, avowedly pro-Christian, and immigration restrictionist party that came into existence in 1992, is being kept off the ballot in the presidential election in many states thanks to costly Republican efforts. Republican operatives... Read More
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got people’s juices going when he announced in the Senate "the word is out." Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had not been paying his taxes for at least a decade; and to show this was the case, various Democratic dignitaries, including Nancy Pelosi, suggested that Reid was divulging... Read More
Although not many people in high places may notice what I’m doing, I’d like to ask the following questions to three of the surviving GOP presidential contenders. First, why did Mitt Romney, as late as 2002, respond to a questionnaire from Planned Parenthood indicating that he fully supported Roe v. Wade and favored state funding... Read More
Allow me to vent an old complaint. It’s something that I can’t get off my chest, although I have written about it many times. Every time I hear a politician utter the word “values,” I throw my shoe at the TV. I throw both shoes at the screen when I hear the term “family values.”... Read More
Steve Chapman has partly anticipated my argument when he describes Newt Gingrich as a “conservative, sort of.” Chapman is astonished that “conservative” Republicans have turned to Newt “in their hour of need.” This “onetime house speaker is a consistent conservative like I’m a duckbill platypus. In a contest with Romney for the most zigzags, Gingrich... Read More
In a syndicated column, National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru tries to explain how the GOP really lost its way. It seems that Republican Congressmen with a “fixation on ideological purity” have been misleading their party by complaining about government expansion. Republican leaders who lament that their party has been “fiscally irresponsible” are supposedly barking... Read More
The attacks on Herman Cain that I’ve encountered in recent weeks have gone from dumb to outrageous. I’m not speaking of any substantive complaint, for example, that his 9/9/9 flat tax plan may be simplistic or that Cain took two opposing positions on abortion in the same interview. A longtime businessman, he is admittedly a... Read More
Pat Buchanan may be the only self-described paleoconservative whose last six books have reached The New York Times Best Seller list. Pat did this despite the established conservative movement’s slanders and the Murdoch media empire’s inattention. His books have come out with topline commercial presses while bearing such grim titles as Day of Reckoning, Death... Read More
A columnist for my local paper is looking for a “peace candidate” who has no desire to build other peoples’ nations for them and who would be willing to reassess our “military intervention throughout the world.” She reaches the conclusion, however tentatively, that instead of having so many of our troops bogged down thousands of... Read More
The Republican establishment courts the left and repudiates the right.
Republican columnists are already urging their fellow party members to nominate a centrist for the 2012 presidential race. Kim Strassel (April 5, 2011) and Peggy Noonan (April 29, 2011) in the Wall Street Journal and Michael Barone and Jonah Goldberg in their syndicated columns have all warned against reaching too far right for a presidential... Read More
Michael Brendan Dougherty‘s analysis of the Religious Right and its impact on the GOP makes several convincing points. One, white Evangelical Protestants, who constitute almost a third of the electorate, contribute mass support for signature neoconservative policies that neoconservatives could not generate without this assistance. Two, Evangelicals, and more generally the Religious Right, are disproportionately... Read More
If I were arguing that the WSJ frowns on non-authorized GOP candidates, I would find my view confirmed by Journal columnist, Peggy Noonan. According to Noonan, “Obama can lose.” His popularity continues to plummet, and according to an Ipsos survey, “69 % of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, up 5% since... Read More
Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel wonders who’ll be “the GOP’s next big thing” as she considers which Republican candidate has “the prospect of defeating President Obama.” While I agree with Strassel that the party needs a “hard-charging, big-thinking-articulate new face” and that the present field of candidates is less than inspiring, I find the... Read More
It is hard for me to stay neutral in the battle between Republican governors and public sector unions. This may be the boldest task that Republicans have shouldered in decades, and I can only hope they’re willing to see it through. At issue here are not only the financial crises of states that are running... Read More
In a syndicated column (February 25), Linda Chavez gave good reasons why Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Mitch Daniels in Indiana, and Chris Christie in New Jersey are all justified in their battles against public sector unions. Chavez mentions lavish pension plans, paid for largely or almost entirely from state funds, and the unfairness of making... Read More
