Reading the screed helped me finally figure something out. I’ll post here what I wrote in both AR and OD as a comment.
he [Buckley] wanted to be taken seriously by the New York media and cultural elite
That’s the only real hint of truth in this screed.
For those of you who read Sailer, then you’re familiar with the second hand quote of Rupert Murdoch, in which he supposedly said that he didn’t need all the Jews of New York on his side, he only needed some of them.
Let’s say that, in your social circle, every one of them hates some sort of bizarre esoteric dish of food, like peanut butter avocado stew. In such a circumstance, it’s safe for you to bash the dish and people who like it. But, if your social circle suddenly sees an increase of people who like peanut butter avocado stew, once it reaches a certain critical mass of those in your social circle, even if everyone else hates it, then bashing those who like it will become a social impossibility, and even one’s criticism of the dish itself will have to be careful and tactful.
What Murdoch meant with that quote is that he needed “conservatism” to be accepted by a high enough percentage of New York Jews, even if it’s nowhere near a majority, so that the vast majority of New York Jews that are liberal/leftist will give it a fair hearing and the time of day, because more and more of their Jewish colleagues in their social circles are suddenly becoming “conservative,” liking the peanut butter avocado stew, and as we all know, New York Jews exercise very disparate power over the American news media which in turn holds disparate power over the public policy formation process.
I now think the raison d’etre of Buckley’s career (what he really meant by “standing athwart history and yelling stop”) was to water down and universalize and de-tribalize and de-nationalize “conservatism” until it reached the point where enough New York Jews could agree with it in order to force the rest to tolerate it, so that “conservatism” could be a credible national governing ideology. Hence, the constant purges; Buckley was tossing to the street bag and baggage out of the house of official conservatism anyone who either offended Jews or said things distasteful to them. I now think that Buckley as far back as 1955 knew that the choke point for Federal public policy formation was the national news media, and in turn, the choke point for the national news media were New York Jews, so in turn again, Buckley appointed himself the choke point of official conservatism, because he knew that if a given way of thinking was universally opposed by New York Jews especially the circles thereof that control the national media, it had no chance of being a credible governing ideology. And, if you happen to like what was left of conservatism after the purges, then it worked out well for you, because your way of thinking got a fair hearing and occasionally got to rule the roost in Washington. As for me, I don’t think it was a good deal in the long run, because the cost was too dear.