Farewell to Thomas Sowell, Dean of Conservative Columnists


In what we can only hope is the final heartbreak of 2016, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution Thomas Sowell announced his retirement from his syndicated column. Sowell isn’t just one of the great thinkers of our time. He’s a genuine voice of decency and truth in a time when screaming and hysterics gain headlines. His voice will be missed every week.

Sowell, who is 86, announced his retirement because he’s simply tired of writing about politics every week. “Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media. During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program — and it felt wonderful.”

That is perfectly understandable.

Sowell’s final thoughts are typically well-stated: America has progressed materially in “almost unbelievable” fashion. “Most Americans did not have refrigerators back in 1930, when I was born,” Sowell says. “My own family did not have electricity or hot running water, in my early childhood, which was not unusual for blacks in the South in those days.” Implicit in this reminiscence is a celebration of America: a black child growing up in the segregated south is now one of the most important political thinkers in America, living in wealth. That’s almost unbelievable, too.

Sowell also laments the state of our politics. “Politics, and especially citizens’ trust in their government, has gone way downhill,” Sowell writes. “Years of lying Presidents – Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, especially – destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility which the office itself conferred.” Sowell concludes, “We cannot return to the past, even if we wanted to, but let us hope that we can learn something from the past to make for a better present and future.”

Sowell has made sure we learn something. For years, I’ve named Sowell as the man I’d most love to see as president. That doesn’t end just because his column has.

Here’s a brief list of some of my favorite Sowell books:

The Quest For Cosmic Justice: Sowell explains where leftist desire to rule springs from, and why they can’t accept the world of reality.

Basic Economics: Sowell’s seminal work, and one that every high school and college student should read and re-read.

Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: Sowell breaks down why income inequality occurs. Brilliant and necessary in today’s Bernie Sanders world.

Black Rednecks and White Liberals: Sowell skewers sacred racial cows with abandon, and brings enlightenment to an area everyone wants to avoid.

Intellectuals and Race: More from Sowell on race, particularly what obsesses leftists about race.

A Conflict of Visions: Sowell investigates the deeper roots of political philosophy.

All of Sowell’s work is worth reading. Check it out now.

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