On January 30, the New York Post took a dig at Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who was accused of “rewriting history” by uttering the following statement about Black History Month: One may fault Michele for falsely attributing slavery’s abolition to the Constitution’s authors. These venerable gentlemen referred to slaves as non-free “persons” but decided not... Read More
Last spring GOP columnists were already urging their fellow party-members to nominate a centrist for the presidential race. Kim Strassel (April 5, 2011) and Peggy Noonan (April 29, 2011) in Wall Street Journal and Michael Barone and Jonah Goldberg in their syndicated columns all warned against reaching too far right for a presidential candidate. Noonan... Read More
Just as I had begun to believe that the GOP was becoming a small-government party, unsettling statements about foreign policy poured in from Republican presidential contenders. These hopefuls are already surrounded by Bush advisers, a fact they don’t try to hide. The earliest to hit the ground running was Mitt Romney, who provided a book-length... Read More
As I waited at the polling booth last Tuesday to vote, I thought about who would run this country if the GOP took back both houses of Congress. In all likelihood it would be the neoconservatives with their usual GOP allies who would be climbing back into the NASCAR of state. In an interview with... Read More
Blood was spilled three weeks ago when Christine O’Donnell beat centrist Republican Mike Castle in Delaware’s GOP primary. Long suspicious of the Tea Party challenge to Republican regulars, former Bush advisor and current FOX News contributor Karl Rove attacked O’Donnell as someone who says a lot of “nutty things” and whose background raises “serious questions.”... Read More
GOP regulars and their movement conservative drones have been sending signals for some time now that they wish to have the Tea Party be nice. While David Frum and David Brooks have generally followed the Left in condemning these “extremists,” Bill Kristol, George Will, Jonah Goldberg, and Rich Lowry have taken a gentler approach to... Read More
As an historian, I am amused to hear GOP journalists predicting that the “people” will soon be kicking out big government. We’re not going to repeat the mistake of the generation that voted in Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Voters will not stray a second time in November. Instead they’ll rally to the Republicans,... Read More
Just as I was forgetting how much I loathe the GOP, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell brought me back to my senses. Although McDonnell had previously declared April to be “Confederate History Month,” he apologized in a revised proclamation for having failed to mention the enormous evil of slavery. His mea culpa contains this characteristic PC... Read More
Although I’m not unhappy that Marco Rubio pushed Charlie Crist out of the Republican primary in Florida, I am appalled by Richard Lowry’s attack on those who draw a comparison between the careers of Crist and Joe Lieberman. Apparently the senator from Connecticut, who won re-election as an independent in 2008 after losing in the... Read More
While reading about the Tea Party activists as radical rightists, I had the sense that these critics and I see the world very differently. The New York Times and then the Lancaster papers, on April 16, released polling data that offers a revealing picture of these activists. Most of them believe that their current share... Read More
Richard Spencer is right when he says that he couldn’t think of any significant issue that the Alternative Right and the established conservative movement would hold in common. What he might have added is that he couldn’t think of any significant issue over which the conservative movement and the GOP would disagree; or any major... Read More
Some readers have posed an interesting question about the Republican Party's heated response to Harry Reid: Are we not dealing here with the party's frustration over the double standard being applied by the leftist media? Presumably the media have consistently used a double standard in judging the two parties in terms of their statements about... Read More
GOP operatives are again falling on their noses trying to be more PC than the Democrats. Their war on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying in a private that president Obama was well-positioned in 2008 because he is “a light-skinned African American with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one” has turned... Read More
Let me join Dylan Hale in congratulating Keith Preston for his perceptive comments about where the Right has gone since the 1960s. In all of the decades that I've written on the subject, the connection drawn by Keith never really occurred to me, that is, between the Sun Belt Republican conservatism of the 1960s and... Read More
Watching the GOP's Voice of Faith, Laura Ingraham, fill in last Friday for the even more tiresome Bill O'Reilly, I was reminded once again why I despise Republican talk-show hosts. Although Laura is attractive, speaks in whole sentences, and according to her biography, is the 'eighth most listened to radio talk host,' what came from... Read More
