Yesterday, I quoted from Victor Davis Hanson, who noted, as had James Piereson, the flip-over of conspiracy theorists from the fluoridated John Birch right of the 1950s to today’s left. As the passage I excerpted from VDH concluded:
But over the years, conservatism came to terms with civil rights and anti-Semitism. Free markets, not socialism, enriched America and brought a level of affluence undreamed of it to the poor. (When I was seven, outhouses and unpaved roads were common in West Selma; today in the same neighborhood you see SUVS, new tract houses, and I-pods and blue teeth in the ears of illegal aliens.). And so the Klan, Birchers, and other assorted embarrassments were peeled off.
The left in the 1940s and 1950s had likewise gotten rid of its communist wing, and ostracized its fellow travelers. Henry Wallace was taken off the ticket. Dean Acheson and George Kennan had made liberal anti-communism logical rather than paradoxical.
But now the Left, still going on the fumes of the 1960s, has the greater problem with its extremists. Of course, the