Ray Bradbury: Great Writer and Tea Party Conservative

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COMMENTARY | The death of Ray Bradbury has been mourned by such liberal luminaries such as President Barack Obama, Stephen Spielberg, and Stephen King, according to CBS News. But John Fund suggests that in later life, the author of "Fahrenheit 451" was a tea party conservative.

Two years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported that Bradbury inveighed against the encroachment of big government. He also excoriated President Obama for cancelling that Constellation space exploration program. Bradbury did not think very highly of President Bill Clinton either.

"I think our country is in need of a revolution," Bradbury said in 2012, according to the paper. "There is too much government today. We've got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people, and for the people."

Bradbury's journey from 1950s liberal to 21st century tea party conservative had more to do with how liberalism has become debased over the years. "Fahrenheit 451" is a classic plea for free expression, depicting as it does a totalitarian government that has banned all books and sends fire fighters to burn them and the owners as well. In the 1950s and 1960s, Bradbury perceived the threat to liberty to come from the right. But by the winter of his life, he realized that the threat to human freedom comes rather from the left.

Bradbury was a fervent proponent of space exploration, which achieved its full flower under the liberal administration of President John F. Kennedy. But decades later, conservatives like Ronald Reagan and both George Bushes were proposing great space adventures, while liberals like Clinton and Obama were cutting them back.

In effect, Bradbury did not leave liberalism, it left him. He was at the age of 91 much the same as he was at the age of 41 or 51. It was just that as he looked eternity in the face, his beliefs in freedom and the great adventure of exploring space were shared by the right wing and had been abandoned by the left. So, he adjusted his labeling if not his attitude accordingly.

Then, of course, was Bradbury's public feud with Michael Moore, the political filmmaker, for stealing the title of his most famous book and morphing it into his anti-George Bush screed "Fahrenheit 9/11." Bradbury, like all authors, is jealous of his work. Moore was unmoved, pleading that it was too late to change the title.

So the passing of Ray Bradbury has deprived the world of not only a great writer, but of a great patriot.

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