The moment I got to college, I joined Yale's Party of the Right. The POR was founded by Chairman Bill himself, along with a few others, which gave it lots of cachet. Buckley, like Reagan after him, was able to finesse some of the tensions in conservative thought and politics — the traditionalist vs. libertarian schism. Unlike the European Catholic right, which hated the market's destabilizing, anarchic, dynamism, Buckley loved capitalism unreservedly and yet embraced Catholic social disciplines. After 25 years of study, I still haven't figured out how right-wingers can tout Trad Vals at the same they tout the market; capitalism destroys tradition and recognizes only monetary values.There does seem to be a contradiction, but if you think of wealth as "divine right" or the rentier class as the new aristocracy it kind of makes sense.
With any right-wing movement, the Nazi Question is never far from the surface. Publicly, most of U.S. conservatism, given its market-libertarian bent, is anti-Nazi, because fascism is that worst of all things, statist. It's also suspiciously European; though the POR, like most U.S. right-wing formations, was full of Anglophiles, the Continent is thought to be deeply "unsound" (a favorite POR word, as was "sound"). Privately, though, many right-wingers (non-Jewish right-wingers, of course) are titillated by Nazis...."Sound" as in "sound money"?
Thanks to one of these maneuvers, I was elected secretary of the Political Union in the spring of 1971 for service in the fall. That spring, the Union tried to give an award to Secretary of State William Rogers, but when Rogers came to campus to pick it up, protesters were so thick he quickly retreated to Washington. That fall, the new group of officers inherited the privilege of delivering Rogers' award, so we took the train to DC to give it to him. The right-wing contingent — there were a couple of liberals and one George Bush Republican (he was from Bush's district in Houston, and urged us all to watch this guy) — complained about having to take the "socialist" railroad. Rogers fed us lunch in his personal dining room, showed us around a bit.I've been watching AMC's Hell on Wheels which is about the building of the transcontinental railroad. A crony capitalist is driving "progress." Better then expected.