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Great men stand out in a crowd without even trying.
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Another contribution — familiar to most of you here tonight — has been his rare gifts as a teacher. The first book I ever edited was a book written by Stan. In the front matter to that volume, Stan did the necessary, thanking his professional associates before making the conventional stipulation that any shortcomings were solely the responsibility of the author. That was a rare journalistic lapse on Stan’s part and it should be corrected. For the next edition of his book, I have suggested the following language for the acknowledgment page: “I am grateful for any trace of wit, insight or erudition that managed to survive the clumsy interventions of my so-called editor, who if justice had prevailed would have been honing his dull editorial blade on some far distant whetstone.”
It will come as no surprise to those of you who have benefited from his tutelage that Stan has been a pivotal professional influence for an entire generation of conservative writers and editors. He has been patient and nurturing in the early going, and then proud and puffing as we achieved some minor success.
In recent years, Stan has taken on yet another role. In his magisterial book, Blacklisted by History, and in books still to come, he has kept the files, sorted the data and inscribed the lists of those who betrayed the United States during the Cold War. It is lonely, widely unappreciated work and in doing it Stan has become the Simon Wiesenthal of the anti-Communist cause, the man who remembers everything.
Stan’s influence now reaches deeply into the generations behind him. My own grandson Harry, aged five, found his admission to pre-school slowed a bit when he was asked to identify his most enjoyable activity. The approved answer at this progressive institution is some form of “helping the disadvantaged.” Instead, Harry announced his enthusiasm for “hunting rats.” After an unnerving delay, Harry was finally accepted and began in his diligent way to prepare for his kindergarten interview a few months hence. I have suggested that — in tribute to his Uncle Stan — Harry should particularize his answer by announcing that he now enjoys “hunting Commie rats.”
One of the most telling things ever said about Stan Evans was said by our dear friend Bill Rusher, who died this spring after serving for a half-century as the central gyroscope of the conservative movement. Bill said to me and, I’m sure, to others: “If anybody ever wants to know what ol’ Rusher would have thought about something, and Rusher’s not around, ask Evans.” Well, some of us do want to know and we ask and we are never disappointed. Stan has become the indispensable man of our common enterprise, the wisest among us.
Let me give you just one example of that wisdom. Stan and I recently collaborated in an effort to reinvigorate a nonprofit institution. During the course of those deliberations, Stan gave me some advice that will henceforward guide all of my bureaucratic activity. Said Stan: “It’s amazing how much credit you can take, if you don’t care about accomplishing anything.”
My remarks tonight have most assuredly not been a testimonial to Stan Evans. Such raw sentimentality would have no place in an occasion of this kind. It’s merely an acknowledgement of my gratitude to Stan for being my mentor, my friend and our central gyroscope.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?