Some commenter whose identity I am protecting asked if I have been writing Jonah Goldberg's recent columns. I don't think so. While he is on my list of "yeah, I should get around to reading what he is saying," he's not on the top of that list, so I mostly don't know what he's writing. But this one I definitely agree with, and he mentions Chesterton's Fence, so I pass it along to you.
Radicalism is the purest expression of ingratitude, because it starts from the premise that nothing that currently exists is worth saving; everything is corrupted by the evils of the past.
He goes on to chastise those who say that the media or the intrusion on rights "has never been this bad." He is spot on. Can you buy Playboy in your town? Will you go to jail for a couple of joints in your pocket? Can Jews or (gasp!) women join the country club? Can you put your ideas out before the whole world for years for the price of a computer and an internet connection? Goldberg is concerned with the new media powers and what they might do, as am I. But lots of newspapers in the 70s refused to give Nixon the opportunity to reply to criticisms - and this was in an age when there were mostly lock-step newspapers, 3 networks, and a few popular magazines. Reagan did a lot to break the back of that by buying time to speak to the American people on network TV.