The Buckley Club Podcast 2
The Buckley Club

I listened to your podcast episode (2) last night, and, again, I have some points which I hope will be construed to be constructive criticism, plus a few comments about the content itself.

First of all, congratulations again on another episode. I can sense the enthusiasm you have in trying to launch this vehicle. My previous post I had suggested adding a bit of conflicting opinion into the mix, since nothing is more boring than hearing a conversation where everyone agrees with each other. But with this episode, I was perplexed by why the need to have nine (or was it ten?) participants? It was definitely too many cooks in the kitchen, and not unlike sitting in on a conference call for a mid-sized national company going over the last quarter’s sales results. Scintillating it was not. I would suggest keeping the actual participants down to a maximum of four, and if others would like to observe as an in-house audience, to make that an option. Although there was very little in the way of humor or wit in the episode, perhaps in the future more could be forthcoming, thereby making an in-house audience more appropriate.

My second suggestion, and again, take it for what it is worth, is that if one wants to venture into levity, it is fine, but if cargo pants qualifies as something funny, your threshold is pitifully low. Maybe stick to the serious topics going forward.

Which brings me to my comments on the actual content. Regarding the culture discussion, someone made the comment that conservatives have been losing the culture debate since 1968. I don’t necessarily disagree with the idea or the arbitrary date chosen. I think the participants didn’t completely agree with what “culture” was (are we talking about pop culture as generated out of Hollywood and diffused as television, film, and music? or are we talking about society in general, with regards to abortion, gay rights, race relations, etc…?), but in any case there is a distinct conservative culture that is available in the marketplace, but it is widely rejected by the larger population. Examples abound — whether the films of Dinesh D’Souza or Christian production houses…

…and conservative, family-friendly programming exists on television, but in niche channels high up on the cable dial. Popular culture is heavily skewed towards the disposable income of young adults anyway, and anything that is going to target the youth of America is always going to be pushing the bounds of decency (just ask Ed Sullivan when he booked Elvis).

If, however, you were talking about social issues as “culture”, off of the top of my head, I would list the following as the various battles fought and lost by the conservative side:

  • abortion rights / right to life
  • school busing / forced desegregation of public schools
  • marriage equality / gay marriage
  • death penalty
  • women rights / sexual harrassment in the workplace

I would add gun control, except that the NRA has such a death-grip on the GOP that they are preventing Congress and state legislatures from debating and voting on common sense gun reform that is supported overwhelmingly by the American populace.

I’m not including race or immigration reform, because while it seems clear that the GOP has long since ceded the battlefield on meaningful solutions to either of those issues, I feel that there could be a convincing conservative argument made, but that is perhaps the subject for a larger post at a later time.

I make the above short list of culture battles fought and lost by the conservatives to show that not only is America a better country because the conservative side has lost (except with the possible distinction of abortion, which the conservative’s are so narrowly defining as “right-to-life” to the negligence of a larger, more pro-active “right-to-life” argument)…

…but that to push a conservative agenda that wishes to go back in time to an earlier era completely misses the point, and as one of your participants noted, goes against the arc of history; as he stated, conservatives should be embracing new technology and forming new policies and ideas for the 21st century.