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We get letters. And one from a regular listener baited us with the proposition that since FDR’s New Deal—decried here on a recent episode—is now nearly 90 years old, the duty of Burkean conservatives is now to preserve the New Deal rather than pine romantically for the good old days of Calvin Coolidge. To which Steve responded, well, I guess we should do a seminar-style episode about Edmund Burke, the putative founder of modern conservatism.
And guess what “Lucretia” thinks of Burke? “Not much” would be an understatement. But Steve thinks there’s a lot of commendable things to Burke, and that he’s worth reading. The ensuing argument bids to turn this episode into the “Three Whisky Grumpy Hour,” as it maps neatly on the long-running divide between peaty and sweet single malt whiskies.
If this had been an actual fight in the ring, the referee might have stopped the fight after about the fifth round. Lucretia isn’t buying Steve’s contention that Burke was sound on natural law, and that his view that practical wisdom (or the prudence of the statesman) is superior to theoretical wisdom didn’t pass Lucretia’s exacting standards, despite a cleverly-planned ambush early in the episode.
But Steve gets his revenge at the every end, by selecting exit music certain to make Lucretia mad—a contemporary “progressive” rock tune with a Burkean message. It can hardly get any worse than that!
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