Thursday, March 31, 2022

M Stanton Evans, Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom

As per usual, this lazy moose links to a more complete review above. 

I'm a bit of a Steve Hayward groupie ... having read the Reagan books, listener to Powerline Podcasts, and  "Three Whiskey Happy Hour", so that lack of objectivity should be considered. 

Like the rug in "The Big Lebowski", this book really ties the conservative movement from the time of GAMAY up to the tragic regime of Obama together, in a manner as entertaining as this kind of serious book really can. The curtain of the "back room" of conservatism in America is lifted and we see some of the "sausage" of conflicting ideology, personality quirks, infighting, and egos. The reality of human interaction. 

The personal anecdotes made Evans more real. I especially enjoyed his affection for Hardees, a prime example of fine American cuisine. The concept of finding a town with a Hardees at each side of town so a balanced diet could be maintained by alternating between them cemented his genius in my mind. 

The anecdotes and aphorisms alone are really worth the low price of admission, I have already used the "They say you tend to lose your sense of hearing as you get older, and one other thing that I can't recall ..." a few times to great effect.

The "behind the scenes" insights were crucial for me. I will admit to not being at all aware of the ACU, and thus Evan's involvement in the creation of CPAC. 

Page 241, "in other words, a bigger problem than ideological bias is simple incompetence". Yes! I highly recommend "Excellent Sheep" for deeper insight into why that is an increasing problem ... the tragic human choice of "knowing everything about nothing vs nothing about everything" is especially important in our age of "experts". 

As a reader of "Witness", some of the McCarthy insights mostly just refreshed ... however "refreshment" is always important, 

The writing is excellent, the insight into the subject is on par with better biographies. While Evans may not be a person who is known to you, the statement on p 219 that "Without Stan Evans, it is quite likely there would have been no Ronald Reagan in 1980",  is more than enough to explain his importance. 

Given his statement of faith in the epilogue, I look forward to sharing a beverage in Heaven, where time constraints are likely to be significantly reduced. 

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