Letter to a Right-Wing Friend: Post Mortem

Letter to a Right-Wing Friend: Post Mortem

Dear _______,

In this first letter after the election you doubtless expect us to gloat over the margin, or ride you about the decline of  your party, to say that it serves you right, and “that settles that.” Of course something was settled, we have retired the Great Dismantler from Arizona, but neither the absurd campaign nor the decisiveness of November 3 have clarified for me a great puzzle: What were you doing there?

You always insisted that you were a “conservative.” But Goldwater wasn’t a man of conservative temperament, being given to rigid abstractions such as “free enterprise” and “the Free World” without a glance at changing circumstances (Burke would have shun...

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