Next Sunday morning, I'll settle in front of my computer and -- as always -- tune in Chris Wallace and keep a watchful eye on Tim Russert and the rest of the talk show gaggle. But it will be the oddest Sunday in many years because I will not be writing a "Loose Canons" column for The American Spectator. This is my last regular column for TAS because today I'm taking up the editorship of Human Events, where my regular columns will appear.
Nearly a decade ago, when I first began writing for Spectator, I was welcomed with friendship and warmth by Wlady Pleszczynski who has become a very good friend. Spectator online for a time became The American Prowler and then, as the gods mandated, there was Spectator again. Meanwhile, I'd been a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times and though I have written for many other magazines and websites, my journalistic home base was always TAS. Through those years, Wlady's unending patience and good-humored critiques set a tone of wonderful friendship. That friendship and camaraderie grew as I got to know RET and, later, Al Regnery. It will not end with this departure. I will, from time to time, again contribute to the magazine or website.
And so that friendship will continue as we'll all be manning the good ship Conservatism, putting our weight on the tiller to steer to the right, loading and firing the rhetorical guns at whatever our nation's enemies abroad and the liberals here serve up. Human Events -- with Spectator, National Review, Weekly Standard, and the rest -- all share the responsibility to craft the future of the conservative coalition and our nation. We may walk different paths, but the goal remains the same: a strong, self-reliant America that governs itself as the Founders envisioned, true to our Constitution and the moral code and historical experience on which it is based. The distance to that goal seems to be growing now, but that's why we speak, debate and write. We all remember Burke's admonition that the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to remain silent. And that we shall not do.
The challenges we face in the next two years -- and Hillary is only one -- cannot daunt us. We do not accept that conservatism is in retreat, or that America is being defeated in the war. We know better. We know the facts about our nation, its strengths and weaknesses. We have the ultimate advantages over the liberals: we have core principles that we follow, and we think rather than merely emote. We read history, and know -- as Churchill said -- that in it are all the secrets of statecraft.
There is much to do, and no time to waste. As the 2008 election approaches we'll issue a brace of pistols to all hands, open the gun ports and ready ourselves to grapple and board. We, American conservatives of all stripes and sizes, will only succeed as we have in the past, sailing against the winds of immorality, weakness and appeasement. See you on deck.
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