Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dr. Clyde Wilson looks at modern America

Dr. Clyde Wilson, professor emeritus of the University of South Carolina, may be one of the last paleo-conservatives in academe, a member of the dying breed of classically educated liberal arts scholars and historians alive and kicking today.

These days, he does a lot of writing for Chronicles magazine (one of the editors of which is the equally brilliant and piquant writer, Aaron Wolf, a lay theologian and historian who belongs to a Missouri Synod Lutheran parish).

Wilson unapologetically combines Southern gentility and curmudgeonly feistiness with an eye for contemporary culture as seen through the lens of agrarian, small government conservatism. He is also at times biting and satirical, witty and yet never descending to the tawdry trashiness of some of the so-called conservative pundits (read: entertainers) who make the rounds of talk shows and cable news networks, who lack not only Wilson's encyclopedic knowledge of American History and devotion to historic conservatism, but also his Deep South breeding and charm.

Wilson is an old-time conservative governed by principle instead of partisanship and political posturing. Here is just a wee sample of some of Dr. Wilson's thoughts on America from his online column at Chronicles.

Agree or disagree with him, you'll find a scholar who will sometimes make you laugh, but will always make you think - and will do so with a style that is as South Carolinian as a palmetto tree in the moonlight or mustard-based barbecue at a Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting.

A nice smattering of some of Wilson's essays over the years can be found in this anthology.

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