A Conservative Icon Passes On
Legendary conservative historian and columnist Nat Hentoff has passed away.
Hentoff was hard to put in a political box during his long life, but his commitment to the past, to the dignity of human life, and to free speech would make him a conservative by modern standards.
In National Review, Wesley Smith recounts a speech he gave at the Human Life Foundation introducing the intellectual heavyweight:
Nat Hentoff is a superb writer and first class public intellectual. He is a man of consistent, steadfast principle, a moral purist in an age of hand-wringing accommodationists.
This unyielding consistency has made him an iconoclast’s iconoclast. Indeed, Hentoff has described himself as “a Jewish, atheist, civil libertarian, left-wing pro-lifer.” Talk about cutting against almost every societal grain: No wonder he both thrills—and upsets—so many people!
Hentoff’s style is as individualistic as are his principles. In an age of shouters, he is quiet. In an era of facile talking heads, he remains profound. Where others agitate and self-aggrandize, he relies on steadfast cogent argument to persuade. Where contemporary pundits often tailor their views to cater to the powerful or popular, Hentoff courageously remains a challenger of orthodoxies.
Hentoff’s advocacy cuts a wide swath across what are often called ‘the life issues.’ Indeed, his unyielding stand over many years against abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, unethical human medical experimentation, and the ongoing bioethical construction of a “duty to die” has made him a moral beacon for those who believe that universal human liberty depends on society’s embrace of the intrinsic equality of all human life.
Hentoff is a throwback to a time when intellectuals truly searched for truth. He will me missed.
Check out Hentoff's archive at World Net Daily.