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    By Daniel Flynn, Published in Human Events

    In Ray Bradbury’s story “The Smile,” a post-apocalyptic community ritualistically gathers to burn books and other remnants of civilization. “It has to do with hate,” explains a vandal obliviously fixing to destroy the Mona Lisa. “Hate for everything in the past.”

    The beauty of science fiction is that it enables writers to say the nastiest things about the present so long as they pretend to be talking about the future.

    Ray Bradbury’s six hundred or so short stories display more interest in preservation than progress. He was a conservative in the most literal sense of the word.

    When conservatives claim Bradbury by citing him calling Bill Clinton a “s---head” or observing in 2010 that there is “too much government today,” they display a short-sighted view not only of Bradbury but of conservatism—as if it amounted to naming the right villains or supporting a set of policies.

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