“2 Books Paint a Gallery’s Worth…,” Chicago Tribune, October 15, 2006

In 1964, historian Richard Hofstadter declared, not altogether persuasively, that Barry Goldwater was not a conservative. According to Hofstadter, Goldwater was a pseudoconservative, a term Hofstadter borrowed from social critic Theodor Adorno to describe the most ardent and least self-critical McCarthyites. The pseudoconservative, in this view, was a dangerous absolutist disguised as a mere Republican, the sort of person today’s bloggers might label a CINO, or conservative in name only. In 1964, with Goldwater’s towering defeat by Lyndon Johnson, Hofstadter saw little immediate danger in the pseudoconservative crusade. Still, he warned, no American should ignore the extreme nature of the far-right vision, “with its paranoid suspicions, its impossible demands, and its millennial dream of total victory.”

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