Pardon me for not being able to figure this one out, but the furor over Mark Sanford, who has apparently ruined his political future by pursuing his lover to Argentina, has left me uneasy. Although Sanford certainly blundered, his mistake had less to do with his erotic energy than with his handling of the affair... Read More
A recent syndicated column by Thomas Sowell “Republicans in the Wilderness” includes useful advice but also misleading conclusions. According to Sowell, while “Republican moderates” Bob Dole and John McCain “lost disastrously to Democrats,” Republicans who have stood their ground, like Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich, have been more successful politically. Victorious Republicans have understood that... Read More
Below is the text of a speech I gave this past weekend at the annual Pennsylvania State Constitution Party conference: * * * It is with considerable pleasure that I stand here tonight to address this gathering. What distinguishes you from the two federally funded patronage machines, also known as the Democrats and Republicans, is... Read More
Although it is not my practice to recycle my newspaper material for this website (any more than it is to brag about my offspring), I am making this exception because of the illustrative value of the person depicted. It is impossible for me to find anyone who exemplifies more perfectly the semi-comatose state of Republican... Read More
Are GOP partisans as dumb as they seem? My answer to this query is “at least as dumb as turkeys, the mouths of which have to be shut when it rains, lest they swallow too much water and drown.” How else does one explain the continued enthusiasm shown by conservative-GOP activists for the “conservative” McCain-Palin... Read More
Last Sunday I listened to Tom Brokaw interview Rudolph Giuliani on 'Meet the Press.' The reason this former New York City mayor was on was to represent his former GOP rival in the Republican presidential primaries, John McCain. Most of what Giuliani said was the usual boiler plate about how McCain would protect us nonstop... Read More
For those of our readers who might have thought even for a moment that John McCain?s reaching out to black Democrats with teeth-gnashing for not having supported the compulsory MLK sacral holiday was a fluke, please note the following advertisement put out by the GOP and then distributed by the onetime conservative Human Events. Although... Read More
They Can’t Even Wait! Although I consider myself second to none in loathing the Democratic Party, as an ingathering of bureaucratic parasites and self-described victim groups (yelping for set-asides and public funding), there is one Democratic characteristic that Republicans would do well to emulate. Democrats do not exert themselves kissing up to constituencies that they... Read More
Yesterday I noticed an article in the New York Post about two adjoining apartments off Central Park East that had contributed tens of millions of dollars to both Hillary and Rudy. These two brick-stone apartments by themselves could apparently pay for the war chest of a competitive presidential candidate, and the stockbrokers, real estate tycoons,... Read More
A few days ago I was diverted from working on my computer by an exchange on FOX between Bill O’Reilly and someone described as his “ombudswoman.” The lady in question pointed out to O’Reilly that he had been rude to Ron Paul, who had been on his show, and that he kept interrupting his dignified... Read More
On the same glorious day when the Wall Street Journal ran a feature piece by Straussian Peter Berkowitz [email him] instructing conservatives to surrender on Big Government and gay marriage [Conservative Survival in a Progressive Age, December 12 2012], another Conservatism Inc. mouthpiece had a second revelation: Jonah Goldberg , [Email him] once one of... Read More
Political junkies of my generation should recall The Emerging Republican Majority, that provocative investigation of electoral patterns that journalist Kevin Phillips brought out in the wake of the Goldwater debacle of 1964. According to Phillips, the GOP could still re-emerge as a majority party, if it put together a coalition of disaffected blue collar ethnic... Read More
Looking at this year's surprising and in some cases surprised recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it seems fair to divide them into three categories: well-considered objects of deference, such as Nancy Reagan, tenor Placido Domingo, medical humanitarian D.A. Henderson, and management theorist Peter Drucker; excuses for meaningless ideological gestures, namely Irving Kristol; and... Read More
Paul Gottfried
About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried (b. 1941) has been one of America's leading intellectual historians and paleoconservative thinkers for over 40 years, and is the author of many books, including Conservatism in America (2007), The Strange Death of Marxism (2005), After Liberalism (1999), Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt (2002), and Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America (2012) . A critic of the neoconservative movement, he has warned against the growing lack of distinctions between the Democratic and Republican parties and the rise of the managerial state. He has been acquainted with many of the leading American political figures of recent decades, including Richard Nixon and Patrick Buchanan. He is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient.