Was Martin Luther King a Conservative?

The conservative establishment has gone hog wild over Equality.

The Straussians at the Claremont Institute have always shoveled this garbage, but because they have taken a prominent role in the modern “conservative movement”–even if they like to consider themselves to be dissident voices–they are pushing the same message as the neocons and Con. Inc., namely that men like Martin Luther King and Frederick Douglass were “conservative.”

This would be news to them.

It should be news to just about anyone with one speck of gray matter between their ears.

Paul Gottfried let these “conservative” dopes have it in a recent piece at Chronicles. It’s worth your time to read it.

This, of course, raises larger questions about American “conservatism,” questions that were central to my dust up with Michael Anton last year.

What is American conservatism, and who should be considered “conservative”? Clearly not Michael King or Frederick Douglass. Clearly not Elizabeth Cady Stanton or the communist John Steinbeck. But there three of those people are on a list of “conservatives” and Stanton was featured prominently in the 1776 Commission Report which I rightfully blasted at Chronicles.

I understand the allure of including someone like Steinbeck on a list of conservatives. He was certainly concerned about conservation and the environment, but his “environmentalism” sharply differed with a real agrarian like John Taylor of Caroline or even the Fugitives.

I included C.A. Lindbergh as a conservative in Forgotten Conservatives in American History. That ruffled a few feathers. He had more of a claim than Steinbeck.

I’ve been asked why I spend more time attacking the conservatives than I do the leftists. I don’t, but we must understand principles matter. If the American right is going to be defined by Lincoln and “Equality as Conservative,” then the American right doesn’t exist.

I discuss Gottfried’s article on episode 570 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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