Author M. Stanton Evans got an early lesson in his law of inadequate paranoia: “No matter how bad you think things are, when you look into them you find that they are a lot worse.”
Evans followed future editor (at National Review) William F. Buckley, Jr., into Yale. “I read God and Man at Yale, which was being attacked on campus, and said, ‘This is exactly how it is,’” Evans remembered in a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
In a segment sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), Evans regaled the audience at CPAC with remarks on what it was like to be a young conservative in the 1950s. “We had three problems,” he recalled. “There was the intellectual problem on campus which was bad but not as much as it is now.” Evans has spoken at many Accuracy in Academia events.
“We also had the problem of communists infiltrating the government that the Democrats seemed incapable of resisting,” Evans averred, “and the Republicans seemed incapable of resisting the Democrats.” Evans is the co-author of Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government.
Evans also set the historical record straight when a young man in the audience asked whether Goldwater Republicans made inroads in the South by appealing to racism there. Evans said, “You know what we call racists in the South? Democrats.”
He noted that such liberal stalwarts as J. William Fulbright of Arkansas cast votes against just about every civil rights bill that came up in the Senate. By way of contrast, Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Arizona, had been opposed to segregation but voted against the Civil Rights Act because he questioned the constitutionality of a provision mandating that hotels accepts all guests. A Texas native, Evans still teaches at Troy University in Alabama.
Turning to the current generation of Republican leaders, Evans sees many missed opportunities, to put it mildly. “CPAC is not a Kumbaya experience,” he said. Evans formerly chaired the American Conservative Union (ACU) and was at the first CPAC, which ACU sponsors, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D. C. in 1974.
Noting the federal budget deficit and the trillions of dollars the national government spends, Evans pointed out that seven of the 10 richest counties in America are in the Washington, D.C. metro area. “Where do you think that money is going? Here. That point should be hammered home every day,” he said. He also recalled the failure of the House Republicans to get behind efforts by Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to defund Obamacare.
Evans was a longtime contributor to, and former managing editor of, Human Events, the national conservative weekly newspaper, which recently announced it was ceasing publication of the print version. He also was the longtime editor of the Indianapolis News.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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