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The Traditionalist Tradition


Jonah: People often talk about the uniting of traditionalists, anti-Communists, and libertarians in the 1950s. It is somewhat amazing, from today’s vantage point, that there were self-described “traditionalists” at all in the ’50s, given the cultural distance we have traveled since then. If the modern Right has betrayed its forebears it is by mellowing, not growing fiercer, on what are now called “social issues.” And of course you are also correct to suggest that it is a little odd to see treatments of social conservatives that treat them as a strange and unfamiliar new growth in American society when it is, of course, social liberalism that is the novelty that brought the “social issues” into being in the first place.


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