A traditional conservative*

*Refers to following in the steps of G. K. Chesterton:

“Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”

Orthodoxy, Chapter 4

And of William F. Buckley, Jr.:

“Modern formulations are necessary even in defense of very ancient truths. Not because of any alleged anachronism in the old ideas — the Beatitudes remain the essential statement of the Western code — but because the idiom of life is always changing, and we need to say things in such a way as to get inside the vibrations of modern life.” 1964 address to the Conservative Party of New York State

1964 address to the Conservative Party of New York State



Daniel Oliver has been part of the Conservative Movement since 1965, when he worked in William F. Buckley Jr.’s campaign for Mayor of New York City, and ran for the New York State Assembly from West Harlem.

In 1970, he was Director of Research for James L. Buckley’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate from New York. In the mid-1970s Oliver both wrote for and served as executive editor of National Review. And for many years Oliver served on the board of directors of National Review, serving as chairman from 2001 until Buckley divested himself of the magazine’s stock in 2004, at which time Buckley named him to the board of National Review’s holding company, on which he served until 2013.

During the Reagan Administration, Oliver served as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (1986–1989). His service at the FTC followed two other senior assignments in the Reagan Administration: General Counsel of the Department of Education (1981–1983) and General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture (1983–1986).

Since leaving the government at the end of the Reagan years, Oliver has remained active in public policy, His appointments have included Distinguished Fellow at Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation and Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Oliver has served on the boards of numerous conservative organizations, including the Philadelphia Society (of which he is a past president), the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (of which he is a past chairman), the Federalist Society, and the Center for Family and Human Rights. Oliver is a member of the Mont Pèlerin Society. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Fordham Law School. In 1988 he received the degree of Doctor of Political Science honoris causa from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala.

His writings have appeared in The Claremont Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, The Washington Times, First Things, The American Conservative, The Daily Caller, and The Federalist, among other publications.”

A collection of his columns and other writings, from 1999 to 2015, has been published recently under the title of Everyday Epiphanies.

Oliver lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Louise Oliver, the former ambassador to UNESCO. The have five children and thirteen grandchildren.