The Left Conservative's Dylan Hales on the Late Paul Weyrich

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Couldn't have said it better myself. Writes Dylan Hales:

"Paul Weyrich died a few days ago, the second giant of American Conservatism to perish this year. Like Bill Buckley before him, Weyrich managed to maintain something of a balancing act between the principled conservatism of the heart and the "pragmatic" conservatism of the political mind. Unlike Bill Buckley however, Weyrich seemed to maintain close ties to the "Alternative Right" and was never easily shamed by the multiculturalist and PC-maniacs of the corporate liberal establishment.

Where Buckley was ultimately mau-maued into status quoism, Weyrich ended up an outsider within the movement he largely founded, advocating a prudent policy of cultural secession as the most reasonable approach for post-Cold War traditionalists to take in the uber-pornographic, consumerist empire that America had become. In a way it is sad that Weyrich will be remembered mostly for coining the term "Moral Majority" and launching the now abysmal Heritage Foundation. Buckley being remembered largely as the founder of the now thoroughly uninteresting National Review on the other hand, seems entirely appropriate.

Buckley ultimately came out against the misadventure in Iraq, and advocated drug decriminalization from the pages of National Review, but by the end he had come to symbolize a mainstreaming of militarism and me-tooism on American Exceptionalism that ultimately would bury the American Right. Weyrich may have senselessly endorsed Mitt Romney, but one never got the feeling that Weyrich was bought and paid for or advocating for a cause to maintain certain appearances. Where Buckley was an elitist masquerading as an aristocrat, Weyrich was a somewhat uncomfortable aristocrat forced into the clutches of elitism in order to keep a spot at the table he helped to set.

Unlike many who have eulogized him, I never met Mr. Weyrich and the institutions and causes he helped found had little direct influence on me. My path to conservatism has been very different from the majority of long time movement figures and my cultural outlook is quite different from that of the average man of the right. Still one can not help but salute a brave soul, who lived and operated in the belly of the beast, without ever totally succumbing to the temptations of the dark side.

By all accounts and all evidence, Paul Weyrich was a moral man, of great integrity. His instincts seem to have been nearly always "Right" in every sense of the term, even as his application of those instincts could occasionally wander too far from the yard for my comfort. One does not have to agree with every political or social stand a man took, to come to the conclusion that the World or a cause may suffer from his loss.

In an era of potential realignment for the American Right, an elder statesman like Paul Weyrich would have been a wonderful asset. Alas, it was not to be."

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